END DIET SHAME AND BLAME
Avoid a Common Diet Misconception and Create a Lasting Weight Loss plan
“Long-term weight loss happens to only the smallest minority of people.“ … Traci Mann
Working at the University of Minnesota’s Health and Eating Lab, psychologist Traci Mann conducts research on the psychology of eating, dieting, and self-control. After analyzing a series of randomized control trials concerned with long-term weight loss, she discovered that the average amount of weight lost after two years was only one
kilogram, or two pounds, from the original weight. (CBC News)
Mann is not alone in her discoveries. An often-cited statistic, within the medical community, indicates that about 97% of people who lose weight on a diet will regain it over time. These numbers show that, clearly, the way we currently think about weight loss is flawed. Weight loss as a practice of balancing calories in with calories out misses the reality of weight loss and continues to fail many dieters.
At the same time, the number of individuals struggling with obesity continues to rise, now reaching an epidemic proportion. Obesity is the root cause of many, if not most, of the chronic medical problems faced by society today, impacting the quality of life of countless individuals. It is time to rethink weight loss.
We now understand that excess body weight is a disease driven mostly by complex interactions between hormones and nervous system signals that regulate energy intake and expenditure. In fact, a published research study showed that a 14% weight loss, resulted in changes in 8 hormones that favored weight regain. The truth is humans are programmed to defend against weight loss.
Defending against weight loss is a survival mechanism that ensured the preservation of the human species during the hunter-gatherer days. Back in the pre-civilization era, fat was a survival advantage. Having body fat was a way to survive the constant threat of famine and harsh, cold winters in an era when modern housing and insulation did not exist. As a result, humans developed effective brain systems to monitor and defend against weight loss. Thus, whenever you lose significant weight, the brain sends signals to the rest of your body that lead to certain adaptations. These adaptations include:
-Increased secretion of the hunger hormone ghrelin from the stomach to make you feel hungrier.
-A decrease in the satiety hormone leptin which is made by fat cells and results in you feeling less satisfied with food.
-Release of dopamine when you consume energy dense foods. When you eat food high in sugar, fat or salt, your brain releases dopamine which makes you feel good and acts as a reward. This motivates you to look for more of such foods.
-Your metabolism slows down. When you lose weight, you burn less calories doing the same amount of work, more than would be expected from the weight loss alone.
Taken together, these adaptations conspire to make you regain weight. Though an elegant system, this natural response was created for a different time. It was designed to preserve body weight when humans needed fat to survive.
Today, however, we are not faced with famine or the risk of dying from hypothermia. This mismatch between evolution and civilization is the principal biological force behind weight loss struggle, not a lack of will-power.
If you are struggling to lose weight and keep it off, proper evaluation and care can give you the result you deserve.
At Kudos we promise professional care with empathy. We work to empower you, not “blame and shame” you for your struggles.
Contact us today.