The Real Reason For Post-Holiday Diet Failures


OK – the holidays are over for another year and the damage is done!

We Americans tend to celebrate Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas and the other end-of-year holidays with meals.  And we kick off the whole “eating season” with Halloween candy for appetizers.

Restaurant guest wrote on credit card receipt, "I'm not pregnant but thanks for the "eating for two" comment."Then when the New Year rolls around, we notice a roll around our waistlines.  We moan.  We make resolutions to reduce. We might try a diet and give it up quickly.

Why?  Because dieting is unpleasant, it’s difficult to stay on the plan and everybody knows that the weight just comes right back.

One pre-holiday article showed some data that 80% of people gain weight back after dieting.

Only 80%?  I have seen other studies cite as much as 95%.

There are plenty of ways this can happen, but the one I hear about the most in “real life” is that life on a diet was so horrible that people slip back into their previous habits.

No — it is no surprise that weight comes.  Last time I heard of this  (from a patient, not on the internet) was from someone who tried an allegedly healthy “detoxification’ diet, involving eating nothing but lemon juice for a couple of days.

Boy, I would have been tickled to see real food after that one, and probably put on a few pounds with just sniffing it.

There are dangers, too, especially if diets are followed too long.

Surprise, surprise!

The idea of breaking the myths that there are times in life when weight is put on by everybody is a good one.

List of fad diets like low-carb, low-fatExcuses are easy. Life change is hard.

Oh, how delicious to blame it on hormones.

Maybe, maybe more research —

But until then, I seem to have done the experiment on myself.

Cutting calories, increasing exercise – nearly killed me! When I had to lose a lot of weight quickly to join the Army, I went this traditional route and screwed up my immune system.  I ended up in the hospital, temporarily blind (it could have been permanent but my Guardian Angel prevented that).

It would have been a lot easier to listen to my body and take more food.  I might have avoided going blind from ocular herpes. My body was trying to tell me to increase food intake, as I felt pretty rotten and just got worse from there. I was in denial all the way to the hospital.  I wanted to make good and thought I was doing the right thing.

Losing and gaining back weight is a cycle called “The Yo-Yo diet” phenomenon – and it is real.

Most doctors don’t know diddly about dieting and tend to blame patients who can’t take off weight or keep it off.

These doctors are wrong.

There is definitely something biological going on.

Back when I was in the military, a lot of the focus was on the “setpoint” – that ideal weight that the brain strives to maintain.

A vast over-simplificiation is that the more activity you undertake, and the lower your intake of calories, the easier weight loss would be. The theory is that that the body would naturally find equilibrium.

Well, there is more than that – for sure.

Maybe some of the articles cited are close to science, but to me they seem more speculative than scientific.

That does not mean the science of weight loss does not exist.  I think it does mean that nobody is doing the right kind of studies to find out what needs to be found out.

I have learned in my academic and research-oriented career that studies are chosen to gain notoriety and job security for those who do them — not to advance knowledge.

I have found no theories with more evidence than my own — the evidence my patients have handed me with their stories, and that has worked on me by shedding nearly 200 lbs. without diet, exercise, surgery or drugs.

Feet on scales -- sticky note says Start Diet TodayOur society – government, industry, and medical – will not admit that the problem is with the food supply.  More specifically with the addictive nature of things processed into the food supply.

We are then brainwashed to think that the rampant obesity in our culture is our own fault.  It is weakness, even a moral lapse. We are lazy and won’t move our bottoms off the couch to exercise because we have to watch reality-TV and eat snack foods.

We need to learn – and accept — the truth.

Simplify your diet – eat what your grandparents ate.

Processed foods – canned, bottled, freeze-dried, boxed on the grocery shelves and bagged in fast food restaurants – are the culprits.

Why eat canned beans or fruits when it is easy enough to get fresh?

Why eat ground and processed meats from hormone and antibiotic-fed animals when we can get unadulterated cuts?

Why eat packaged foods that have four kinds of sweetners in them?

Why drink something that is mostly high-fructose corn syrup instead of pure juice or fresh water?

It’s because we are addicted.  Sugar is as addictive as crack. Preservatives and coloring agents make foods last longer before spoiling and make them look good, but they play havoc with your body chemistry.

Our foods are empty of nourishment.

Simple foods and inexpensive supplements are the best way to give your body the material it needs to keep you healthy and to live a long life.

It may take some work – but it is certainly worthwhile.

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