Archive for category Philosophy
Okay, so after reading the title you proably think I’m doing poorly today – well, worry not, I’m doing GREAT! Got in a long workout (burned 660 cals), eating great, etc. This post isn’t about how I’m doing, but I wanted to talk about a disturbing article I read. Seriously, though, if you’re doing well on losing weight I might not read on. I half wish I hadn’t read the article.
First, here’s a link to the article: “Genes Take Charge, and Diets Fall by the Wayside”
To summarize, it’s basically saying that genetics have far more to do with your weight than your environment. Normally reading something like that wouldn’t bother me – anybody can say anything, it doesn’t make it true. However, this author cites a few studies that – I must admit – sounds fairly convincing. There is a huge adoption study that was done over many years in sweeden. There were something like 90 pairs of identical twins separated at birth. The identical twins reared apart had the same weights as adults. Also:
“Stunkard ended up with 540 adults whose average age was 40. They had been adopted when they were very young – 55 percent had been adopted in the first month of life and 90 percent were adopted in the first year of life. His conclusions, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1986, were unequivocal. The adoptees were as fat as their biological parents, and how fat they were had no relation to how fat their adoptive parents were.”
The article also pointed out that it is just as hard for a naturally thin person to GAIN weight and keep it on. There was a study on prisoners done where they intentionally ate tons of calories to gain weight. When they stopped intentionally trying to gain weight, within months, they were back down to their original weights.
Okay, anyway, I just thought the article was disturbing. Maybe it really is much harder for me to lose weight than it is for some people b/c of my genetics? Hmm. Any thoughts?
I couldn’t come up with a great title, but I wanted to take a minute to outline my weight loss – uh, there’s so many words for it – plan, strategy, philosophy, diet, lifestyle change, program, whatever!
First, one pertinent background point: I have tried many, many times to lose weight and have not ever been permanently successful. (I’m sure many of you are in the boat.) So I realize that I need to do something differently, and a lot of this stems from what I’ve learned about myself in the past.
Second, there are a million different articles and books and blogs and diets out there that will each claim a different approach to weight loss. In truth, many approaches will work, and there is ONE proven, scientific, undisputed way to lose weight: consume fewer calories than you burn. That is one thing know. Everything else is, at best, debated by the experts, such as low carb, glycemic index, mini-meals, etc. Do any of these things cause you to burn enough extra calories/fat to make a noticeable difference? I have no idea, and I will not at any time in the near future find conclusive proof one way or the other, so I’m not going to deem any of these other things necessary for my long term weight management success.