To what do I owe the pleasure of inspiration? Its none other than JJ Virgin. She's a nutrition and fitness expert with nearly 30+ years of experience in the field (per her website). She is an avid writer and her latest book "Sugar Impact Diet" was a New York Times bestseller.
So there I am, wasting time on Huffington Post (as I'm prone to do) and I came across this article, 9 Science-based Strategies for Long-Term Weight Loss. Obviously with a title like that, I'm bound to be intrigued, right? That's what a good headline is supposed to do, after all. Well, it worked and I found myself reading the article. That might have been a mistake or one of the greatest things ever....we'll know after I finish this blog.
Just reading the headline, I was wondering, "Has someone finally cracked the code to successful weight loss?" If so, then let's get the Nobel Prize for Science ready! But before we book flights to Stockholm, let's see what the article said.
It starts by citing a study done in 2007 that found (no surprise if you've read any of my other blogs) that over the long-term, most people (around 95%) will eventually regain weight after their initial success in losing weight. You would think that after reading the article she references, the author would say, "So, why not give up dieting?" No way no how! She goes on to say that despite these insurmountable odds, these 9 science-based strategies will disprove the previous article she just mentioned.
Anyone--and I mean anyone--can find numerous studies that show short-term weight loss. Great, then let's get to the real crux of it then: where's the long-term data? I don't care about short-term data, show me the numbers after 5 years. Why don't they report these? Because they show the truth, that most people gain the weight back!
But let's get back to the article, shall we? Her 9 strategies say that people who maintain "fat loss" do the following:
1) They measure to improve by using mobile apps to track calories, daily weights and wearing a pedometer.
2) They journal their intake and their health goals
3) They eat mindfully and I have to quote here, "They know even a few moments of mindless eating -- such as a perilous 11 p.m. cookie dough fridge raid -- will derail their best efforts."
4) They downsize by using smaller plate and glasses to eat smaller portions
5) They simplify breakfast by having a meal replacement shake.
6) They add before they take away meaning they "fill up" on fiber so that they don't end up eating other unwanted foods
7) They keep their enemy away by not ever letting offending foods into the house. (JJ's personal example is almond butter!)
8) They surround themselves with like-minded people and again I quote, "To maintain fat loss, studies show a person's chances of becoming obese increased by 57% if they had a friend who became obese in a given interval."
9) They engage in community by being around other like minded people.
As I read these, I realized that these all seemed so incredibly sad. Why sad? Well, let me interpret these 9 strategies for you. To me, what I read is that if you want to lose weight and keep it off for the long-term here's what you better be prepared to do:
- Forever be slave to...
- calorie counting
- keeping a food journal
- drinking your morning meal replacement shake and
- the scale.
- You better be sure to be hyper vigilant and never ever ever slip up because if you do, you're doomed.
- Make sure you never eat too much and be sure and surround yourself with other people who are experiencing the same thing you are so you all can complain about how miserable you all are.
- Oh, and be sure to not have any fat friends because if you do, they'll sabotage your efforts.
If these sound as unappealing to you as they do to me then I have an alternative for you. You have a choice and here are the ones I've made:
I choose to enjoy my food by savoring each bite, no matter what it is.
I choose to listen to my body, my cravings and my fullness.
I choose to live with peace with my body and my food.
I choose to surround myself with people of all shapes and sizes because their size does not determine what kind of person they are going to be.
I choose to honor my body with movement that makes me feel alive.
This is Health at Every Size® an Intuitive Eating and it works. Interested in joining me, there's plenty of room on this train!
Thanks JJ Virgin for helping me get back in the blog world! It's nice to be back.