It’s Not You. It’s Your Diet
This week’s issue of Time magazine is a worthwhile read for anyone who has struggled to lose weight. In “The Weight Loss Trap – Low carb. Low fat. Paleo. Vegan. Flexitarian. Why your diet isn’t working.” Alexandra Sifferlin writes about how there is no singular plan that will work for the 71% of American adults who are overweight. Many clients at Repke Fitness inquire about various diets, particularly the Keto diet which is a low-carb, high fat diet that has been helpful for many. In fact, any diet can be successful but no diet can be claimed as the universal solution to America’s obesity problem. Louben Repke encourages his clients to do what works for them with the understanding that a diet is only going to work in the long-term if it becomes a lifestyle change. In the Time article, Sifferlin interviewed Kevin Hall, a scientist at the National Institute of Health (NIH) who was intrigued by the television weight loss competition The Biggest Loser. After watching the contestants drop significant weight each week, Hall decided to study several of them individually in hopes of finding useful information for overweight American adults.
Unfortunately, Hall found that after incredible transformations through strict diets and intense workouts, “13 of the 14 contestants [he] studied gained, on average, 66% of the weight they’d lost on the show, and four were heavier than they were before the competition.” He discovered that “the body will, in the long run, fight like hell to get that fat back.” While this is unsettling, people should continue to make the effort to lose weight. It’s not impossible to lose weight and keep it off as proven by participants of the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR).
The NWCR tracks people who have lost at least 30 pounds and maintained weight loss for a year or more. Currently the registry includes 10,000 people from the United States who have lost an average of 66 pounds per person. The average person in the registry has kept the weight off for more than five years. The surprising data from this group of people is that everyone has lost significant weight, but in different ways.
Important takeaways from the registry data:
– most had to try more than one diet before the weight loss stuck
– 98% cut out how much they ate in a given day
– 94% increased physical activity
– most eat breakfast every day
– most weigh themselves at least weekly
– most watch fewer than ten hours of television weekly
– most exercise for at least an hour each day
While it’s true that individuals may benefit from different diets, Melinda L. Irwin, professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health says, “a person can eat almost anything if the portion size is appropriate.” Still, if a person is aware that eating sugar leads to irresistible sugar cravings, that individual may choose to avoid those triggers. One way to tackle the best personal approach is to keep a food diary. Erika Nicole Kendall is a registry participant who has lost over 170 pounds over two years. Her advice in the Time article is to write down more than just what you are eating. “Write down how you feel that day, what is going on in your life, and how you feel after eating. After a while, look through your journal for patterns. Chances are you’ll find them. I am a recovering food addict, and nothing was more freeing than realizing what behaviors or events were triggering my addiction. It wasn’t that I had no willpower; my brain was reacting to certain habits that made it hard for my willpower to do it’s job.” Being mindful of triggers and patterns can help a person change behaviors that seem insurmountable.
This fascinating article is well-worth the read, filled with tips and statistics of behaviors that helped NWCR participants lose weight and maintain their weight loss. Anne Arundel County residents have the benefit of approaching weight loss goals with the guidance of personal trainer/registered nurse, Louben Repke. With the benefit of medical knowledge, Repke understands that everyone has a different timeline and ability, but that everyone is capable of making changes for a healthier body. Repke and his staff of trainers encourage clients to share their food diaries through My Fitness Pal and can offer insightful feedback about the plan that will work best for you. Call Repke Fitness Studio today for a free consultation at 410-656-2121.
We are a private personal fitness training studio located in Millersville, MD. Our top-notched personal trainers provide quality personal fitness training to clients in Severna Park, Severn, Pasadena, Arnold, Gambrills, Crownsville and all over Anne Arundel County.
8268 Veterans Hwy #3
Millersville, MD 21108