31.10.2020 Weight Loss

Lose weight and keep it off

Ditch the diet- it is only making you fatter, says Dr Nick Fuller

Two in three people now have problems with their weight yet we still don’t seem to have a solution People often turn to the next diet that hits the shelves as the cure to their problem. It doesn’t matter where you go, everyone is always talking about what diet they are on. The latest buzz is certainly the 5:2 and intermittent fasting approach but why do people think this is any different to all the other diets on the shelf?

Well guess what? Diets don’t work (and yes this includes the new fad 5:2 and intermittent fasting) and you are only dieting yourself fatter and fatter.

All diets result in weight regain because every one of them fails to address the defense for our set point.

Everybody has a set point and this varies from individual to individual. It is the weight that you remember being at for a long period of time in your adult years (>18 years of age) and it varies from individual to individual. Every time we go on a diet our body works differently to ensure we get back to our set point and to ensure we stop losing weight and regain the weight we lost.

There are 5 main reasons why you should ditch the diet!

  • Body metabolism slows.
  • Appetite hormones increase.
  • Diets are dangerous and unhealthy.
  • Expectations are unrealistic.
  • We are all tuned to a set point – yes, it could be game over! It doesn’t matter what you do, your body will work back to where it started, to defend its level of fatness. Everyone has a set point and this is the weight that our body is most comfortable being. You are doomed for failure every time you start a diet because our body will work back towards its set point every time you impose a stress on it – in this case, dieting.

Your body stops working as efficiently when you go on a diet. With any diet you are restricting the amount of energy you put in your body for a sustained period of time. Consequently, your body metabolism (amount of energy burnt at rest) slows to prevent you continuing to lose weight – a process known as adaptive thermogenesis.

When you lose weight on a diet your body starts telling you to eat more so that you get back to where you started. Yes, your body’s appetite hormones actually increase and send signals to your brain to ensure you eat more. The sad thing is, your appetite hormones stay higher than baseline level even after you regain all the weight, so you will only end up heavier than when you started.

There are so many ridiculous diets. The latest ones, to name a couple, include the Eddie McGuire Chinese herbal tea and cucumber diet, and the intermittent fast. Diets are often very dangerous to our long-term health and unhealthy to sustain.

It is not realistic to sustain a diet and once you reintroduce the food you put the weight back on. One common and popular diet that gets quick short-term results is the Paleo diet. Omit a food group such as carbohydrates and you decrease water content in your body. It’s not a weight decrease you are seeing initially but rather a decrease in water in the body. Wholegrain carbohydrates play a vital role for our long-term health and all that meat intake can cause cancer.

And if you are still not convinced, the proof is in the pudding. Even the celebrities have had to come to terms with the fact that their diets don’t work, with the ultimate result that their followers or readers lose the weight only to put it back on soon after, often ending up fatter than they were before they started.

And this is why the big celebrities who have dominated the market for many years are now changing their direction to focus on preventing weight regain.

They even admit themselves that “…the uncomfortable truth is that, for most of us, the weight eventually creeps back on” – Michelle Bridges from her latest book.

These celebrity diets haven’t worked for the vast majority, and people fail on the 12WBT diet, as they do with every other diet that exists. And this is just the start of the list – all of the celebrities are moving away from the short-term fix that just leaves people in a worse position than when they started, as we have recently learnt from the contestants of the “Biggest Loser”. This sounds like good and progressive change, but, again in truth, these only slightly altered diet ideas are yet more marketing spin, and they lack the necessary research to prove their worth and effectiveness.

What’s the answer?

Stop dieting! It is making your situation worse. You will get short-term results for long-term pain.

The good news is there is a scientifically proven way to lose weight and keep it off forever by tricking your body into a new set point. And the great thing, it is not a diet!

Interval Weight Loss research-heavy approach is simple and fun, and it doesn’t involve starvation. Unlike diets, Interval Weight Loss is not a diet but rather a holistic lifestyle plan that allows and encourages an individual to include and enjoy all foods. It works on the principle of aiming to lose a very small amount of weight over the course of one month (ideally around 0.5kg a week) before being required to maintain that weight for the second month. In the third month you can aim to lose a further 2kg, before once again maintaining that weight for the fourth month and so on, until your goal weight is achieved.

There are no foods that need to be excluded but there are some foods that need to be kept in the “treat” category of once per week. The great thing about Interval Weight Loss is that every second month you have to maintain your weight loss from the previous month and therefore it allows for the inclusion of more of those favourite “treat” foods, less exercise, and a more relaxed approach to your lifestyle.

Interval Weight Loss can be followed by everyone and by those who need to only lose a few kilos to those who need to lose 30, 40, 50 + kilos. Those who need to lose more just need to follow the plan for longer. If it’s 5 kilos you need to lose, the plan will allow you to keep the 5 kilos off. If it’s 30 kilos you need to lose, the Interval Weight Loss plan will allow you to keep the 30 kilos off. This is applicable to all situations and individuals of varying weight. The book goes into the intricate detail of how to trick your body into a new set point and how to lead a fun and healthy balanced lifestyle.

Dr Nicholas Fuller

Dr Nick Fuller describes himself as extremely passionate about the topic of weight management, has three degrees, and directs the Charles Perkins Centre obesity service at RPA Hospital/The University of Sydney. He is the author of Interval Weight Loss https://www.penguin.com.au/books/interval-weight-loss-9780143785361