“Pfft! You’re joking, right? How could anyone lose weight if they eat more and exercise less?”
We get it. Maybe you’ve yo-yoed, fadded, meal-replaced, given up, started again, flogged yourself in the gym, detoxed, walked miles every day, and eaten more cabbage soup, lettuce and celery sticks than you care to recall, yet still want to find what really works for you?
All the strategies that are supposed to be fool-proof or miracle cures are based on the idea that weight loss will happen if only you could keep your mouth shut and punish yourself in the gym. When eating less and exercising more fails, somehow you’re the one who has failed? It couldn’t possibly be the latest amazing fad.
We’ll let you in on a secret: It’s not your fault. You are not to blame. There is nothing wrong with you.
The problem is in the underlying assumption that eating less and exercising more – eating fewer calories than you burn – will give the results you want.
For years, it was thought that eating fat makes you fat, and as fat has more calories than either protein or carbohydrates, it made some sense. This brought about the widely-accepted low-fat advice, and a plethora of low-fat products produced by opportunistic food manufacturers (they are in business to make money, after all). People tried to follow this advice, they bought the products, and they gained weight.
Fortunately, scientists are moving away from the idea that all calories are equal. Instead, they’re looking at what different foods do in your body: how they affect your weight, your mood, your gut bacteria, and your hormones – including your hunger, fullness and fat storage hormones. It seems that actual calories matter less than the foods that contain them. Compare 200 calories of jelly beans and 200 calories of broccoli. Point made.
Enter the low-carb movement. It would be easy to write this off: “First low-fat, now low-carb. They don’t know what they’re talking about.” Don’t be so fast.
David S. Ludwig is co-director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Centre at Boston Children’s Hospital, a professor of paediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and a professor of nutrition at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He and collaborators have undertaken research into the results of different diets with 20%, 40% or 60% carbohydrate composition.
The LA Times reported on the study:
“Participants in the low (20%) carbohydrate group burned on average about 250 calories a day more than those in the high (60%) carbohydrate group… that difference would produce substantial weight loss – about 20 pounds after a few years. If a low-carbohydrate diet also curbs hunger and food intake (as other studies suggest it can), the effect could be even greater.”
If you’re screaming ‘YESSSS!’ at this, it’s time to make a change. We know that everybody is different, so our dietary approach works to help each individual discover the foods that enable them to get their best results. Our promise is that you will lose weight while neither starving yourself nor killing yourself in the gym. Sounds good, right?
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