Why Calorie Restricted Diets Don’t Work

According to the USDA’s Choose MyPlate website, “Reaching a healthier weight is a balancing act. The secret is learning how to balance your ‘energy in’ and ‘energy out’…” A secret, indeed! In reality, no one, not even nutrition experts, can accurately “practice” calorie balance. Without elaborate technology, it’s virtually impossible to estimate to within 350 calories a day how much we eat and burn off. A calorie gap of that magnitude can mean the difference between remaining thin and developing morbid obesity in just a few years. For that matter, if counting calories were key to weight control, how did humans manage to avoid massive swings in body weight before the very concept of the calorie was invented?

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Will Exercise End the Obesity Epidemic?

Perhaps the problem isn’t consuming too many calories, but rather not burning off enough of them. A century ago, most people obtained regular physical activity at work, while traveling, and in recreation. Today, many of us have sedentary jobs, use cars for transportation, and spend much of our spare time in front of screens. Is exercise the answer?

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What happens in the brain after eating too much refined carbohydrate? The answer may just surprise you…


Defense of the Insulin-Carbohydrate Model Redux: A Response to Kevin Hall

July 6, 2016 update — The full study by Hall and colleagues was published today in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This final version continues to downplay remarkable findings for a limited pilot: a significant increase in metabolism on a very-low-carbohydrate diet. Evidence continues to accumulate (even from skeptics) that all calories are not alike to the body!

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Do Genes Make Us Fat?

Some people can eat whatever they want, whenever they want, and never gain an ounce. Others seem to put on weight just walking past a bakery. If you’re in the second category, life may feel a bit unfair.

Of course, many physical characteristics differ widely according to the genes we’ve inherited from our parents, including weight. Recent research indicates that dozens of genes affect body weight to some degree, most by only a tiny amount. Together, however, they significantly influence how likely you are to gain weight.

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Does Tasty Food Make Us Overeat?

Today, it’s easier than ever before to get tasty food almost instantly. From drive-through restaurants to frozen dinners, we can satisfy virtually any craving without having to turn on the oven or go near the kitchen. Is all this tasty food to blame for our expanding waistlines?

Some notable public health experts and science writers have eloquently described how the food industry manipulates three basic flavors — sweet, fat, and salt — to make modern processed food virtually irresistible. These exceedingly tasty products, as the argument goes, overstimulate the pleasure circuits in the brain, leading to compulsive eating behaviors. Remember the Lays potato chip slogan, “Bet you can’t eat just one”?

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Food for Thought: How What You Eat Affects Your Brain

Optimal health depends upon careful calibration of opposing biological actions — contraction and relaxation of the heart, in breath and outbreath, wakefulness and sleep. If the heart repeatedly contracts too hard, or the breath is too deep, the body suffers.

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Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting (by having only one or two meals a day, or limiting food intake a few days a week) has attracted attention lately, including in several recent diet books. The Always Hungry? program can support intermittent fasting and, in principle, enhance its benefits. Once fat cells have been “retrained” to release stored calories, the transition from fed to fasting becomes easy and doesn’t precipitate the starvation response — involving extreme hunger, release of stress hormones and slowing metabolism.

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Hippocrates, known as the father of Western medicine, said, “Obese people…should perform hard work…eat only once a day, take no baths, sleep on a hard bed and walk naked as long as possible.” The Seven Deadly Sins equate gluttony with anger, avarice, envy, lust, pride, and sloth.

For more than two thousand years, Western society has considered obesity a weakness of character, or at least evidence of poor self-control. Probably for that reason, people are subjected to abuse, discrimination, and stigma because of their weight, even though such prejudice directed at virtually any other physical characteristic or medical condition would be socially unacceptable today.

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Ludwig Responds to Whole Health Source Article

I wrote the book Always Hungry? to present the Fat Cell model (also called the Insulin-Carbohydrate model) of body weight control, as an alternative to the Calories In, Calorie Out approach to obesity treatment. According to this unconventional way of thinking, weight gain occurs because fat cells are stimulated by insulin and other anabolic signals to take in and store excessive calories. When this happens, the concentration of calories in the blood becomes depleted, leaving too few for the rest of the body. Perceiving this problem, the brain responds by increasing hunger and lowering metabolic rate — akin to a state of starvation — antagonizing long-term weight loss. In this sense, the conventional low-calorie diet is symptomatic treatment that makes the fundamental problem worse, by further restricting the available fuel supply in the blood stream.

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