When it comes to weight, let’s take a look at what exactly is a biological set point. Simply put, the set point is the range (usually within a 10% fluctuation) our body was genetically programmed to weigh. Much like our height was determined by genetic factors, so is our body weight…mostly. It is also governed by our hormones and environmental factors which all influence how the hypothalamus affects energy output and intake (eating and metabolism). The amount of food we eat, how much body fat we store and the calories we burn are all regulated by our hormones, neurotransmitters and microbiome. Set point theory states our “set point weight” is automatically controlled. Our bodies want to maintain the status-quo, also known as homeostasis. It explains why certain people, no matter what they eat remain rail thin (don’t be a hater!) and others stay obese on a normal diet of 1500-2000 calories per day. Continue readingby
Calories count but you don’t need to count them. If you severely restrict the number of calories ingested, you could eat nothing but fried doughnuts and still loose weight. There is a better way and it does not involve dieting, calorie math or doughnut binging.
It’s no secret, most people have tried and failed when it comes to dieting. The simple reason is because diets rarely address cravings, hunger, daily activity levels and most importantly easy long term maintenance. Imagine a world where diets were truly successful over the long haul: non-existent obesity rates, tons of skinny people running around, much shorter lines at Shake Shack and I just might be out of a job. According to grim statistical predictions, the world population is getting fatter and thus obesity related diseases are skyrocketing along with all of our health care costs. This is a dire situation, to say the least. I believe we need to get back to our ancestral roots: forget about counting calories, eating low-fat foods, using diet supplements and buying nonsense infomercial weight loss equipment. Our great grandparents didn’t do any of these things and never dieted or worried about the fat/calorie content in the foods they ate. They also weighed about 30 lbs less than the average American adult today. Although they moved more, they also ate lots of fatty foods – steak, butter, eggs, chicken fat etc. and never counted calories. Most people did not even know what a calorie was, let alone count them, until the mid-1960’s. If we can shift our focus away from calorie counting and towards controlling biological drivers (hormones) through quality macronutrient meal planning, we will do wonders for our health and happiness. Continue readingby
Diets simply don’t work. Let me rephrase: diets don’t work long-term. Sure, short term crash diets succeed but they are unsustainable. Eventually, you will fall off the wagon, adding a few more pounds in the process. No one agrees on the true failure rates of diets but it is somewhere north of 60% and may be as high as 95% according to several studies. Why are diets so unsuccessful? Could it be good old lack of self-control and discipline? That is certainly one possibility but not the whole picture. There is so much more to the story. Chemistry, physics, biology, physiology and psychology are all vital factors when determining a long term winning food plan. Instead of fad diets and crash diets try “The Don’t Diet”. Continue readingby