Reducing Obesity – What Does and Doesn’t Work
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
Pass the Expensive Fat Please
Many want to lose weight, yet few manage to reduce fat despite billions of dollars and years of dedicated effort. What is it about eating healthy foods and working out that proves so elusive and off-putting? Unless you’ve been in a Sleeping Beauty coma, you know that obesity has skyrocketed in the last 30 years. Simultaneously, sedentary behavior has plopped itself into a deep couch into which we are sinking deeper and deeper. Pass the remote will ya’?
As Dr James Hill, Executive Director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, author of State of Slim, and leading world authority on obesity bluntly tells us “our lifestyles are killing us. Selling deprivation has not been successful.” Let’s face it; who wants to embark on a journey of calorie deprivation and lifelong struggles against temptation to keep fat at bay? Many launch; some arrive; few stay at the new destination. If you are on a weight loss or weight maintenance journey, we have news for you and you and you.
What Has Not Worked Yet
Dr. Hill and his colleagues point to three decades of what does NOT work to lose and keep off excess weight:
- restricting calories. Did you fully ingest that tidbit?!! Calorie restriction DOES NOT WORK. Excuse the yelling but this is kind of big.
- taking entire food categories off your “ok to eat” list. (Such as no more sugars or no more fats)
- depending on willpower
- being told to work out intensely and often to achieve exercise benefits
- thinking that “eat less; exercise more” will work (surprised by this one? So were we. Keep reading Also click this link to our post on step one for losing weight).
What Does Work (Dare Us to Prove It!)
After attending sessions at the recent FitSocial conference keynoted by Dr. Hill, we want to share with you strategies he has proven WILL work. These strategies are evidence-based, peer-reviewed, and thoroughly researched. No gimmicks, no quick buck to make: no random anecdotes. If you go through the suggestions quickly they seem usual and obvious. If you put them into a context you notice they have twists to former “truths.”
- Move More; Sit Less – Replace “Eat Less; Exercise More” with this revised mantra;
- Match your diet to your exercise habits (not in the sense that being inactive matches eating cheese fries with gravy on them); Ewwwwww
- Eat a high performance diet (for details on what this really means read the recently released book, State of Slim;
- Strive for physical and cardiorespiratory fitness;
- When moving, make decisions in this order: Aim first for Amount of movement; Next for Type of activity; then for Intensity of exercise level. (Again, this surprised us as other research suggests looking first at high intensity exercise to burn fat or lose weight. Dr. Hill and his colleagues were very clear – if your goal is to KEEP weight off, then the order of Amount, Type, Intensity is most efficacious. ATI people!
- Use multisyllabic words such as “efficacious.” Ok, I made this one up to check who’s paying attention.
- Make healthy decisions automatic. As the day progresses, willpower diminishes. Like a muscle, willpower fatigues with a lot of use. Decisions require willpower. So reduce the need to make healthy decisions by setting yourself on autopilot for adding in movement and foods that fuel you.
Did you catch our post on ways to successfully make permanent lifestyle changes? If nothing else, remember this young grasshoppers (and fellow baby boomers!): Willingness, NOT Willpower is the Key!
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