If you are trying to lose weight, and as much as 70% of the US population is, it is a seriously maddening situation. And, it is not your fault! In a recent article in POPSUGAR entitled “According to the Experts, This Is Exactly How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off” three experts have three very different solutions to weight loss. If they cannot figure it out, how can you? I will tell you: Take a deep breath, strip away the nonsense and stick with basic ideas.
Expert 1, Dr. Hotlzman, claims you need to reduce your caloric intake and track every calorie on an app of some sort. For sure, short term, that will have some effect. Two problems with this: 1. Your body is an open system so eventually it will adapt to the lowered caloric level. So what? You just keep dropping caloric levels until you seriously want to eat your neighbors cat? The human hunger instinct is, for good reason, powerful. Eventually it will win. 2. I have done the measure and fitness tracking thing. It is fun for about… 27 minutes. And then it becomes tedious and mind-numbing. I applaud the people who can keep it up for any length of time. They are better than I am.
Expert 2, Rebecca Lee, RN has a completely different plan. Her plan is to ADD “healthy” food to your diet including Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil, Fiber and Probiotics. Years and years of Fitness Industry Lore has told us we must add meals, add protein shakes, add bars, add supplements. And yet we, as a society, gain weight. Why? Because, and stick with me here, increasing the amount of food you eat cannot help you lose weight. Nor can switching one food for another. Common sense says you can, at best, maintain with that plan. So why does the industry perpetuate this model? Keep in mind the fitness industry is a BILLION dollar industry. You make money selling things. You cannot sell: Stop Eating.
Expert 3, personal trainer Jill McKay, arguably the least qualified expert, has it closest. She argues you need to find the thing that works for you: Paleo, Vegan, etc. She almost directly quotes Fitness Law #12 when she states, “if there was a way to eat healthy, everyone would be doing it!” The part I don’t love is the victim blaming common with personal trainers. McKay reminds readers they are responsible for their progress, implying if they are not losing weight it is their fault.
So what, then, is the solution? Cherry pick the best parts from each expert: Reduce your food intake, but specifically, your sugar intake. And, rather than trying to count calories, just stop eating for a day or so. It is MUCH simpler. Apple Cider Vinegar has been shown to have some benefits for appetite and insulin suppression and will not cause weight gain. Finally, try different combinations of food that works best for you but eliminate the obvious crap like refined carbohydrates.
What have you tried for losing weight? Has is worked? Did it work long-term? Leave comments below and please forward this to someone who might find it interesting.