Losing Weight (Part 8): So many methods to lose weight, but which one is right for you?
You have decided to lose weight. Just like anything in life—whether it’s food shopping, buying a new suit, or driving to a new destination—you have options.
From all the different methods available to lose weight, you have to choose the one that will help you not only to reach your desired weight but also help you maintain it. The method you chose should be straightforward and easy to understand because your need and desire to maintain your weight is undoubtedly affected by all the other things you want to accomplish in your daily life.
For example, every day you have tasks to do. You have to take care of your personal needs, family needs, civic activities, social obligations, educational and recreational activities, and children’s’ or relatives’ needs. All these take time and you often feel satisfaction when you accomplish each task, but you may be left with little time or inclination to stick to your plan to lose weight.
These are a few of the mainstream and currently popular weight loss methods:
- liquid diet
- very low calorie diet
- control of carbohydrates diet
- whole grain (brown rice) diet
- behavior modification.
How do you choose among them?
All these methods do result in weight loss. However, if you study the results of each, you will discover that most people fail to maintain reduced weight for the rest of their life. One reason is that they are all rather unnatural to the way adult humans have evolved to eat.
For example, in the liquid diet regimen you are asked to consume a natural food in an unnatural way – without chewing. By blending or pureeing foods, you are eliminating the process of nutrient release inside your mouth by chewing and instead dumping all nutrients in the food on to the tongue at the same time. The physical nature of the liquid forces you to swallow faster than your taste receptors can recognize the nutrients in the foods. Chances are, you cannot keep this method for a long time, and it would be rare for anyone to use it life-long.
Just as in the above method, in the reduced calorie and portion control diets, any weight loss achieved is due to the forced reduction of the food you would have eaten otherwise. The first diet usually advocates reducing the intake of fat because it is viewed as the fastest way to deplete fat stored in the body. The other method suggests reducing the intake of dietary carbohydrates because, according to this theory, carbohydrates provide the raw materials needed to produce and store fat.
However, regardless of the method you use to lose weight, including the brown rice diet, cabbage diet, South Beach diet, and many others, if the body is not getting sufficient nutrients needed in a timely fashion, food cravings can happen. This is why so many people on different types of diets end up abandoning the diet, and often experience a rebound gain of weight in excess of what was lost. In nearly every method, true weight loss that helps the person achieve their “authentic weight” – the weight their body is intended to be – has seldom been maintained on a long-term basis.
What is the solution?
First, In order to maintain your authentic weight on a long-term basis, consider that the body needs both energy nutrients and essential nutrients. However, due to the emphasis in our diets on grains and grain-based products as our primary source of energy, we often end up consuming more energy nutrients than we can burn in a day—and the remainder is converted to fat. In addition, because people often eat a low proportion of essential nutrients in the foods they tend to consume, they overconsume energy-rich foods just to get the necessary share of essential nutrients. In my view, this explains why obesity is rising in every nation where grains are becoming a larger share of a person’s food intake. Obesity is clearly a function of diet, while genes explain less than 10% of the incidence of obesity.
Secondly, you must examine whether you may be overeating due to any of these 3 reasons:
- Dopamine based – You have come to correlate food with pleasure. Over the years, your mind develops ways to rationalize this eating behavior even though you are gaining weight.
- Fullness based – -You equate having a full feeling in the stomach as the signal to stop eating and consume grains and grain-based products to experience that feeling.
- Stress induced—You are overeating to relieve stress and anxiety.
In short, I suggest that the best way you can lose weight is by giving up grains and grain-based products as much as you can, and you can maintain the right weight in a natural way by modifying your reason(s) of overeating. Use lentils and legumes as substitute for grains. You need to learn to listen to your body’s hunger and satiation signals. People who have followed this advice have reported to me that they have lost weight, lowered their blood sugar, all the while enjoying eating without feeling deprived and needing to tell everyone they are “on a diet.”
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