This is something I 86’d as a column for the Weekender-really an extension of a post from last week. It’s OK , just not what I think would play well in the newspaper.
Every year it’s the same. Diet commercials sprout like mushrooms after a summer rain. Fitness equipment goes on sale for deep discounts. Gyms and exercise classes advertise like there is no tomorrow.
It’s fitness season and it’s a crock, folks.
Unless you are very, very committed (and NO, you are not that committed) or very, very lucky (if you are, play the Lottery) you will lose weight (maybe) and then gain back more than you had on your frame when you started. About the only thing certain to get thinner is….your bank account.
The bad news is that weight loss is a stacked deck. You lose if you lose and you lose if you don’t. But the good news it it’s not your fault. Well, not entirely. New studies have started to show that the weight loss/weight gain phenomenon has more to do with genetics and hormones than it does with willpower or self-discipline. A recent experiment in Australia tracked the issue and found that when the pounds came off, appetite and interest in food increased. So that’s one way you get a bad deal.
Studies also show that people who lose weight need far fewer calories to maintain that new weight than a person who started thin. One study showed it as 300 calories less a day. To put that in perspective 300 calories is 1 cup oatmeal with raisins,1 cup of fruit and 1 banana. Folks, I don’t know about you but I could eat that in 30 seconds.
The other bad news is that if you do what the doc says to, diet AND exercise, that as you lose the extra poundage you also have to work harder at the exercise to get the same results. It’s like leaning in to a punch.
Possibly this information has depressed you. Possibly your solution is to throw in the towel and go for a double banana split. Or maybe a better solution is to really make a solid effort, ignore the scale for the most part and just eat smart, exercise and try not to blame yourself.
But the worst solution? Give your money to someone to help you lose weight, and then gain it all back and more. It’s a viscous cycle and it needs to be stopped.