If you read Tara Parker Pope’s article The Fat Trap, you might be led to believe that weight loss is difficult and maintaining a weight loss is a herculean feat. This is just not true.
A four-year post-weight loss study by the NIH shows that motivated people *do* keep weight off. I weigh 50 pounds less than I did in 2000. I lost that weight in two big pieces, one in 2000 and one over the end of 2009 into 2010. Don’t let her defeatism convince you to not bother.
People who maintain a weight loss do pay attention to what they eat. I do not weigh and measure everything, and I do drink alcohol and eat sweets or chips sometimes. The key is to eat the most nutritious diet that you can, using fruits, vegetables and healthy protein sources to crowd out foods that don’t contribute much to your nutrition bottom line.
A few points:
- If you go back to what got you fat, you will gain back the weight. You need to find a weight-loss formula that is really a lifestyle change.
- Eating like “everyone else” isn’t what you think. If you mean the “everyone else” that’s overweight or obese, that’s an obvious problem. If you mean someone who is active all day and you aren’t or someone who is still growing, that’s another problem right there.
- People who are naturally thin don’t eat the way you imagine. The two very thin people I know DO eat a lot less than I do on average. One of them fasts and binges, which is actually a formula for weight loss if done correctly.
- You must eat high-quality food while dieting and afterwards. Yes, you can eat a bit more afterwards, but the basic composition of your diet needs to be the most nutritious food you can get.
I think the next big thing in dieting will be micronutrient sufficiency. I’m see it becoming a popular topic on blogs and podcasts. Here are three references to it from the last week: