Diets Don't Work
Therapists who have worked with overweight patients have stories of spectacular initial successes, with equally spectacular relapses weeks or months later. Obviously, there are unsolved problems in the weight-loss business. Thousands of weight-loss schemes have been marketed; some are sincere but flawed schemes; others are frankly fraudulent. Some estimates of cost suggest over 30 billion dollars a year is spent in the USA alone on weight loss attempts; a lot of money for a 90% failure rate.
The truth is now known. Most weight loss efforts succeed for a while and then fail. Dieters know the yo-yo pattern; you gain, you lose, you gain again. Some angry women proclaim, "Diets don't work!" Despite the sobering evidence that weight reduction diets are flawed, diet gurus magazine articles and diet books appear in a continuing stream. There are no new ideas in these books, but old ideas and mostly wrong ideas recur in new disguises.
Carbohydrates are often blamed for weight gain and high fat, high protein diets have been promoted for 50 years and books proclaiming weight loss success are re-issued year after year without any reassurance that these diets are healthy or safe. The overwhelming conclusion of research in the 20th century shows that diets rich in plant foods and low in animal fat and proteins are the best diets for health from all points of view. The long-term consequences of high protein, high fat diets are well known; you get all the bad diseases that characterize modern civilization such as cancer, heart disease, strokes, diabetes and, yes obesity as well.
This is not to argue that you could not lose weight on a high protein, high fat diet. You can lose weight by any method of reducing caloric intake, but that weight loss may not be relevant to your long-term success. It is to argue that you would be making a mistake if you lived on a high protein, high fat diet for many years. The advantage of fat and protein intake is that you feel full and the feeling of satiety may last for a few hours. We have used the satiety feature of proteins foods in designing Alpha ENF and Alpha DMX, formulas that use amino acids to produce the feeling of satiety. The formula effect is shorter acting, however, than eating a large fatty steak. The best idea seems to be to add enough fat and protein to a plant-based meal to achieve satiety.
Carbohydrates are not bad. Carbohydrates are good. Insulin in the right amounts is not bad. The right amount of insulin at the right time and the right place is good. Insulin does not make you hungry, but low blood sugar might contribute to hunger. If blood sugar levels drop too low, you feel weak, tremulous and are desperate to eat something. The regulation of blood sugar levels is tied to appetite regulation for sure, but there is no simple correlation between carbohydrate intake and obesity.
Pittas et al compared a high glycemic index, high-carbohydrate diet with a low-GI/low-carbohydrate diet resulted in comparable weight loss and increase in insulin sensitivity in 34 overweight participants. Both diets in the randomized, double-blind trial were designed to achieve 30% calorie restriction and followed recommendations for "healthy eating." The high carbohydrate diet was 60% carbohydrates, 20% protein, and 20% fat. The low-carbohydrate diet was 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat. Both groups achieved a 10% reduction in BMI and 20% increase in insulin sensitivity. Dansinger et al. compared 4 popular diets (Atkins, Zone, Weight Watchers, and Ornish) for weight loss and cardiac risk factor reduction. and found that each diet modestly reduced body weight and several cardiac risk factors at 1 year. Overall dietary adherence rates were low. Increased adherence was associated with greater weight loss and cardiac risk factor reductions for each diet group.
The truth is that no one really understands how and why weight control mechanisms in the body fail to work properly. Appetite and weight regulation is complex and varies from person to person. While there are some very general rules, there are many exceptions to the rules. The solution to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease lies more in the choice what foods you eat, how they are cooked, and how much you eat. The idea that you can predict the outcome of eating specific foods by the knowing the carbohydrate, fat, protein ratios is misleading.
No matter what other argument seems appealing, the single enduring fact of healthy nutrition is that a diet rich in plant foods works best. Some plant foods such as wheat, however, may cause severe disease in people who are susceptible, so that no generalization will work for everyone.
While weight, loss is not exclusively a women's issue, women more than men have been involved in the guilt and shame of weight gain. Success at weight loss became a moral victory for many women who felt guilty about their weight gain. Unfortunately, weight loss success is short-lived and up to 90% of the attempts eventually fail. Failure leads to more guilt and shame.
Research has shown several important features of body weight management.
There are powerful biological controllers of eating behaviors, appetite and weight regulation.
There are genetic tendencies toward excess weight and there may well be an obesity gene.
The diet is flawed - there is too much fat and sugar in favorite foods; fat food is abundant and eating has become entertainment - a bad idea if you want to stay slim.
The lifestyle is also flawed - there is too much leisure and convenience and too little physical work.
Addictive eating patterns are common and are controlled by food chemistry
The Book Eating and Weight Management teaches rational food selection, appetite control, weight management. Read this book and use the Alpha Nutrition Program to resolve food-related symptoms, restore more normal appetite regulation and build optimal disease-preventing nutrition. The book reveals the basic concepts of weight management and emphasizes aspects of the Alpha Nutrition Program that are most useful in achieving normal eating behaviors and weight management. Your efforts are first directed toward changing food selection, eating behaviors and increasing physical activity. The Alpha Nutrition Program is a set of instructions and nutrient tools designed to resolve disease through diet revision. The program is nutritional therapy, a personal technology of health restoration and health maintenance.
Alpha ENF is the principle meal replacement formula. Alpha PMX is a fat free version of Alpha ENF can be used as food replacement. Alpha DMX is used instead of of Alpha ENF for diabetes 2 and whenever reduced caloric intake is desirable.
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This Web Site was developed by Alpha Education, a division of Environmed Research Inc. Sechelt, B.C., Canada. Online Since 1995. Experts in Self-Managed Care. Experts in Elemental Nutrient Formulas. Orders for printed books and nutrient formulas are placed at Alpha Online. Persona Digital also publishes a series of book, available at Alpha Online. Alpha Nutrition ® is a registered trademark of Environmed Research Inc. founded in 1984, Online since 1995.