Never Diet Again?

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Dr. Maupin and Brett discuss “Diet” books, specifically “Why Diets Make Us Fat: The Unintended Consequences of Our Obsession With Weight Loss by Sandra AAmodt”

There was an article published by Sandra AAmodt an op-ed piece in the New York Times 5.8.16.  This article was written as a thought piece in the Times, and its author is also the author of an upcoming book “Why Diets Make Us Fat: The Unintended Consequences of Our Obsession With Weight Loss”

In reading this article we find ourselves torn, there is much in here that we have concerns regarding Ms. Aamodt’s conclusions about weight and dieting. A few points in particular:

  1. Ms. Aamodt seems to believe that weight set points cannot or do not change and that if one diets for the goal of weight loss one will never be successful except in the very very, short range, if at all.
  2. Binge eating seems to be a stress response that animals follow when they are under stress or when they have been deprived or severely restricted in food intake.
  3. Dieting causes us to learn to approach eating and weight loss from a rules and controls and shame based perspective and that never works.
  4. Studies show that long term dieters tend to eat for emotional reasons or simply because food is available.
  5. People diet because they have long term concerns regarding health and mortality in response to obesity and they are deadly mistaken.
  6. Mindful eating is the only way to improve your eating behaviors and eliminate your negative self -judgments and condemnations, even if while mindfully eating one loses no weight. You may stay fat but you won’t be as upset about it.

These are points in the article that we wanted to react to in our healthcast. In addition there are thoughts that we have about points that should have been in the article or that we would like for those of you who are conflicted over your weight and ability to “diet” or control your weight.

  1. Hormones matter and hormone regulation and replacement can help you with your weight management.
  2. The concept of set points is one we agree with, but we believe that set points can change over time with correct behaviors of eating, exercise and mindfulness.
  3. There are cultural determinants that impact body image that also factor into weight consciousness and affect self image, the ability to exercise or diet successfully. These should be taken into consideration.
  4. Dieting as it is currently understood in the media and mass culture tends to focus on portion control, weight loss, and goal weight. We believe that the optimal approach is a team approach focusing on changing your behavior with regard to food and the emotional and genetic issues in regulating your food consumption.
  5. Beyond behavioral counseling, nutritional education and developing and individual exercise routine,  I believe that most of us need extra help that assists us in hunger control, metabolic balancing and stimulation of metabolic rate.  These “helpers” include medications to balance current medical problems like insulin resistance, as well as medications to make the food restrictions easier to live with.  There are many medications available to assist in weight loss that will accomplish these goals so it is not necessary to fight one’s own metabolism and “set point”. Weight Loss is possible and staying at a new set point is possible with medical help.

This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author.  



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