Big article this week in the NY Times (NY apparently stands for Nutritional Yokels) about how contestants in The Biggest Loser TV show gain back the weight after the show. According to “science,” obesity is a disease of a malfunctioning metabolic system, rather than lifestyle choices.
One of the contestants, Amanda Arlauskas, lives in Raleigh, NC, not far from me. According to the Times, she's since regained 13 pounds (or 15% of the total weight she lost) while burning “591.1 fewer calories per day than would be expected for a woman her size.”
She was sponsored by Quest, a company that makes protein powders and paleo bars, and was interviewed on their blog in 2012, after having yo-yoed from 163 to 202 and back down to 161 pounds. Here's how she described her diet:
… because I eat no seafood, and limited red meat, I’m always preparing chicken in different ways. I also love just about every vegetable there is. But don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy my pizza, burger, and glass of wine here and there!
And her biggest learning on The Biggest Loser? This outlook:
I think one of the most important things I learned was counting calories and portion control. When we first started measuring everything, and counting every relentless calorie that entered our bodies, I was shocked to learn what the actual portion sizes really were.
So often we think we know what’s going in our mouths, but fail to realize that if it’s not measured, more than likely we are eating A LOT more than what we are supposed to be eating.
I always recommend to someone who is looking to lose weight or just become healthier, to buy a calorie counter, food scale, and measuring cups/spoons, and really become aware of EVERY calorie they are consuming. That’s when you really notice how much we typically overeat.
Now she sells protein powder for 4FrontNutrition, and unless she discovers the whole food, low fat, plant-based movement, she will struggle with this issue for the rest of her life.
Words cannot describe how sad this makes me. Not only for Amanda, but for all the NY Times readers who will give up on achieving a healthy weight because they now believe, based on “science,” that they have no control over their health destiny.
Update: the NY Times continues its campaign of weight loss misinformation with another “authoritative” article. This one, published on May 4, 2016, says that when it comes to weight loss, it's more important to exercise than to control food intake.
As Ray Cronise points out, the healthiest, longest-lived, slimmest people in the world do not exercise. They are active as part of their daily lives, but they aren't hitting the gym or the track for hours every week.
Instead, the basis of their lean physiques and healthy lifespans is a simple, whole food, plant-based diet.
Once you lose that foundation, then it's a crazy-science free-for-all in which dozens of bad theories compete to confuse and discourage the overweight public.
As the NY Times demonstrates on almost a daily basis.
We know the surefire formula for getting people to a healthy weight and staying there. Unfortunately, the number of people who get the message and follow through on the implementation are rare enough that they don't bend the bell curves of population research.
If you're overweight, you can stop all the tricks and gimmicks and weighing and measuring and counting and restricting right now.
There is a path, and it works, and it won't take you but a couple of weeks to verify it for yourself.
And it doesn't require you to override millions of years of human evolutionary biology with willpower.
If you'd like to take the first step on that journey with me, I'd be honored. Fill out the form below and click Submit to request a free exploratory consultation.