I read this post a few days back and it got me thinking about weight loss, maintenance, and all that it takes to really do this, and how most of what we hear is total bullshit. At least most of what is advertised is total bullshit, the “common knowledge” of it seems to be partial bullshit. Pills, gimmicks, strange diets don’t work, and what does work, permanent changes to lifestyle, both in regards to food and exercise, is barely mentioned. Anyway, this is the post:
Basically, she is doing a critique of the National Weight Control Registry, as a person who has lost and maintained that loss. The part that most caught my eye is about calories consumed:
n terms of calories, members are reporting an average of 1385 calories per day, plus or minus 500. That’s awfully low and Hill assumes it reflects underreporting of the true calories consumed. What makes that interesting is that this inaccuracy then casts doubt on other reported measures, such as fat consumption.
That seems low to me, too. I’m not a calorie counter, but occasionally I eat a packaged meal. I like these Amy’s Broccoli Pot Pies, at 430 calories. That’s a small meal, and if it’s all I eat, I’ll be hungry in 3 hours. I seem to need about 6o0 calories to really keep going until the next meal, unless I’m going to bed. I’m quite sure it’s a rare day that I eat under 2000. And granted, I exercise a lot, but I still lose weight at that level. I feel really bad when I hear about how I should be eating 1200 calories a day, because I know that will not work, and I’d be starving. So, either I’m a freak of nature who eats way too much STILL, or the underreporting is so rampant to make the results questionable.
Personally I think the underreporting is rampant, yet most standard diet advice consists of this. It’s inescapable. The way to lose weight is not eat 1200 calories a day and go for a 20 minute walk. It’s not enough food, it’s not enough exercise. It seems possible to me that weight loss would be possible at that calorie level, but how do you maintain that the rest of your life? It’s so strict. And walking doesn’t do it for me. I currently go to the gym 4-5 days/week, for an hour class or two each time. I don’t eat low-fat or low-carb. I eat moderate everything. I think my diet is so produce heavy that as long as I’m not extreme in whatever else I eat, I won’t regain. I really get pissed when people think that all it takes to lose weight is “put down the bag of chips and take a walk”.
I think people spend so much money and time and effort on scams and even legitimate but unrealistic diets and “lifestyle changes” that we get burnt out, give up. We’re so desperate to believe, to really know what works, and there’s no easy answer, and many of the answers out there are dangerous and wrong, ineffective, or just silly.
Anyway, I need to heat up some leftover pizza for breakfast, head to kickboxing.