The Gap Between Diet Intention and Results

Woman' s feet on bathroom scale  

(DGIwire) — Once again, surveys show that losing weight is one of the top New Year resolutions.  These same surveys also show that over 60% of those who made the resolution last year failed but will still make the same resolution this year. An AARP survey of 1006 adults found that over 50% are currently trying to lose weight.  Their main reason for losing excess weight is “to get healthy”.  When asked what they are doing to lose weight, over 80% responded that they will eat less and exercise more. Unfortunately, they did not ask those polled how successful they have been in initial weight loss efforts or keeping it off long-term.  This second part is the BIG question since recidivism is the norm rather than the exception for most dieters.  Often, body composition is worse after dieting when weight “lost” returns, even at the same pre-diet scale weight. Why does this occur, and why is long-term weight management success so elusive? “The common prescription of combining a reduced calorie diet along with aerobic or other  strenuous exercise will most often result in the loss of lean body mass (LBM).  It is this loss of LBM that triggers ancient survival mechanisms which have been encoded into our DNA over the course of human history.  Unlike fat which is meant to be used during times of food shortage, LBM is critical to our survival so any loss produces strong primal hunger sensations which persist until it is replaced,” according to health expert Tom Griesel, co-author of TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (BSH 2011). Griesel adds, “When the dieter’s willpower can no longer resist these signals, they generally revert back to the very same foods and lifestyle that made them fat in the first place.  Of weight regained, the amount of fat is greater than LBM, so the body will continue to pack on even more pounds until previous LBM has been restored.” An effective weight-loss protocol will regularly monitor changes in body composition first and foremost to be sure that any drop in scale weight is actually due to fat loss, not loss of lean body mass.  It will also provide a method to retain or even increase LBM. Copyright-free content provided by DGIwire.