Battle Of The Bulge: Just Weighing In And Dieting May Not Be As Effective As Once Thought

“New Year’s resolution, finally going to the gym and losing that extra weight,” says one person. “I’m definitely going to go on Weight Watchers, it will help I think,” says another. These are just some of the litany of methods that we as human individuals use in order to lose weight.

We even turn to celebrities for inspiration and reassurances; for example, in an interview on the Wendy Williams show, when the slender over 6-foot statuesque Williams asked Tichina Arnold, “How do you stay so thin?” Arnold replied flatly, “I don’t eat anything white.”

“Not eating anything white” is what some of us would presume as no carbohydrates (no carbs). The problem is that sometimes chronically checking one’s weight or dieting, may not be as effective as we once thought. There is a shopping list of reasons why checking the scale and avoiding carbs may not be working for you.

From fat, to fit, to a healthy lifestyle, here is the research in understanding what could help us to achieve an attainable health-giving you. (Research from the National Institutes of Health, NIH; National Weight Control Registry, NWCR; Bariatric Medical Institute in Ottawa, BMI in Ottawa; American Medical Association, AMA; and Weight Watchers, WW.) 

  • The Individual to Individual Matters: In other words, the diet that works for one person, may not at all work for another person that is close to you, or even a neighbor.
  • Genetics do not play a role. Just because you are thin that does not necessarily influence one’s weight loss or weight gain.
  • A more holistic approach: 
  • a) According to the BMI in Ottawa, a person’s behavior, psychology, and budget do impact a person’s healthy lifestyle.
  • b) Changing the wording or phrasing helps people have a better mindset about their health. At WW, they moved to “Get fit!” and “Get Strong,” from “Get Lean” and “Control your Eating.”
  • How are American’s health, really? And how is their way of thinking on this issue?:
  • I) At the NIH, the number of overweight adults is rising. In between 1990 and today, there is an increasing weight trend:  in 1990, obese adults made up 15 percent of the U.S. population. By 2010, 25 percent of adults in most States were obese. Today, the percentage has nearly doubled to 40 percent of obese adults, with children and teenagers coming in at 17 percent obese.
  • II) These diets such as, calories in and calories out, low fat, vegan, low carb, and paleo, are either not as effective, or the results vary from person to person for the vast majority of people.
  • III) The cycle of weight loss and weight gain is leading to long-term damage to the metabolism.
  • IV) But what do Americans really think about their health? The AMA monitored people’s attitudes towards losing weight between three periods of time, but we will only look at two. Number 1, from 1988-1994, 56 percent of fat adults tried to lose weight; and number 2 in 2009-2014, 49 percent said they did lose weight.
  • V) WW are promising results. The average weight loss is a five percent reduction in body weight within six months.
  • VI) Some diet researchers suggest that journaling is a great way to stay healthy. In doing so, one can make notes on how they are thinking and feeling at the time they are eating. This could, in turn, impact healthier choices at meal times.
  • VII) According to the NWCR – which includes more than 10,000 people from across 50 States, with an average weight loss of 60 lbs. per person – those registered have kept the weight off for more than five years.
  • VIII) Further to the NWCR, the successful dieters described themselves as morning people, vs other research that supports the claim of night owls apparently weighing more. And people who are more motivated to losing weight, in the long-term, are influenced by a health scare, or wishing to live longer so that they can spend more time with their loved ones.
  • VIX) By the numbers at the NWCR: 98 percent of people changed their diet by eating less daily; the most popular form of exercise is walking; 90 percent exercise one hour daily, and 75 percent weigh themselves once a week.

The results to all of this research and input reveal some truths and solutions. Obesity research is expanding, $131 million has been dedicated to it, the NIH says. At the moment, almost half of the U.S. population – 155 million people – are obese.

The upsurge in obesity cases caused a rise in adults having type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. As a result, these cases are now putting a strain on medical services.

The BMI in Ottawa found that in a March 2017 study, people who internalize weight stigma have a more difficult time in continuing weight loss.

The BMI says that “pushing people toward health goals rather than constantly weighing oneself, health goals have better results.”

Research Accredited: TimeThe New York Times


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