Simply Weight Loss -- Losing Weight
is Easy if You Stop Dieting
by: Michael A. Smith, MD
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System recently
published their findings from a 21 state study with over
112,000 participants on how weight loss methods affect
Each participant was placed into one of four categories
based on the weight control method they used.
1. Increasing physical activity
2. Eating fewer calories
3. Combination of fewer calories with exercise
4. None (not trying to lose weight)
For those who were trying to lose weight, the most common
weight practices were eating fewer calories without other
methods (32.3% of women, 24.1% of men) and eating fewer
calories with exercise (33.8% of women, 19.9% of men).
Increasing physical activity as a sole weight-loss practice
was reported by 3.4% of women and 4% of men.
The last statistic on exercising without dieting is where
I get lost. It's hard for me to understand how only 3%
of women and 4% of men use exercise as their sole weight
loss practice. Is anything wrong with this?
Yes, we are wrong. The entire weight loss industry is
It all reminds me of a slogan from a few years ago, "Simply
Weight Loss." It represented a return to diet basics.
And that's when it hit me, a return to diet basics is
what is wrong.
Dieting is Wrong
You're too heavy and you need to lose weight. The extra
pounds pushing you above your ideal weight, resulted from
a chronic state of positive energy balance...eating more
calories (energy) than the body needs.
This is usually followed by the question, "Why doesn't
my body just get rid of the extra energy?" I totally
agree. Just get rid of all that extra energy, send it
on it's way. Unfortunately, the laws of thermodynamics
are what mess things up.
The big stinker involves the whole idea that you can't
create or destroy energy. It's constant. Since you can't
simply destroy energy, you have no choice but to use the
extra energy (packed into calories) or store it.
So, how does this make dieting wrong? Dieting only works
in theory. In theory, dieting, which is synonymous with
calorie restriction, causes total body energy to decrease
in hopes of creating an energy deficit.
To make up for this deficit, the body will tap into energy
stores to cover immediate needs. So, in theory, dieting
causes weight loss.
Is this what occurs in dieters? Yes and no.
The Best Method for Using Stored Energy
Dieting, a.k.a. calorie restriction, slows down the resting
metabolic rate, throwing the body into a state of energy
conservation. This is not conducive of weight loss but
instead is perfect for gaining weight.
Those dieters that do lose weight and keep it off, practice
my concept of Slow & Low.
Now what? Exercise.
What is the best method for using the extra energy we
didn't use in the past? Exercise. Start an exercise program
first, one that centers on muscle tone and strength, then
use dieting on an as needed basis to lower total body
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System published
perfect statistics. We should be using exercise as a sole
weight loss method more often.
To Healthy Living!
Michael Smith, MD
Chief Medical Consultant
Diet Basics Website
About the Author
Dr. Smith is the Chief Medical Consultant to Diet Basics,
a content based cutting edge website dedicated to the
online dieter. Dr. Smith coined the term "Diet ShockTM"
and is about to release his new book on keeping weight
off -- our real weight problem. Visit Dr. Smith at Diet