Weight loss study (IV)

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Originally, today’s chapter was going to be about hormones and energy cycles in the body. But something happened in the comments section yesterday that made me change my mind. Ever since I started writing this series, people have been rushing in every day shouting: It doesn’t need to be that complicated, you just need to do this and that! They are not interested in discussion or analysis, but rather in shoving what they think is the “most correct” (and often the “simplest”) method down your throat, just like Wang Xiaobo’s big sister who sews buttons. They don’t care about my original intention and purpose for writing this series, and come here to leave comments just to defend what they perceive to be the “truth”. As a result, weight loss has gone from being something that can be discussed and analyzed to an ideological battle. Why is this so?

Because 1) all weight loss methods are effective (at least in the short term) and 2) there is a large market for weight loss. As a result, there is inevitably a debate between different weight loss methods, and it is not a theoretical debate, an empirical debate, but an ideological debate. A typical example is Taiwan’s Dr. Liu Miao Ming, who uses a method that is actually intermittent fasting, but he claims it is reversal. And he claims that reversal is the truth, the path, more than just a method, while other methods of weight loss are bullshit. The patient is asked to have faith and believe in the truth. Running for one hour a day, with a heartbeat of 130 beats or more, without medication, can reverse all kinds of chronic diseases by virtue of fasting and running. Pretty bizarre isn’t it? Not like a doctor, more like a godfather.

In fact, all methods of weight reduction are flawed, and most of them have the potential to be harmful. The reason is also very simple, the body does not like to change weight, especially to lighter, which directly contradicts the bottom of the survival code. We have to rebel against the body’s habits and force a change in the balance. In this process, it is difficult for any one method to simultaneously balance weight loss efficiency, ease of implementation, long term stability and no damage to health. At any given time, we can turn up a bunch of papers that scientifically argue the potential hazards of a certain way of weight reduction.

So in the end, it is a risk assessment process of our own. This responsibility can only be taken by ourselves, and there are many times in life when the choice is the lesser of two evils. To avoid big, imminent threats and risks by taking small threats, small risks. The simplest example is that many fat people have uncontrollable weight, soaring blood sugar, ineffective insulin, and face the risk of blindness and amputation. Then, that’s when gastrectomy is an available option. Of course, moving the surgery brings a series of risks and a bunch of post-operative troubles. But this surgery ensures that weight can be lost in the short term after completion and that blood sugar remains normal for six months. Then the pros and cons of this need to be weighed by the person concerned.

The same goes for the weight loss approach. If you want speed, the most extreme method is to fast completely, drink only water every day, and add cardio training. If you want to be smooth, you can choose a balanced diet, plus 30 minutes or more of exercise a day, but it may take a long time to see results. In between, you can also choose different workout patterns, plus different eating windows, and different meal ratios. So there are many combinations.

Group A: cardio, weight training, endurance training Group B: three normal meals, 168 fasting, 186 fasting, one day a week, one meal a day, restraint Group C: balanced diet, Mediterranean diet, low carb diet, ketogenic diet, low fat diet, low GI diet, caveman diet, carbon cycle diet, pure water

You can choose an exercise style from Group A, pair it with an eating window from Group B, and then pair it with a meal structure from Group C to combine it into a weight loss style that works for you. No matter which of these groups, not all mainstream and popular methods are listed here, so there are far more possible permutations of this combination than the ones I have listed so far.

What is the point?

  1. Do you know yourself? Everyone’s genes are different, some people have white rice with buns every day, but they are not sensitive to carbohydrates and are still very thin and healthy. So, you have to try out that one meal composition + eating window + exercise way is most effective for you to reduce weight.

  2. which one way you have the least stress and most likely to translate into long-term behavior? For example, I, my family grew up eating lettuce, I can personally eat a steak every day, and I got used to oily olives and cheese during my wine drinking. So you ask me to have a big Mediterranean salad or Greek salad every day, I have no problem with that, just a little bit of chili dressing. You tell me to have a steak a day, I’m fine with that, with a smile on my face. No staple food, that’s fine. But you tell me to balance my meals and have a little carbohydrate, I’ll be hungry to the point of insanity in no time.

  3. Which method is most convenient for you? If you have to prepare your own special meals, do special exercises, and eat according to a special schedule, then you will most likely not be able to stick to it. The simplest example, counting calories before eating. How to calculate? Weigh and then check the table to calculate the multiplication to do Excel summation? The ideal method is to eat normally, slightly control the category, each meal to eat full, there are simple ways to extend the stomach emptying time, not to be tortured by hunger at any time. This gradually achieves the goal of reducing the amount, reducing meals, and extending the fasting time. A reduction in caloric intake and maintenance of activity, which in any case will reduce a little down.

According to these three points, you can always choose a way to reduce weight that is conducive to your own execution and less painful, and likely to translate into long-term behavior. That’s when you need to look into the potential hazards. In my opinion, the biggest harm is actually the inability to perform in the long term, causing rebound. A very simple example is walking 10,000 steps a day, which works well. Then a broken foot takes a month off and everything comes back.

The next thing is the health hazard. You have to be clear about where the risks are, and then what means do you have to monitor them and what means do you have to compensate? And clear milestones of what level of weight to reach to change to a safer but slightly less efficient way. These issues are clarified and the risks can be controlled, then it is not too much of a problem. Because in most cases, the harm that comes from being severely overweight is immediate and ongoing, far more so than the little weight loss program you toss in.

The above is my mode of thinking, which of course is completely different from the panacea that many people want. But to be honest, from the first second I started writing this series, I haven’t moved any one trick to level the playing field. In my opinion, today there are so many ways to reduce weight, each of which still seems to have its market, then this shows that weight reduction is actually a very difficult thing, but also a very complex thing, otherwise there will not be so many people to make that many kinds of attempts, and there will not be so many people elected to succeed while there are still so many people declared failure.

But people are partial to panaceas, aren’t they? It is better not to exercise, not to adjust the diet, not to mention the need to think and complex operation. It’s so simple, so magical, to chew 10 black beans a day (as my mom writes in the various health and wellness articles she sends me every day), or drink a cup of black tea mushrooms with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and then tell you categorically that you will be able to lose weight. I do admire that kind of confidence and determination, but to hold on to a method that you think it will work without knowing anything about your condition, weight loss methods or the principles of nutrition, I think that’s just another form of ignorance, and another form of laziness that turns science into ideology.

Yes, in the long run, 98% of weight loss will end up in a failed rebound. Even a fool can easily bet on the correct prediction: you fail. There’s nothing surprising about this, because weight loss itself is a life-changing, internal change, and physical and mental health is just a byproduct. And how many people in the population are able to change their lives and change their hearts? Is there 2%? But in the shadow of this probability theory, individual efforts are still worth valuing, and individual thinking is still worth affirming. Because the ultimate success or failure is not entirely up to us, but how to think about an extremely complex matter, there is a wider application beyond weight loss. As the ancients say: no merit is too great. This is a phrase I personally like very much over the years, meaning that there is no effort in vain. A year later, even if I failed to lose weight, but also because of the existence of this series of literature can tell future generations: and the head of the head of the set of personal experience to prove that this method does not work, to prove that this set of thinking methods can not get the right answer. Faced with such a difficult topic, even if it is to use their own failure to reduce a wrong answer for the world, I think it is also worth it.

Finally, at the end of this chapter, I would like to tell 30,000 of you who have persisted in reading through the weight loss studies (I), (II) and (III): This morning, my latest weight measurement was 98.4 kg. On Monday of this week, before I started writing this series, I weighed 99.9 kg. Looks like some people will have to step up their overnight chanting if the curse is to take effect!

(to be continued)

Title photo by Halacious

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