Weight Science from Linda Bacon’s Body Respect – HAES Book Summary

We are constantly warned about the dangers of obesity and urged to manage our weight. These messages come from all directions, including authorities we trust and peers who judge us. But consider for a moment that our accepted assumptions may not represent fully what we know from scientific evidence.

To begin with, the following facts are from Body Respect by Linda Bacon, and you can confirm them in the peer-reviewed article at http://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-10-9

  • People who are categorized as overweight or moderately obese have shown time and time again to live as long as or longer than people with weight in the normal category (confirmed even by the CDC)
  • BMI standards were written by the pharmaceutical industry to increase weight loss drug profits, ignoring that health decrement hasn’t shown to occur until a BMI of 40 (they funded the international obesity task force that determined the WHO’s standards and therefore the U.S. standards)
  • Larger people are more likely to develop several diseases but fatness is not the cause – there are many confounding factors like fitness, stress from discrimination, and inflammation from calorie-restriction dieting and weight cycling – “blaming fatness for heart disease is a lot like blaming yellow teeth for lung cancer”
  • “There has never been a research study that has demonstrated long-term maintenance of weight loss from lifestyle change for any but a small minority” – the rare person who does maintain weight loss is as lucky as the smoker who lives to be ninety
  • Health can improve when diet and/or exercise improve – not as a result of weight loss – yet at the same time, health behaviours account for less than 1/4 of differences in health outcomes, while social differences (i.e. poverty and discrimination) are the main determinants (again confirmed by the CDC)

If you’re like me, you’re probably tempted to object to the above sample of facts because we fear fat so strongly. However, ignorance has hurt us through lifetime yo-yo dieting, obsession with food and body, disordered eating, weight discrimination, and even poor health, the very thing we think we’re helping by stigmatizing fatness.

Honestly, though… even if I can be healthy at my current weight, I still deep down really want to look the way I did when I was slimmer. In the past I was able to lose weight by manipulating calories – if only I’d just tried harder and longer! Mind you, I’m still stuck with these feelings years after I learned exactly why the belief that I can just force a caloric deficit long-term is, well, unfounded. So let’s forgive each other for not being without bias and just open ourselves up a little more to the possibility that there may be a better way than constantly forcing an attempt to lose weight.

Weight-Loss

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Introvert Weight Loss How To

I’ve tried a lot of weight loss advice I later realized was intended for extroverts. The last of these was trying out DietBet which has been proven to be very effective… but I realize now that the comment forum and competition made it uncomfortable and stressful and ultimately backfired for me, actually gaining weight over the 4 weeks. Likewise, I’m a long-time member of SparkPeople, but I’ve given up on trying to benefit from the supportive community I hear so much about because it just ends up being work for me, rewarded only with vague encouragement I don’t quite buy.

Ok, so maybe I’m a particularly jaded loner, but I have a feeling other introverts have come across the same problem: why are all these proven tools harming my efforts instead of helping them?

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The Diet Fix Reset (Book Summary)

Day 1: Gear Up

  • Body weight scale for the start and finish of the 10-Day Reset
  • Digital food scale
  • Measuring spoons and cups (maybe 2 sets)
  • Journal or food diarizing app
  • First grocery shop: mostly real foods and minimal processed foods (avoid trans-fat) including solid proteins and complex carbs (i.e. whole grain instead of instant oatmeal)
  • Tupperware and Ziplock bags
  • Comfy exercise clothes and shoes
  • Clean and organized kitchen

Day 2: Diarize

  • Record in real time food and exercise without changing anything
  • Track hunger and cravings as well as any emotions or thoughts related to food
  • At the end of the day, rank from 1 to 10 the “day’s degree of difficulty”
  • Use for data, not judgement, to guide future decisions
  • Keep a food journal for at least 30 days – maybe forever for maintenance – and if you try stopping, start daily weighing to keep it within 3 pounds

Day 3: Banish Hunger Continue reading

Body Fat Solution (100% in 1% Book Summary)

The Body Fat Solution: Five Principles for Burning Fat, Building Lean Muscle, Ending Emotional Eating, and Maintaining Your Perfect Weight by Tom Venuto is like the regular person’s Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, an extremely popular fat loss and bodybuilding book. The approach in this book is to get 80% of the BFFM benefits (about 1% weekly weight loss) for 20% the work (clearly an approach I like very much). Venuto found “the only thing necessary for most people to succeed is a handful of daily behaviour changes and a shift in mind-set.” He spends a good amount of time addressing root causes of overeating and inactivity from physical, mental, emotional, and social angles. In addition to the “softer” ideas like affirmations, I find this book realistic, particularly focusing on caloric deficit and admitting willpower will be necessary at first to get healthy habits set up, but those will build a natural long-term lifestyle. It’s about putting priorities in order and adjusting your environment to support them. “Work develops your character, strengthens your discipline, and boosts your self-esteem.”

Create priority lists not to do lists.

Beliefs are only interpretations, generalizations, and evaluations we’ve learned. Yet we act as if they’re facts. Beliefs about identity and values are particularly resistant to change. “Behaviour is the true expression of what people believe on the unconscious level.” Accumulate small victories to reinforce more accurate empowering beliefs like “Everything I value depends on good health.”

If I eat healthy, natural foods at least 90% of the time, I know I will get good results.

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