I’ll bet you’ve tried the “Eat less. Move more.” diet at least once. Right? It probably failed too. For most, it starts out okay. You’ll drop some pounds but then, over time, your food cravings are almost unbearable and the thought of doing one more stair routine, spin class or body pump class makes you angry. After all, everyone says it will work. All the hot after photos of these thin women or men with abs shows that it works.
“But wait, Michael!” you’re yelling at me. It seems to make sense. Eat less and burn more calories than you’re putting in your body and you have to lose weight. Everyone says that. The exercise professionals all say it. Even the show, The Biggest Loser, used the “Eat less. Move more.” strategy.
Hate to burst your bubble. Let’s review what is true. Let’s look at the science.
What Is the Truth About Eat Less and Move More
Let’s look at some reported results of the program from the show, The Biggest Loser, that uses the “Eat less. Move more.” strategy. According to Dr. Jason Fung in his book, The Complete Guide to Fasting, reports,
While short-term results are often stunning, contestants nearly always regain weight after filming ends. Kai Hibbard, the winner of season three, said of participating on the show, “It was the biggest mistake of my life.” Season two’s Suzanne Mendonca says that there is never a reunion show because “we’re all fat again.”
I’ve had the privilege of talking with Suzanne Mendoca (a Facebook friend). She confirmed what she said in the book.
Dr. Fung goes on to say,
“A study of The Biggest Loser contestants showed that in thirty weeks of filming, average weight dropped from 329 pounds to 202 pounds. That’s an average decrease of 127 pounds! Body fat dropped, on average, from 49 percent to 28 percent. Almost all of the weight lost was fat mass, as opposed to lean tissue, or “fat-free mass”. (There is inevitably some lean tissue lost along with fat, but this is generally skin and connective tissue, not necessarily muscle.) Wow! Amazing!
Unfortunately, those results simply didn’t last. Six years after their almost miraculous weight loss, thirteen of the fourteen contestants studied had regained the weight they’d lost. This is a failure rate of 93 percent. The main reason for the weight regain is that the contestants’ metabolisms had slowed significantly. Danny Cahill, the winner of Season 8, lost 239 pounds during the competition. However, his body was now burning 800 calories less per day than it had previously. This proved to be an insurmountable obstacle to lasting weight loss, and sure enough, he, along with almost all the other contestants, ended up regaining all their hard-lost weight. But I probably didn’t really need to convince you that “eat less, move more” doesn’t work. You already knew that. For the vast majority of people, personal experience confirms this epic fail. Yes, studies prove that it does not work, but just as significantly, so do the bitter experiences of the millions of people who have tried it. Ninety-nine percent failure rate? Sounds about right to me.”
Why “Eat Less. Move More.” Slows Down Metabolism
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