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How Do You Measure Success?

Understanding the cause and effect of yo-yo dieting means that you get “how the game of nutrition is played”. One question that should be asked is how many pounds of fat do you currently have on your body? If your answer is “I do not know”, then you don’t know the rules. Ask someone what their current weight is and 8 out of 10 people could provide you with an answer within 3-5 pounds of their actual weight. Using a scale that provides more data that includes body fat, hydration, and lean muscle mass would give you real information to measure instead of just weight.   

Let me illustrate some real-life examples to help you better understand the game. A high school girl conscious about her appearance in high school and all the stress and anxiety that goes along with it decides she needs to lose some weight. Her self-confidence, energy, alertness, happiness and overall well-being will have no greater influence in the 4 most impressionable years of her life then will her understanding of how the game is played.

She will watch her parents weigh themselves at home. She will be weighed every time she steps into a doctor’s office.  She assumes that this provides her doctor with valuable insight. She will hear girls at school talk about weight and get a very good approximation of the weight of every person she hangs out with.  She will be influenced by magazines like Teen, People, and Us Weekly. She will be surrounded by teen sensations, models and movie stars, most of whom look a certain way. She will aspire at some level to be “more like them”, which means she will develop her own plan to lose the weight.  

It’s 3 weeks to homecoming and our freshmen girl takes all that she has learned from the magazines she reads to her friends gossip and puts her plan in place to lose a quick 10 pounds over the next 3 weeks.  At 5 0” and 120 pounds she realizes that in order to get the “scale” to go down she simply needs to eat less food.  Seems like simple math:  Eat less food or exercise more or both and lose weight. Surely any idiot could figure this out, she thinks. So, step 1 becomes stop eating breakfast.  Step 2 is to cut down on the sweets and portions at lunch. Step 3 is to eat dinner, don’t snack go to bed feeling hungry. 

It will all be worth it come homecoming. At the end of week 1 the scale has gone down 3.5 pounds. Her eyes light up.  She has discovered how to lose weight for the first time in her life.  She will repeat this crazy diet plan 20-30 times over the next 50 years for every spring break, for her wedding, after every pregnancy, etc. What this 13-year-old girl does not know is that the first diet she attempted using a scale to measure her success or failure has made her a cereal dieter. She will go through life with no idea of “how the game is actually played” or how to properly measure success. She will run into friends that just finished the all juice cleanse, Weight Watchers, Atkins, the all Twinkie diet, etc. She will follow whatever the latest craze is all because she never ever understood the game. The probability of losing a high percentage of body fat on the diet protocols just mentioned is slim to none. 

By skipping breakfast, you are taking in less calories, but your body has been using your stored carbs (glycogen) throughout the night and your body is running very low on fuel.  Much of the weight loss that is going to occur because of skipping breakfast will be in the form of your body converting healthy lean muscle tissue to ATP energy and thus hurting your metabolism.  Not only has she been losing lean muscle tissue every morning, but the probability of her being starving and overeating at lunch is higher, which will result in an insulin spike. 

This allows your body to store the excess carbs/sugar as fat.  The scale will reinforce this form of starvation and thus lead our young girl to believe she knows what she is doing.  As she losses 10 pounds, the pounds of actual fat lost will be 1 to 2 pounds on average.  As she puts 10 pounds back on the amount of fat will be 6-8 pounds. This type of lifetime dieting means that even if this girl can maintain the exact same weight 30 years after graduating high school, she will be in infinitely worse shape.  If she adds roughly 7 pounds of fat every time she puts on 10 pounds and drops only 2 pounds of fat every time she loses 10 pounds of weight the results after 5 such yo-yo diets will be a body that now has 30 more pounds of fat but weighs the exact same. 

 A professor at Florida was written up in USA today for losing 30 pounds in 6 weeks on the all Twinkie diet. Yes, this person set out to prove that by consuming only 4-6 Twinkies a day along with water he could lose an amazing 30 pounds. What did the professor prove?  He proved that if you take in less calories than you burn you will lose weight. 

It doesn’t matter if that food is in the form of Twinkies or ho-ho’s or Hostess apple pies.  Again, if you are using the scale to measure the success of the diet then these diets are genius. Imagine eating ho-ho’s all day and losing weight., but people doing the all fruit diet will lose just as much fat, almost nothing. Your body has 3 sources of energy: carbohydrates, protein and fat. If you have an adequate supply of carbohydrates in your body which you clearly would from eating Twinkie’s all day, then your body will use 75-80% carbohydrates for energy.  It will use fat and protein for the remaining 15%. Thus, the percent of fat that you are going to lose on these fad diets is incredibly small and once your body depletes itself of the carbohydrates it will once again convert lean muscle tissue into energy given that the body had no protein to use for energy.

You will find yourself battling hunger throughout these carb/starvation diets because its protein that is giving you the feeling of being full or satiated and since your body has little to none you are in a constant state of hunger.

Atkins is allowing you to consume high levels of saturated fat that will raise your Ph levels wreaking havoc on your organs and at the same time severely limiting the amount of total fat lost as you are consuming almost as much as your body is using. Once again if using just a scale to determine success this diet will seem to work perfectly. 

 Weight Watchers will provide you with balanced meals which are healthy for you, but because you are putting fruit and complex carbs into your body your main source of energy will be carbs not fat so again you will lose weight but the percentage of fat lost without significant cardiovascular exercise will be minimal at best. The scale will tell you this protocol is working.  A body fat analyzer will tell you that it is not. The all fruit diet will result in almost no fat loss whatsoever.  Carbs are found in vast abundance given the sugar and fructose in all the fruit you’re eating. Once again scale says great cleanse, body fat analysis will show emphatically the all fruit diet is not. 

THE GAME IS ABOUT FAT LOSS!!!  If you do not know the pounds of fat that you lost on a diet, YOU HAVE NO IDEA IF THE DIET ACTUALLY WORKED

Another example happened with twin sisters with the exact same height, weight, metabolism, pounds of fat, etc. reach the age of 30 weighing 130 pounds. Ten years later when they meet for a family reunion the one woman (Sally) now weighs in at 135 pounds. Her twin sister (Porcha) is tipping the scales at 123 pounds. Who has done a better job of dieting in the last 10 years?  Who has the better figure?  Who most likely has better medical numbers for cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, etc.?  Have I given you enough information to answer the questions correctly?

After 10 years Sally has been lifting weights and swinging kettlebells 3 days a week and doing Tabata cardio workouts on the other 2 days. Her higher carb days are on high cardio days and her restricted carbs after 12:00 p.m. come on non-workout days. She takes a BCAA supplement shake before and after lifting weights (to ensure she does not lose lean muscle tissue) and uses Vitargo plus 20g of protein after every workout to maximize her time spent in the gym. The result is that she has put on 7 pounds of muscle which accounts for her weight gain in the last 10 years.

The Tabata cardio workouts along with clean eating and proper supplementation that includes a multi vitamin, calcium, vitamin D3, K1, and fish oil. Having dropped 4 pounds of fat and adding 7 pounds of muscle has resulted in a woman that is in much better shape at the age of 40 then she was at the age of 30.  There isn’t a scale in the world that, by itself, could provide you with the proper feedback to know whether you are in better or worse shape. Most women would see the scale up 5 pounds and instantly assume she is in worse shape. Her sister Porcha has been yo-yo dieting for the last 10 years and although she is down 7 pounds, she has lost 9 pounds of lean muscle tissue because a lack of calories and protein. 

Starvation has resulted in a lower weight, less muscle, and more fat. The scale told us nothing.

  Have I given you enough information to answer the questions correctly? After 10 years Sally has been lifting weights and swinging kettlebells 3 days a week and doing Tabata cardio workouts on the other 2 days. Her higher carb days are on high cardio days and her restricted carbs after 12:00 p.m. come on non-workout days.

She takes a BCAA supplement shake before and after lifting weights (to ensure she does not lose lean muscle tissue) and uses Vitargo plus 20g of protein after every workout to maximize her time spent in the gym. The result is that she has put on 7 pounds of muscle which accounts for her weight gain in the last 10 years.

The Tabata cardio workouts along with clean eating and proper supplementation that includes a multi vitamin, calcium, vitamin D3, K1, and fish oil. Having dropped 4 pounds of fat and adding 7 pounds of muscle has resulted in a woman that is in much better shape at the age of 40 then she was at the age of 30.  There isn’t a scale in the world that, by itself, could provide you with the proper feedback to know whether you are in better or worse shape.

Most women would see the scale up 5 pounds and instantly assume she is in worse shape. Her sister Porcha has been yo-yo dieting for the last 10 years and although she is down 7 pounds, she has lost 9 pounds of lean muscle tissue because a lack of calories and protein.  Starvation has resulted in a lower weight, less muscle, and more fat.

The scale told us nothing.

 Do you finally understand how the game is played?  Do you know how to measure success? The rules to this game of health and nutrition will play a critical role in every person’s life.  One of the key building blocks to happiness is feeling great about yourself throughout the day. If you truly believe that your children’s happiness is all that matters, then take the time to explain “how the game is played“.  It’s a life changer

In Good Health,

Ed

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