I posted more articles on the weight loss series yesterday. Before they were even loaded onto the webpage, it seemed, I got some more emails telling me I was nuts and some others saying I might be nuts but hey nothing else has worked so why not.
The one calling me nuts basically said there is no way to lose weight other than cutting calories and exercising. I was doing a disservice to millions of women (I am pretty sure millions of women aren’t visiting my site) by telling them to eat more food. They used gastric bypass as one example to prove I was wrong (nuts), they used years of data showing women have sucessfully lost weight on diets cutting calories and they said that starvation mode is a myth.
My response. I am not telling women, millions or the two that visit my site, to JUST eat MORE food. I am saying eat the food your body needs. There is a difference between – go out and eat whatever you want and as much as you want and go out and eat whatever you want up to what your body needs.
Fact is, women in particular, have been told for so long that the only way to lose weight is to cut calories. It is ingrained in us to eat less and smaller portions and watch what we eat and then feel guilty if we eat “a lot”. I believe a good deal of women do the same thing I do and this is not eat enough. My best friend was overweight for years. She weighed over 300 lbs at the height of her obesity. She barely ate and was very active. I didn’t know back then what I know now or maybe she could have eaten more and lost weight better. Instead she gave up and went and had gastric bypass surgery. It worked for her because she was already barely eating.
Pointing at gastric bypass and saying that my theory is wrong and that is the proof is actually ironic. What happens with gastric bypass surgery actually lends credence to my theory. Gastric bypass seals off part of the stomach. The stomach that sends some of the signals to the brain that helps determine how many calories the body needs. When the surgery is done the signals are all changed from what the brain is used to and that confusion is what, I really believe, leads to the initial weight loss. Once time passes and the brain figures out that it is only receiving part of the signals from the little pouch that is left over, it adjust. People who have had gastric bypass surgery can and do gain weight back, more so for women than men. Our brain is extremely intelligent even if we always aren’t.
The theory behind gastric bypass is that sealing off part of the stomach and creating a little pouch leads to less calories and therfore weight loss. If that is all it takes then no one would gain the weight back but they do. Plus you have to follow a pretty stict diet for the rest of your life after you have had gastric bypass surgery. You also have to exercise to keep the weight off.
So let’s see you still have to eat properly and exercise after gastric bypass surgery which means it is only a quick temporary fix. The brain is receiving mixed signals and takes time to figure out what has happened and adjust, in the mean time you will lose the weight, pretty much similiar to my theory that while the brain is relearning and adjusting to the changes you have made you will lose weight. Once the brain adjust if you don’t eat properly and exercise weight comes back. Same as my theory. Gastric bypass is just a very quick way to drop the weight because the change is so drastic that it takes the brain longer to figure out what you just did to your body and adjust to it.
As for the years of data of women sucessfully losing weight on diets, well they have and I don’t deny they have. What you don’t hear about though are the millions of women who didn’t lose weight on those same diets. No diet company or diet system or magic weight loss pill maker is going to parade out all the people who didn’t lose weight on their system. They aren’t going to publish and advertise those failures because they want you to buy their product. Every person is different and there will be some people who will have great sucess with cutting calories. You can cut your calories down to barely a wisp and eventually your body will use the fat stores because it has no other choice. The damage you are doing to your organs and body can be lethal though.
As for starvation mode. It does exist. I might have over simplified it but the fact is, if you give your body less that what it needs to survive it will start holding on to whatever it can to keep you alive. Will you lose fat? Sure, eventually, you will because the brain will get to a point where it realizes that you won’t survive without using some of those fat stores to make up for you not eating. First though your body will slow down every process in your body and cut production of organs and bodily processes where it can. It will hold on to whatever fuel it has first and foremost. That can lead to some long term damage.
This is the general conversation your brain would have with you if it could:
My brain, “have you noticed you have been sick, tired but not sleeping, falling down a lot lately and fat?”
My response, “yeah I noticed what the hell are you doing to me!!!”
My brain, “ummm I am not doing anything, you are stupid. You aren’t eating enough to keep a gnat alive what do you expect me to do. Did I get your attention with that last sprained ankle? Did that feel good? Want some more of that because I have a whole bag of tricks if you don’t start eating?”
My response, “I am not hungry and I am tired, just let me get some sleep and give me my appetite back and I will work with you. Plus all the “experts” say I really don’t need as many calories as you say.”
My brain, “no dice crazy lady, I know you and you will keep on not eating, remember I see everything you do. Plus I don’t have time to send out appetite signals and produce melatonin so you can sleep, I am busy trying to keep your heart going on the paltry calories you are giving me. As for those “experts” really?!?! who are you going to listen to, me your brain or a bunch of experts who don’t know you as well as I do.”
My response, “oh please I have enough fat stored in me to survive for months without food use that instead. The experts tell me you can do that and should be doing that so get on it. They are “experts” after all with degrees and fancy titles.”
My brain, “what do you think I am using? And I refuse to comment on your “experts” any further because they don’t know you like I do, pay attention.”
My response, “so why am I still fat, you liar. You aren’t touching those fat stores.”
My brain, “because as soon as you do eat I send it straight to the fat stores because I know you and you are going to keep up this suicide mission of not eating enough. Give me what I need to run and I will stop storing the fat and maybe use some of it, if you are good girl, and get some exercise too.”
My response, “ugh I hate you!! Fine I will eat and I will exercise a little but you better fix all these problems and I better start sleeping better and if you make me fall down again and hurt anything else, we are going to have some major issues.”
My brain, “deal, just do what I tell you and everything will be fine. Eat for goodness sakes and stop being a moron.”
A day later after I force myself to eat the 2500 calories….
Me, “ok I ate now let me get some sleep and I still weight the exact same what is up with that?”
My brain, “ummm one day really? you expect me to trust you after one day, you haven’t eaten right for months? not going to happen, I need to see some consistency try again.”
Me, “fine! eating the right amount daily, how long is this going to take?”
My brain, “for the rest of your life!!! how can you be so stupid sometimes, you are lucky you have me around to protect you from yourself. I amazed you can chew gum and walk at the same time.”
Me, “ok not nice, I am not that stupid, I will eat better but the whole exercise thing, that is not going to happen long term so you can forget about that.”
My brain, “ok forgotten, but don’t expect me to do you any favors. You are fat and if you want to me to use up those fat stores you need to eat right and exercise. I need 2500 calories every day to keep your fat little body going. Any exercise you do over that, I will use the fat stores to generate the energy for. It is a deal breaker. I am not going to take away from everything else to burn fat, that comes last. Just start eating and getting some exercise and stop arguing with me, you only know how to use 10% of me, I know how to use 100% of me so who is smarter here?”
Me cause I have to have the last word, “oh shut up and keep up your end of the deal, I am going to go eat and exercise but you better not be messing with me, I want to see results and pronto!”
My brain because it has to have the last word, “You will see the results of the work you do and only that, I am not doing anything for you. Isn’t keeping you alive while you try to starve yourself daily enough? I am going to say this for the last time…give me 2500 calories or else and start moving! Oh and don’t forget the more you move the more you will need to eat and exercise so don’t think you can just stop at 2500 calories, got that. Pay attention to what I need and give it to me, I am trying to help you here.”
Now I have eaten, for three days, the amount of calories I am suppose to as opposed to what I was eating. There were days when I was barely reaching 1000 calories. For the first time, in over a month, I slept for 8 hours straight. It felt wonderful.
Look the point I am trying to make is that we need food. Our bodies need food to run at 100% and do all the things we want it to do. If you give yourself 25% less food, then your body is going to reduce its functioning levels by 25% and it will store an extra 25% of the food you eat into fat to make sure it can continue to run.
I got on the scale this morning and have lost 2 pounds. All I have done was eat more food and my paltry 15 minutes of movement for the day was walking around a store the first day, went out to eat at a buffet (the trips back and forth to the buffet count as extra movement), and moved boxes around for 15 minutes while I was going through them searching for some paperwork.
I will post what I actually ate in a little bit – no judging…you hear me…I will eat better as the weeks go by.
I realize what I am saying is contrary to what we as women have been told for years. I realize that the concept of actually eating a large amount of calories is something we have been told will result in us getting fat. It is hard to believe otherwise. Four years ago, if you would have told me this I would have said you were nuts too but I have seen it work first hand and it is basic common sense. We have been so inudated with medical experts and diet and fitness experts telling us that cutting calories and eating low fat or low calories food is the way to go that it is just ingrained in us.
For the women out there that eat more than their daily calorie limit we definitely point to that as the cause of them being fat. But how do you explain the women who know they are eating way less than their daily calorie limit and not losing a pound? I say it is simple, the brain is compensating the best way it knows how and that is to store as much fuel as it can and it does that but putting it in the fat stores. Train your brain to release that fat by eating the calories your body needs and only the calories it needs and then exercising.
I know for me, I sit at a desk the majority of my day and I am still burning over 2600 calories a day. Fact is right now I am burning 4381 calories a day because I am sick and have a fever. If you read the articles you will know that having a fever actually increases your metabolism. Now should I be eating 4381 calories a day, well truth be told, yes I should be if I want to recover faster. But I know the fever is temporary and will be gone in a day or so therefore I am not going to go all out and eat 4381 calories. The fact that I started the diet while I had the fever messes up my numbers for the first week but having done this twice before I know that eating the 2600 calories, which is my number without a fever, will be enough to get started. Eating 2600 calories is twice what I was eating before.
How about the naysayers hold off for two months and see what happens. You know what I look like now by those dreadful before pictures, wait and see what I look like in two months. I gurantee you, I will have lost the weight I want to lose and I will do it by eating the calories I need and exercising. If I don’t lose the weight, feel free to then point and laugh. Deal?