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Old 05-29-2009, 11:31 AM   #1
Jason Barrow
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 14
Default Um...weight watchers is working?

So recently I've been reading a lot of stuff concerning the question of 'calories in-calories out'. Most of what I've come across suggests that in v.s out is in fact an outdated position of what is necessary for weight loss.

"The "calories in, calories out" hypothesis arises from the application of thermodynamics to the human body. Energy conservation tells you that:

ΔE= Ein – Eout

Where ΔE is the change in energy, Ein is the energy intake (typically in units of calories), and Eout is energy expenditure. From this simple equation, it appears that weight loss should occur if energy expenditure exceeds energy intake. In other words, a caloric deficit (i.e. ΔE is negative) must be created in order for weight loss to occur. Wouldn’t it be great if it were that simple?

The problem with “calories in, calories out” is that Ein and Eout are assumed to be independent variables - that you can reduce Ein without changing Eout. In reality, the two variables are somewhat dependent. For example, if an individual consumes an amount of calories that is near or below starvation levels, the individual's basal metabolism will decrease in an attempt to conserve energy. In this case, reducing Ein led to compensatory decrease in Eout. (This is why diet and exercise are such a powerful combination; exercise allows one to increase Eout......

....Treating the human body like a motor completely ignores all of endocrinology; the hormones involved in the mechanisms of energy storage and release. Therein lies the real flaw of the “calories in, calories out” hypothesis
".

Now my position on most things 'diet' is that they never work in the long term. I prefer to talk to people about aspiring for a healthy lifestyle and making lasting changes. I'm also starting to see that hormones are key in pretty much every change our body undergoes. But....

People do lose weight on WW, which as I understand it (as they're now solely using the points system) is a portion control, calorie deficit creating diet, nothing more. Given that, as long as you stay within your allowed points, you can eat anything you want including sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks etc, what to make of the weight loss?

Can I safely assume that any reduction in weight simply overlooks any underlying hormonal issues i.e. 'leptin/insulin resistance?? This likely explains why many people simply put the weight back when they come off WW (they've failed to make any lasting change)? How to explain why WW might not be the best way to lose weight? I admit to being stumped when I say 'diets don't work' and being hit with 'Mine is! I'm on WW and I've lost 10lbs!'

(Oh and FWIW, when new clients who are already following WW/Slimming World and are seeing some success come to me, I often take the position of 'if it's working for you, stick with it'. Then if it stops working, we can talk paleo/zone, whatever.)
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