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Thursday, January 12, 2012


Disclosure: I have been compensated for my participation in this BlogHer Book Club discussion, but the opinions expressed are 100% my own.

I've never believed in dieting. Mostly because I don't have the will-power to limit myself to certain foods, or certain quantities of food. Who would do that to themselves, anyway?!

In all seriousness, the book "Why Women Need Fat," by William Lassek and Steven Gaulin, has been reinforcing my belief that dieting is NOT the way to successfully lose and maintain weight. Yes, you can change what you eat permanently and change how you live, but dieting alone is probably not going to work.

The doctors/authors have studied the body and targeted the hypothalamus as the culprit behind diet failures. The hypothalamus is in charge of all the body's operations, and when we decide to diet, it doesn't care one little bit about our intentions. Instead, it goes into survival mode. The body will probably shed pounds for a few weeks, but eventually the hypothalamus will put a stop to it, which is why many people plateau with weight loss even after stepping up the exercise routine. The hypothalamus works hard to conserve what calories are being consumed since it believes there is no longer enough food available to the body.

Some of the scientific and nutrition talk is boring to me, but I am interested by the facts that support my long-held theory that dieting is a waste of time. You can't fight the weight your body believes you need to be. Lassek and Gaulin theorize that there is a set weight that each body is born with. Once the individual reaches that set weight, they can stay there for as long as it's necessary. Meaning when women get pregnant, the set weight is altered. And after pregnancy, the set weight may be redefined to allow the woman to successfully have future pregnancies with healthy babies. Now, if you'd like to know why so many people gain back more weight than they lost (while dieting) you'll have to read this book yourself.

Seriously. You can borrow my copy!

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