Research and My Fat A--

There's all this great research out there regarding weight loss.  I don't go seeking it, but I can't help but read it when I see it in newspapers like the New York Times or LA Times.  There's this one great study that found that mice fed high fat diets who fasted every day for 16 hours could stay almost as lean as their comprades who ate regular foods.  Here's a snippet from the article:  

  • The difference was astonishing. Even though they ate a high-fat diet, the mice who wrapped up their eating day early and were forced to fast for 16 hours were lean — almost as lean as mice in a control group who ate regular chow. But the mice who noshed on high-fat chow around the clock became obese, even though they consumed the same amount of fat and calories as their counterparts on the time-restricted diet.

Hmmmm - Could I do this?  I don't usually eat breakfast until after I've gone to the gym and had coffee which is often around nine am.  Sixteen hours earlier would mean I'd have to stop eating by...five?  Oooo.  I don't think I like that.  I could bump up my breakfast till eleven which would mean finishing up dinner by seven.  That's a possibility.  I could just ditch breakfast, but I read in some other study that one of the commonalities among a large group of people that lost weight and kept weight off was that they all ate breakfast.  It's the only reason I began eating it, though I still can't eat it within the first couple hours of waking and don't even bother trying.

Of course, the above study used mice.  Humans are different.  It also just has a number that someone was determined to be 16.  Maybe 15 hours would work.  Or 14?  Or maybe 17?  I wish I knew because it's actually something I could see doing.

Also, given all the food allergies and food sensitivities I have, I think my body really does like having extended breaks from foods so this type of eating makes sense to me.  However, it seems hard to actually commit to without knowing (truly knowing) that it will make a difference.

The next study I came across said that those who eat high fat and protein diets burn MORE calories doing their daily routine than those who eat the carbohdrate rich diets that so many programs espouse.   Hmmm - I like this idea!  It helps explain why people eat healthy amounts but still gain weight.  Plus, I'm not a huge fan of potatoes and breads so I can do without.

However, that study was criticized by another researcher and that kinda burst that bubble. Of course, he might just be a negative ninny who uses big words and falls back on research talk, but he might also know what he's talking about.  I can't determine the veracity of his rebuttal because I haven't had enough coffee and I'm just so dang tired so for now, I'll take it with a grain of salt.

Ha - salt!  He did point out that low carb diets mean a loss of water retention.  That makes sense.  Also makes sense why so many people immediately see a drop in weight starting a diet.  Heck, I saw a nice little drop this last week when I stopped going out to eat and began counting those darn calories.  I know I haven't limited 3,500 calories yet to really warrant losing a pound, but I sure do know that I'm not packing away the fries, hamburger buns or other good things that were on my plate retaining all that water.

And this brings me to today's study that I saw in the NY Times this morning which aims to determine if exercise or dieting is more effective at achieving weight loss?  The answer.....

Ugh.  Blech.

It's watching those dang calories!

They did some studies and found that it's all about the calorie intake.  They also found that our metabolism changes a bit over time and as we lose weight.  It's why things get harder the closer you get (except that I think they were far harder when I was further away).  This study has a link to a calorie calculator that shows you how many calories you need to limit daily to achieve a certain weight loss over the course of a year.  It was a good graph for me to look at and helped remind me that this is a process about numbers and factual things and not just about being hopeful or wishful.  If I want the weight to come off, I'm going to need to eat accordingly - for a while.

It also helped me re-remember that this is not forever.  Eating moderately is forever, but eating like a sparrow is only for the time being.  I'm also semi comforted in the fact that my last couple months of monster eating didn't really add on any pounds.  I was maintaining I think.  Heck - I can't really tell what was happening, but my clothes continued to get slightly looser so I think I was doing okay - and certainly eating more pleasantly.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel!!!

Just getting through the tunnel is a drag.  And when I say things like that, I feel like a petulant undisciplined high school student complaining that school is too haaaard.  But gosh darn - it is!  Yet, I'll be proud of it when I finish and am already proud of the process of getting to this point.

So that's the research for the day.  

As for me....I have a cold.  I slept in.  I'm slugging through the day getting some things done.  The kids are getting colds too I think.  No exercise other than a 15 minute walk to run errands.  No high caloric foods.  I'm doing okay so far and imagine I'll make it through dinner tonight as well - at least that's the plan.


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