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Dorene's BeyondDiets Blog


Media Fail: Busting the Water “Myth” 

A few years ago an editorial in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrologyi started a flurry of media reports claiming that the widely accepted suggestion that one should drink 8 glasses of water a day was baseless—basically an urban myth.

The authors of the editorial concluded “nobody really knows” where the ‘8 x 8’ recommendation (64-ounce daily target) got started,ii and, “there is no single study—and therefor no single outcome—that has led to these recommendations.” The implication was that there is no wisdom behind drinking eight glasses of water a day. Really?

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Why Do You Overeat?

There are certainly lots and lots of reasons we overeat. Having some insight into what underlies our behavior is helpful in order to problem-solve how to do better.

Researchers recently did a meta-analysis of 23 studies that looked at the effect of THREE common overeating triggers: alcohol, lack of sleep, and TV.[i]

They found alcohol to have the strongest effect on food consumption, followed by sleep deprivation, and then television-watching. The effect of alcohol was double that of sleep deprivation, which was double the effect of watching TV.

When we drink alcohol, our intentions to "eat well" often go out the window. When we haven’t had enough sleep

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Are Successful Losers More Common than You Think?

We’ve all heard the claims that something dire—like 95% of people—always end up gaining back the weight they’ve worked so hard to lose. The point underlying the nay saying and the contrarian remarks is the notion that weight loss is a hopeless, pointless, waste of time.

On the other hand, most of us know someone who lost a chunk of weight and did keep it off. So what made them special? How did they beat the (purported) odds?

The fact is the so often repeated 95% figure, can be traced back to a 1958 research review paper[i] by Albert Stunkard. However, the data from Stunkard’s review was never applicable to the general population.

Part of the reason the 95% myth has been so intractable is that there has been almost no research on weight-loss maintenance that is applicable to the general population.

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When is a Calorie Not a Calorie?

Gary Taubes—author of Why We Get Fat: and What to Do About It—attempts to make the argument that obesity is the result of a “fat storage defect” which carbohydrates purportedly encourage through the secretion of insulin. Taubes theory hinges on the notion that some calories (carbohydrates) are more fattening than others (protein or fat).

Three reasons why Taubes’ theory fails:

1. Taubes ignores a consistent body of literature that shows “a calorie is a calorie.” At this point there are numerous well done studies that have compared diets of varying levels of protein, carbohydrate and fat that find no statistical difference in weight loss WHEN CALORIES ARE CONTROLLED (kept at the same level for each diet type).

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Successful Weight Managers Instinctively do This...

We’ve lost track of a structure around eating that had existed for generations. Your grandparents will confirm that until recently a simple structure to our eating activities was followedand no one questioned or thought about it much.

We ate breakfast and dinner at home, and a lunch was packed to take to work. Meals were large enough that they provided the calories needed to fuel us until the next meal, without needing a snack. Snacking wasn’t the norm, and the vast majority of body weights were in the healthy range. An overweight child was unusual.

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