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Dorene's BeyondDiets Blog

Entries in dieting (8)


Water, Body Weight, and the Scale...

It's normal to have day-to-day fluctuations in body water content, which actually follow variations in calorie intake (energy) as well as variations in the macronutrient (carbohydrate, protein, fat and alcohol) and sodium content of the diet. Carbohydrate and sodium in particular can both cause rapid changes in extracellular water. Additionally, intracellular water increases or decreases (along with increases or decreases) in glycogen (the storage form of carbohydrate) and protein.

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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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Are you Programming Yourself for Success or Failure?

It’s easy to want to lose weight. It’s another matter to actually want to embark on a new—healthy—lifestyle that requires eating better and exercising. After all it’s just human nature to want the prize without having to do the work.

The biggest obstacle between you and success with weight management however, probably isn’t eating better or even exercising—it’s very likely negative thinking and sabotaging self talk. It may never have occurred to you that long term success with weight management ultimately hinges on fixing your thinking.

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“I’ll get back on my diet tomorrow…” but at what cost?

The most fascinating—and destructive—behavior pattern associated with dieting occurs when you break the “rules” of whatever diet you’re attempting to follow. Odds are if you have any history of dieting you’ll recognize this behavior pattern immediately. 

There are a host of cognitive distortions (irrational thoughts) that come into play—basically setting you up for a big fall over the slightest perceived transgression.

First a few definitions:

  • All-or-nothing thinking: thinking in absolute terms like “always”, “never”, and “every”, which sets up both unrealistic expectations and a false situation that allows for only two alternatives (no shades of gray).
  • Disqualifying the positive: ignorring everything you are doing right.
  • Catastrophizing: blowing things out of proportion regarding anticipated ramifications of a perceived transgression (in this case regarding one’s diet).
  • Emotional reasoning: resistance to shifting from emotional self-judgments, or emotional situational assessments, to analytical evaluation of factual details.
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Can You Spot a Sham Weight Loss Diet?

While a sham diet will likely deliver on some early weight loss it won’t be because of the reasons claimed in the diets’ marketing literature or book cover. The real disservice to you however is the misinformation that you’re fed that actually ends up being an impediment to any long-term success with weight control.

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