This news just in. If you want to lose weight, you have to cut calories! Don’t know about you but I’m shocked – shocked! – to hear that.
Been listening to Radio 4‘s Inside Health with Dr. Mark Porter. You know. The dishy doctor off the telly. Now does radio. Today (and last night for this was the repeat) this slender man was looking at obesity and how apple-shaped people like me are more likely to get cancer, heart disease, Diabetes and an early death.
5:2 fasting makes no difference!
Apparently the new wonder diet 5:2 diet makes no difference! Studies showing it does are too small and short term. Intermittent fasting on a low-carb diet has been shown to work but thus far the studies are too small (too thin?) for a conclusive result.
Current spin and media frenzy around the 5:2 diet is, apparently, an over simplification. Don’t look at me like that if it’s been working for you! This is science!
Confused? You will be.
Problem with intermittent fasting diets is if you go mad on the not-fasting days. But apparently that doesn’t happen. Lot of people on these diets don’t go mad on the “feasting” days but find they want to continue to restrict their calorie intake, and especially their carbohydrates.
Dr. Porter says restricting carbs two days a week has a knock-on effect on what you consume the rest of week. Your insulin goes down more with the two-day dieting – essential for those of us dieting to try and avoid Diabetes. “But it would appear it all comes down to calorie intake as we would expect. Any diet that works is about a reduction of calories,” he concludes at the end of the programme.
Are all calories created equal?
Fans of Paleo dieting and other high-protein regimes such as Atkins, Scarsdale and the South Beach Diet would say not all calories are the same. A calorie from sugar is treated differently by the body than a calorie from fat or protein.
It’s certainly the argument made by the lovely Dr. Robin Lustig. He says cut back on sugar and sugary foods. Sadly the Inside Health team didn’t mention his work or the work of others in this field. Just the usual advice to go on the Mediterranean diet – FULL of sugar! – and cut calories.
Take your pick.
I’m not going to tell anyone they should do it my way or the way that’s been recommended for the last 30 years or so, ie cut back on fat, cut back on calories. Just cut cut cut. Alls I will say is that the high-protein way is working for me the way nothing else ever has. I am not cutting calories; well, not deliberately. I’ve no idea for I am not COUNTING calories. And that’s such a liberation. But I am losing weight.
I accept that my regime may well mean I am automatically taking in less calories and so losing weight that way. Perhaps. Who knows. But the low-fat low-calorie diets have been shown not to work, not long term. Nearly everyone who loses weight on them puts it back on.
High sugar content in low-fat foods
I’m not interested in doing it that way anymore thank you very much. I want a fresh approach. One that feels less restrictive, more fun, less prohibitive and a great deal more enjoyable than a miserable low-fat diet ever can be.
I was in the supermarket yesterday and out of interest compared the sugar levels in a tub of low-fat creme fraiche with a tub of ordinary creme fraiche, or full fat if you like. I was shocked to discover the low-fat version had TWICE as much sugar in it as the high-fat. Full fat is filling and more satisfying. You probably over consume low-fat to make up for the miserable watery over-sugared taste.
Anyway, it’s up to you if you want to lose weight. If you find something that works for you, stick with it and best of luck to you. Thanks for listening.