June 30, 2011

Is Weight Loss a Bizarre Paradox?

When Jen Hubley at about dot com on June 2nd stated that weight loss is one of those bizarre paradoxes, I was thinking anything but paradox. But after rereading her blog, I can understand where she is coming from – a person without diabetes, or other chronic illnesses, and thus not restricted by the foods that raise blood glucose or blood pressure. What bothers me is why people feel that dieting is the route to lose weight rather than lifestyle change which often can assist more with weight loss.

Now I have more of the answers that make sense and fit those of us with chronic diseases at the age level for them. While lifestyle change is not always the perfect way, it is making more sense that diets. David Spero covers many of the problems in weight loss with sound reasoning and spells out why it can be more difficult for some to loss weight.

It turns out that our bodies do not want to lose weight and do whatever can be done to add lost weight back. David says that we have “thrifty” genes telling our brains to relax, eat, and add more fat. At the same time those of us with diabetes encounter the problem is insulin resistance and increased adipose fat in the abdomen. Dieting is an artificial form of food scarcity and will activate our thrifty genes slowing metabolism to increase stores of energy for “hard times”.

When you diet, the leptin levels in your system drops making your brain leptin-resistant. This is called the full feeling, so as you lose weight you will become hungrier, food will taste more appealing and you gain weight. Stress also is a factor and mimics the effects of food scarcity in our bodies, making us hunger for our comfort foods. Dieting and concentrating on weight loss can also be a major source of stress.

Then Ronnie Gregory at the poor diabetic dot com states that weight loss should not be considered part of diabetes management. While I won't recommend throwing the scale out the window as he does, I will agree it does not have to be part of daily activities.

We all agree that it is better to be focused on our blood glucose and blood pressure numbers, and how you are feeling. No diet will prevent weight regain, so it is better to do what is necessary for managing our diabetes and hypertension and let the weight take care of itself. And if the lifestyle change helps with weight loss, so much the better.

So ignore the paradoxes, the diets, and hype about losing weight and manage your diabetes and blood pressure effectively. Enjoy the weight loss when it happens and if medically able, exercise to help manage all three. Forget about plateaus in weight loss and realize that your body is resisting and will eventually give up more weight as you manage diabetes and blood pressure to the maximum, plus exercise.

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