Why Are We Fat? Is It Gluttony, or Is Your Fat Actually Hungry?
What if everything you ever learned about weight loss was wrong? What if losing weight has nothing to do with calories—counting them or cutting them out by sheer willpower? What if, in fact, most health professionals (including doctors and dietitians), our own government and especially the food industry are giving us weight loss advice guaranteed to make us fat?
Here’s their mantra: “Eat less and exercise more. The secret to weight loss is energy balance. There are no good or bad calories. It’s all about moderation.”
If you doubt that this advice could be wrong, just look around. We have tripled our obesity rates since 1960, and in the last decade, cases of type 2 diabetes in children have increased by over 30 percent. In 1980, there were no children with type 2 diabetes (formerly known as adult onset diabetes), and now, there are over 50,000. Seven out of ten Americans are overweight. The advice is not working. Could it be the wrong advice?
Nobody wakes up in the morning saying, “Hey, I want to gain weight today. I am going to overeat. I want to be fat.”
Rather, we have a $60 billion weight loss industry. It specializes in helping people count calories, eat less and exercise more. When are we going to realize that that our approach—as a scientific community and as policy makers—is failing miserably at stemming the tsunami of obesity and related health, social and economic costs?
Could it be we have it all wrong? Could it be the world is round, not flat, even though it looks flat, just as it seems that if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight?
The answer is yes. Our focus on calories has missed the mark entirely. Even if you held the Guinness world record for calorie counting, you could easily be off by 100 calories a day. Do that for 30 years, and you will be 20 to 30 pounds overweight.