Looking at some people you would say to yourself, "wow he looks great that diet worked like a charm I can do it to!" What all of these diet fads ignore is the real life consequences that come from prolonged calorie restriction and over exercising. As I mentioned in previous posts, Obesity is starvation. Your body has become insulin and leptin resistant, your metabolism and thyroid function have slowed down, you have a low body temperature and you might have other health problems to boot. The Last thing you want to do to a starving person is restrict their food and make them exercise more when they have no energy.
"The Minnesota Starvation Experiment, also known as the Minnesota Semi-Starvation Experiment, the Minnesota Starvation-Recovery Experiment and the Starvation Study, was a clinical study performed at the University of Minnesota between November 19, 1944 and December 20, 1945. The investigation was designed to determine the physiological and psychological effects of severe and prolonged dietary restriction and the effectiveness of dietary rehabilitation strategies"
In Ancel Key's study these men were fed a semi-starvation diet according to their metabolic "type" per say so that they would lose 25% of their weight. During this time period the men experienced:
"Among the conclusions from the study was the confirmation that prolonged semi-starvation produces significant increases in depression, hysteria and hypochondriasis"
"They described lethargy, irritability, anxiety that approached each time they were to learn how much they were allowed to eat the following week... They had dizziness, cold intolerance (requesting heavy blankets even in the middle of summer), muscle soreness, hair loss, reduced coordination, edema, and ringing in the ears. Some had to withdraw from their university classes because they did not have the capability to concentrate. Their sex drive disappeared. They became obsessed with food, eating with elaborate rituals (which eating disorder patients also do) and adding water to their plates to make the food last longer. Many collected cookbooks and recipes.."
“At equal degrees of weight loss, anorexia nervosa patients are similar to famine victims in numerous respects: the pulse is slow, averaging about 50; the blood pressure is low, rarely above 120 mm. Hg. Systolic; amenorrhea is almost universal. The basal metabolic rate is reduced to an average of -30 per cent, but values down to o-73 per cent have been obtained…The body temperature is low…”
“There was a statistically highly significant increase in scores on the scales of social introversion, depression, and cycloid tendencies (emotional instability) and a decrease in those on the scales of ascendancy (social leadership), self-confidence, and freedom from nervous tenseness.”
“I’m cold… I’m weak…And now I have edema…Social graces, interests, spontaneous activity and responsibility take second place to concerns of food… I don’t like to sit near guests, for then it is necessary to entertain and talk with them… I am one of about three or four who still go out with girls. I fell in love with a girl during the control period but I see her only occasionally now. It’s almost too much trouble to see her even if she visits me at the Lab. It requires effort to hold her hand. Entertainment must be tame. If we see a show, the most interesting part of it is contained in scenes where people are eating. I couldn’t laugh at the funniest picture in the world, and love scenes are completely dull… Now, eight months after the end of starvation, I am fat and healthy although my muscles have not yet returned to their former tone.”
Once the study was concluded the men were allowed to "re-feed" and gained back their fat around their waist extremely quickly and gained more fat then they had before the study had started.
They were eating over 10,000 calories a day and still complained about hunger. They were so physically full that they couldn't eat another bite but still felt hungry.
“In refeeding, especially when the caloric intake is high, fat deposits tend to increase at a faster rate than the ‘active’ tissues.”
It took several months for their lean tissue to come back and it took almost a year for their bodies to come back to a normal weight. Whats interesting is that these men did not go on a special diet to get there body back down to their previous weight. They Just Kept eating and eating until their weight peaked and then started to come back down.
“Anthropometric data support this conclusion and indicate that during rehabilitation the adipose tissue increased in size more rapidly than the muscles. In the highest caloric group the circumferences of the upper arm, calf, and thigh showed an average recovery of 45, 46, and 54 per cent of the starvation decrement, whereas the abdominal circumference exhibited a recovery of 101 per cent [at week 12 of refeeding].”
“The loss of fat produces no untoward symptoms such as accompany the weight loss of normal subjects during semi-starvation. Furthermore, no decrease of the B.M.R. below normal standards has been reported in obese patients during the period of weight reduction.”
This is the reality of dieting except few people are able to stop and usually jump from diet to diet in hopes that one of them will finally work. However we know that dieting and cutting calories is not a long term solution and most people tend to lose weight to a certain extent or they gain all the weight back once they don't have the will power to eat salads 3 times a day.
Dr. Atkins even says in his book: “…remember that prolonged dieting (this one [meaning the Atkins diet], low-fat, low-calorie, or a combination) tends to shut down thyroid function. This is usually not a problem with the thyroid gland (therefore blood tests are likely to be normal) but with the liver, which fails to convert T4 into the more active thyroid principle, T3. The diagnosis is made on clinical ground with the presence of fatigue, sluggishness, dry skin, coarse or falling hair, an elevation in cholesterol, or a low body temperature. I ask my patients to take four temperature readings daily before the three meals and near bedtime. If the average of all these temperatures, taken for at least three days, is below 97.8 degrees F (36.5 C), that is usually low enough to point to this form of thyroid problem; lower readings than that are even more convincing.” - Dr. Atkins
In this study we note that the women had a drop in weight through out the study and a substantial drop in leptin but as time went on the leptin began to rise. You may also note that fat lose stopped and as leptin rose the individuals became hungrier.
This is the type of stuff they don't show you on the infomercials. I lost 20 pounds in 12 weeks but then my hair started to fall out and I cut off three of my fingers from going crazy thinking about food. Ok that was a bit over dramatic but you get the picture.
Here us the link to the study: http://jcem.endojournals.org/c
Once again to quote TL cleave:"It will be noted that the fundamental difference in the present approach to obesity, from that based on the supposed faulty functioning of an 'appestat' centre in the brain, is that the appetite is not regarded as an enemy here, to be placed in a strait-jacket, but as a normal instinct, to be let loose on foods so naturally diluted by fibre that the instinct is neutralized in a natural manner"
Suppressing your appetite should not be seen as a good thing as you can see from the study with the women on the restricted diet. Yes there leptin fell dramatically but so did there metabolism and body temperature. The body will down regulate even further in times of famine and even though they had stopped losing weight their leptin started to rise as severe hunger set in.
"Almost any doctor who works with the obese will tell you that successful long-term losers are a monomaniacal lot, completely obsessed with their weight. Bruce Schneider, a clinical researcher now at the FDA, was working in Hirsch's lab in the early 1980s when Leibel advertised for people who had maintained a weight loss of 100 pounds for at least a year and a half. 'He got six people,' Schneider recalls, 'and all of them were wacked.' One woman had to – HAD to – jog six miles a day. If she didn't, she becamse extremely upset. Another constantly fantasized about food. 'You were basically dealing with chronic starvation,' Schneider says." - Robert Pool
Your body will regain that fat after your diet as a defense mechanism for the next time you decided to do something stupid like cutting calories and running for hours on the treadmill. The psychological effects from starving yourself are very dangerous and don't reap any rewards.
Here is the original Blog Entry kids enjoy http://theskinnywhitebuddha.bl