Judging from the comments on My Problem With “Eat Less Move More”, I think I did a poor job explaining my position on Eat Less, Move More. Let me summarize my view.
- Calories do count. (Eat Less)
- Exercise is vastly over-rated for long-term fat loss. (Move More)
- ELMM most likely explains every success. (or in my opinion EL alone)
- 90-95% of people fail when they attempt ELMM for fat loss.
- ELMM does NOTHING to explain why such a large percentage fail. They openly or through implication state it is a character flaw in the dieter. They either lacked discipline, willpower, lied or deluded themselves to their caloric intake.
- The failure rates are too high to attribute to character flaws.
- I believe the probability of long term dietary success is higher when the individual is healthy. Restricting calories (and therefore nutrients) to an already unhealthy person has a high failure rate. I believe one should get healthy BEFORE they attempt to get lean.
Seeking Nutritional Alpa
I’m not a dietitian and I do not have a client list. My approach to nutrition assumes incomplete knowledge and comes from an investor mindset. The term alpha in finance means return in excess of the compensation for the risk borne. From a nutritional standpoint, we know that some foods are far more nutrient dense than others. We also know that some foods are more toxic. Those foods might have equal calories. I believe from my own personal experience and talking with others that finding those foods with a greater alpha do a far better job of reducing hunger at equal caloric rates.
Beef Stock is a food with a high nutritional alpha.
I think that a strategy of removing foods with negative alpha (grains, veggie oils, soy) and adding foods with positive alpha will increase the probability of success more than taking on calorie restriction head on. Did for me. The hunger I experienced when eating bread (negative alpha) was much greater than when I gave it up. Losing 20 pounds without bread was significantly easier than losing just 5 pounds when I did eat bread.
The challenge in fighting obesity is not continually explaining the minority of successes, but figuring out how to increase the number of successes in a way that works with the body. Blaming the individual isn’t helpful.
2017 UPDATE: The Role of Exercise in Preventing Weight Gain