While watching CNN today from my treadmill, I noticed an interesting study in the field of nutrition.
Two men, twins, decided to be part of an experiment. One was going to cut all carbs and the other was going to reduce all fats. They embarked on this journey for one month. Their efforts were supervised closely by clinicians.
In terms of exercise, they continued to do what they usually do–moderate amounts of daily exertion.
The outcome? Both lost weight. The twin who reduced his carbohydrates drastically lost the most ( 8lbs in one month), but also had the least amount of energy.
Both agreed it was hard to sustain their choices and they felt one of the hardest part of the study was to continue to socialize with friends and family.
As a runner who runs every day (today is day 1512 of running each and every day since 2009), one who has started and completed 88 marathons, as a doctor with 35 years of experience, and as an expert in weight management I have three take home points regarding this study:
1. We will never sort out what the best nutritional plan is until we know more about how our genes determine our various reactions to the same diets or nutritional plans. Until then get ready for more books, more confusion and more hype in the field of nutrition.
2. We cannot exercise enough to compensate for choosing a poor diet. If I run 100 km per week but do not watch what I eat, I too gain weight–regardless of how much cross-training I do to ensure my body does not become “immune” to exercise. Some gurus want us to believe that doing more weight training is the answer. It is a small part of the answer.
3. The best hope for sustaining any nutritional plan may be the Mediterranean Diet. It has passed the test of time–in terms of quality. But even so…… if the quantity is excessive then the best nutritional plan will fail. Emotional eating is far too common and it explains 90% of obesity. It also explains why we are making little progress to help people reach their ideal weight.
It is time we switch back the common-sense switches which have been switched off too long. Buyer beware.