Dr. Nick Fuller, Australia's leading obesity researcher and head of the clinical research program at the Boden Institute, answers the most frequently asked questions about Interval Weight Loss.
A scientifically proven plan to help a person prevent the weight regain that 95% of people experience when trying to lose weight. This is a translational piece of science to prevent the usual response to weight loss. We know that anyone can lose weight, irrespective of the weight loss or dieting approach they adopt, but after a stress is imposed on the body (weight loss is a stress) the body then begins to fight that weight loss. This is due to evolution and leftover from our time as hunter-gatherers. What once was beneficial when food was scarce is no longer required with food available on every corner of the street. We have several protections in place in our body to ensure we go back to our starting point every time – our ‘set point’ – that weight we will remember being at for a long period of time. That weight that you will recall bouncing back to after every attempt at dieting or weight loss.
The only way to overcome these protections in our body is to impose ‘diet breaks’ along the way – specifically every 2nd month as part of the ‘Interval Weight Loss For Life’ plan. These breaks allow the body to rest and prevent the body from fighting the weight loss. Consequently, it allows a person to recalibrate their set point at gradual increments so that weight regain doesn’t happen.
The way ‘Interval Weight Loss For Life’ works is by getting a person to lose a small amount of weight (approx. 2kg) over the course of a month, followed by a mandatory month of weight maintenance to allow the body to recalibrate at its new lowered set point. During the 3rd month, a person is then allowed to lose more weight (another 2kg), before another weight maintenance month is imposed during month 4. This process is repeated until a person reaches their goal weight. It will allow a person to lose 12kg over a year compared to a person who follows a diet who loses 12kg in a couple of months and then puts 13kg back on by 1 year (if not sooner).
Traditional methods of weight loss don’t work and all diets result in the same thing – weight loss followed by weight regain. This includes all the latest fads like keto, 5:2, paleo and this is why all of these diets were ranked in the bottom 10 diets by a leading group of experts in 2018.
Interval Weight Loss is backed by science to set a person up for long-term success. People think it is a slower way of weight loss but this is not the case because it will allow a person to lose 12kg over a year compared to a person who follows a diet who might lose 12kg in a couple of months and then put 13kg back on by 1 year (if not sooner).
One of the great benefits of this plan is that it is not telling a person to exclude certain foods and to only take on changes they can sustain. The weight maintenance months (every 2nd month) also allow a person to take the foot off the accelerator and have more of their favourite treat foods or take-away because they must not continue to lose weight during those months.
Diet advocates and social media influencers are contributing to the very problem they proclaim to solve. They are another tentacle contributing to the obesity epidemic. Diets and food restriction only compound the issue even more. Diets that advocate you to cut certain foods are unhealthy and unsustainable. And cutting certain foods will result in short-term weight loss, for example, cutting carbs which results in a rapid drop in water content in the body and consequently a drop on the scales. But this is due to a drop in body water content.
And the inclusion of foods such as whole grain carbohydrates in your Interval Weight Loss plan actually help with weight loss and prevention of disease such as cancer and type 2 diabetes. It is a misconception that certain foods are bad for us. Potatoes, eggs, nuts, olive oil, dairy products are all foods that help prevent heart disease and that help with weight loss. Potatoes certainly do not make you fat.
This messaging from diet advocates, social media sensations, and celebrities is not backed by evidence and these people selling such programs are simply making a dollar out of other people’s misery. The industry has been in disruption for a very long time. We need people to get the right information that is actually going to help them on their health and weight loss journey, not something that’s going to make their situation worse.
For more stories by Dr Nick Fuller check out the article below.