A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine (Jan 31, 2013) revealed that we really don’t have the research to support many of the beliefs we hold about how to lose weight and keep it off. Because I am a bit of a science nerd and believe in the scientific method to help us sort out “fact vs fiction”, I am relieved to read this report. However, I also want to point out that these newly identified myths are not necessarily and entirely false. That’s the point – they have not been “tested”. So, some of them actually might turn out to be “accurate” – notice how I avoid the word “true/truth”.
Am I splitting hairs here? Well, a little. Except I do want to make the point that however you choose to get ready and make your behavior change plan to lose weight and increase your fitness, it has to work over the long haul. Maybe I am speaking from 20 years of clinical experience and practice wisdom and less from any studies I have published myself. I have seen too many people, too many times jump into rapid, ambitious eating/exercise plans only to go from seeing results early to then experiencing “burn out” and frustration and eventually returning to the old behavior patterns. Now, granted, I am speaking as a psychotherapist when I say this; unless you have made mental shift necessary to work at sustaining these new behaviors, you will most likely find yourself returning to your old behaviors. Bottom line? There is no “holy grail” of weight loss and increased fitness. There are numerous paths to achieve this goal. Do some soul searching and find the path that is best for you.