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The Fat Trap: No Hope for the Overweight?

Nutrition Diva isn't throwing in the towel on healthy weight loss just yet.

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,
January 5, 2012

Several of you have asked me to comment on "The Fat Trap," Tara Parker-Pope's recent piece in the New York Times Magazine. The centerpiece of the article is the same study that I talked about in my recent podcast, Lose Weight Without Dieting. In a nutshell, researchers found that dieters experienced long-term hormonal and metabolic changes that made it very difficult not to regain the weight. Although Parker-Pope (who confesses to having her own weight struggles) tries hard to salvage some sense of hope and optimism, it's hard not to come away from her piece feeling that trying to lose weight is simply a waste of time.

But I am not ready to throw in the towel on healthy weight loss just yet.

The study that has kicked off the firestorm was, by any measure, extreme. The patients ate just 500 calories a day. In other words, they suddenly cut their caloric intake by 75 to 85%. Is it any wonder that their bodies perceived this as an emergency--and responded accordingly?

I think what this research really shows is that dieting is counter-productive--and that extreme dieting is extremely counter-productive. I stand behind the approach I outlined in Lose Weight Without Dieting: Adopting healthier eating habits--and allowing the weight to come off slowly--is the way to go.

Find out more about the realities of weight loss in my new ebook How to Win at Losing. It's available for pre-order now!

Have you successfully lost weight, and kept it off? I'd love to hear your story!

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