Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Healthy at Every Size


Have you read Healthy at Every Size by Linda Bacon, Ph.D?  Yes, that's her real name, isn't that fabulous? We read it late last year for our Nutrition Study group and what we dietitians admired most was that this book wasn't trying to convince you to try one more diet but to live a healthy, happy life, regardless of your size.  The first portion of the book is dedicated to discussing how we maintain our weight physiologically and what dieting does to our bodies.  Here are just a few of the points in HAES:

Dieting:
  • Slows the rate at which your body burns calories
  • Increases your body'd efficiency at wringing every possible calorie out of the food you do eat so you digest food faster and get hungry quicker
  • Causes you to crave high fat foods
  • Increases your appetite
  • Reduces your energy levels
  • Lowers your body temperature so you are using less energy
  • Reduces your ability to feel hungry and full, making it easier to confuse hunger with emotional needs
  • Reduces your total amount of muscle tissue
  • Increases your fat storage enzymes and decreases your fat-release enzymes
So, if you're unhappy with your weight or looks, should you give up, eat cheetos and want marathons of The Real Housewives of New Jersey?  Absolutely not!

What you should do is live well.  Live well is the title of chapter 10 in HAES and to me that phrase encompasses a whole range of concepts, from eating nutritious food that you enjoy to being kind to yourself and participating in activities you love.  Did you know joy lowers stress, which in turn lowers cortisol and allows you to loose weight?

I encourage you to take a look at Dr. Bacon's book and tell me what you think of her take on weight loss.

* Picture from http://www.lindabacon.org/HAESbook/

1 comment:

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