With two-thirds of Americans either overweight or obese, the severity of our weight crisis has relegated thin people to a relative minority. To make matters worse efforts by the government and public health authorities don’t seem to be having the desired effect in combatting the problem. In the summer of 2010, knowing nothing about weight-loss but finding myself in the unfamiliar position of needing to lose a few, I read a book about this very problem; specifically, the science of weight regulation. Rather than harping on portion sizes and sedentary lifestyles, it attempted to divine what influenced and underlay these behaviors and whether our problem was more physiological than behavioral. If overeating was making us fat, wouldn’t it be good to understand why we were overeating? It was a real eye opener for me and sparked my interest in weight-loss and health in general. It also led, at least in part, to the creation of this blog so that I would have a way to connect and share what I learned with others.
My take-away from that book – and my personal philosophy today – is that despite someone’s weight or the number of times they’ve tried and failed to lose it, the good news for dispirited dieters is that their failures probably have a lot more to do with their approach than a lack of commitment or effort. Rather than fixating on calories, exercise or portions, or blaming one’s size on lack of willpower or self-restraint, we instead should pay a little more attention to the relationship between our food and metabolism and how certain foods we’re eating may be sabotaging our efforts to maintain or lose weight.