As an AOL subscriber, it seems that every day, my welcome screen beckons with seductive weight-loss tips or diet plans. Yesterday’s headline was: “Plan to Boost Your Bottom Line,” and, for the record, this had absolutely nothing to do with finance.
Another encouraged us to, “Blast Away Your Female Fat Zones.” On other occasions, we’ve been invited to learn about “The Ultra-Metabolism Diet,” as well as to “Find Your Ideal Diet Plan.” (Note of curiosity to self: If we each have an ideal diet plan, then what’s with this ultra-metabolism diet?)
However, not long ago, I came across something a little bit different. At first glance, I was quite the skeptic. After all, the title of the piece was, “Tight Genes in Your DNA?” and the subject was Dr. Mark Hyman, author of the book, UltraMetabolism. In the article, Hyman discusses the starvation myth, the “idea that if we eat less and exercise more we will lose weight, and unfortunately, when we do that, when we starve ourselves or restrict our calories, we trigger a primitive survival response that drives us to compensate by overeating. We all have the experience, for example, of starving yourself all day, skipping breakfast, light lunch or maybe not at all, and then you get home and what happens? You clean out the refrigerator.
Hyman goes on to say: “And then you feel sick. Of course, we've done that over and over again. Now the first time you might do it you might think, 'Oh well, I shouldn't do this again because it's going to make me feel sick.' But how many times have all of us done that? Why? That's how our bodies are programmed. So if you eat less than your basic needs, if you starve yourself, you'll always backfire, you'll gain the weight back, and you'll probably gain back even a little bit more. People gain an average of five pounds for every diet they go on.
Wise man, I say (this review coming from a clinical psychologist, which, today, AOL revealed is the 22nd best job to have).