I am 5’ 11” and weighed 170 lbs in High School and kept that weight into graduate school. Then I started gaining weight 5-10 lbs in the next 10 years, 10-15 in the next 10 years and then married, kids, life stress, sleep deprived and one day I wake up and I am 203 lbs.! And I was a Fitness and Health Professional following the popular approach and doing what I was taught in my Exercise Physiology and Physical Therapy coursework. I had to do something different so I applied for and entered into, the 2-year long-term study of energy and metabolism called CALORIE II.
The point of the study was to reduce participants’ caloric intake by 25%. Doing so resulted in my weight has decreasing to a stable condition of 170 lbs: in balance with my calorie intake. Some people feel that doing this would be hard to do. It does take a certain amount of awareness and understanding of how much I am eating. But this is not “abstention,” “severe dieting,” involves “constantly saying no,” or that “dining with friends who aren’t “denying” themselves “would become a chore” or is “harder to maintain an active lifestyle,” that “libido often ebbs” with this “so obsessive a regime.” Whew that is a lot of baggage that can be heaped on!
My experience is that before my caloric decrease I was overeating and slowly gaining weight year after year and along with the weight gain, degrading my cholesterol, increasing my blood pressure, and experiencing musculoskeletal pain. While some of the animal research has engaged in higher calorie restriction, the allusion to being “starving”, “semi-starved”, or “hungry” as a research participant in the CALORIE II study and now having modified that approach with the principles of Soma Science℠, that is not at all accurate. And I do not work out all the time, on average 2-3 times a month.
The benefits I have experienced are many: my cholesterol is down, blood pressure is normal, and the musculoskeletal pain is gone. I am not abstaining, severely dieting, constantly saying no. I have no problems dining with friends. My lifestyle is as active as ever. My libido has not ebbed. If anything, feeling and looking better has had a positive effect., and I do not consider what I am doing an obsessive regime. As a health and fitness consultant, my clients and my family have also benefited from this approach to reversing the weight creep and health issues of the 21st century.
This is fundamentally about planning and making choices to not overeat. When you look at photographs of people coming out of Fenway Park today, and compare them to the 1940’s, you can see the difference between what I was while trying to follow the popular paradigms and what I am now using the Soma Science℠ methodology. I expect that no one from the 1940’s would even think that how I am eating now is at all unusual.
Individually and as a nation, we need to embrace the concept of eating what we need to be a healthy weight in order to reverse the growing problem of weight gain and associated health issues. It is surprisingly not hard when you know how to do it.