Weight gain is starvation

Harry Health Guide
  • This is the sixth in a series on losing weight from our expert, Harry Lodge, co-author of Younger Next Year. You can check out his first post here.


    It's important to understand that unrestricted weight gain, when coupled with our sedentary lifestyles, is NOT a signal of plenty to our bodies, it's a signal of caloric uncertainty, which our bodies read as impending starvation.


    This seems to make no sense, but remember that our bodies were not designed with McDonald's, refrigerators, and microwaves in mind, they were designed in the harsh crucible of nature, and in nature, feast is often followed by famine. There is an elaborate chemistry behind this, but the bottom line is distressingly simple. To your body, weight gain, especially in the setting of physical inactivity, is a signal of starvation.

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    It's odd, and it's not how you and I would have designed it, but it's true. To your body, weight gain is starvation.


    That's why obesity begets further obesity. That's why the first 30 pounds may take 30 years, but the next 10 may take only a few months. That's also how you get to the extreme obesity range is that we're seeing more and more in Americans, including in American children.


    You cannot change the biology of setpoints, but you absolutely can take charge of it. We'll talk about losing weight down the road, but for now get a scale, get a notebook to record your weight, start to once a week program, and never, ever push your setpoint up another pound.


    Last week: Never Diet Again!


    Next week: Social Eating

Published On: December 03, 2007