First Fallacy of Weight Loss
We have to talk about different being good, we need a different approach, everything we're gonna talk about here is basically different from what you've heard with the exception of vegetables are good for you everyone agrees vegetables are good for us that's good anymore vegetables, but other than that, if we want a different result, we need to take a different approach, right? Our good friend einstein tells us that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity, which is ironic considering we talked about saying insane foods, but anyway, we need to do something different if we want something different. So what have we been doing? We've been doing what the experts told us to do starting in the nineteen seventies, which ironically what we'll get to the next light. Experts tell us nineteen seventies and again the experts were the senate select committee on nutrition and human needs. I don't know about you, but I don't trust politici...
ans to be my physician but anyway that's who's dictating public policy, they tell us to avoid overweight consume only as much energy as expended if overweight, decrease energy intake and increase energy expenditure eat less exercise more was the official edict from our government experts that like saying like a square circle, I don't know I might be a paradox there um starting in the late seventies now here's what's fun that came in nineteen seventy seven to the data nineteen, seventy seven rates of overweight nineteen seventy seven rates of diabetes nineteen seventy seven cardiovascular disease nineteen seventy seven heart disease thie guidance didn't work it didn't work why it didn't work it's somewhat irrelevant actually completely irrelevant it just didn't work like it's either scientifically that invalid it's either impractical or it's both because it's not work but some people don't seem to care. For example, the u s food and drug administration tells us to manage your weight balance the calories you eat with physical activity, have a carrot, not the carrot cake or have cherry yogurt, not the cherry pie I had always wondered, should it be the carrot of the carrot cake? I don't know that one's a tough one or the american council on science and health they're quoting verbatim there three step weight loss plan don't expect a government or bureaucracy to solve your problems, don't single out one substance and complained that addiction to it has caused your lack of overall self control and three my favorite when you're ready to start dealing rationally with your weight problems, if you have one, eat less and or exercise more just just be rational people what's wrong with you like just try harder I have an alternate three step plan try it evaluate the results if the results are bad do something else makes sense to me and it's not just me that thinks it makes sense and this is what is so exciting and why I spent more than ten years of my life assembling this research is because the actual experts right we talked about this people who kind of talk in the media they get their information and they were over here actual expert so actual experts like dr jenson over the university of california tells us in other fields when bridges do not stand when aircraft do not fly when machines do not work when treatments do not cure despite all conscientious efforts on the part of many persons to make them do so one begins to question the basic assumptions, principles, theories and hypotheses that guide one's efforts and as an engineer I can appreciate this like I mentioned before, I have the good fortune of being software engineer at microsoft and if we design a software program and a user can't figure it out, if my response to my boss was well, the user just needs to try harder. I would get fired because it's my job to make a program or in approach or system that works for people people don't fail programs, programs fail people and that's why I feel so excited to have like take a little bit of an engineering background come combine it with the expertise of the actual experts and let's create an alternate approach for the other ninety five point four percent of us and again it's it's so encouraging when you actually talk to, for example, doctor wooly over at the university of cincinnati who tells us that the failure of heavy people to achieve a goal they seem to want and to want almost above all else must now be admitted for what it is a failure not of those people but of the methods of treatment that are used it's time to stop doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results like we have to stop focusing on quantity we have to stop focusing on quality and here's why this is how we've been told to think about weight loss our bodies a balance scale write more and more out balance scale tips that's wrong we'll get into why it's wrong but there's three calorie myths that come along with this model of the human physiology of a balance one is this you need to consciously regulate calories in versus calories out before anyone gets all fired up. We're not saying calories are fictional it's not like calories or unicorns calories exist and they do play a role here but not the role we've been led to believe we've been led to believe that a calorie is a calorie and then calories are all that matter so before we get into the science and this is still science but it's it's fun science not to the other science isn't gonna be fun what am I saying? Science is always fun so let's do some metabolic math shall we right we've all just calories in calories out like pick up a magazine off the shelf it will say wanna lose twenty pounds right? Just like cut a saltine cracker out of your diet for two years and you'll lose twenty pounds or whatever it's like this ridiculous assumptions okay, so let's say we got people and we fed one group of people one hundred twenty calories per day for eight years. So in one group of people you have this group that has consumed three hundred fifty thousand four hundred more calories than the people in the other group over the course of eight years three hundred fifty thousand four hundred more calories per day per person in this fictional group thirty five hundred calories per pound of fat. We've all heard of this the people in the group who ate more who ate a quarter of a million calories more should gain or should weigh about a hundred pounds more than the other people write make just based on the calorie math we've been taught so remember that women's health initiative study we talked about earlier so that forty nine thousand people for eight years seven hundred million that dr evil ring a bell? Yes ok that's what happened in that study but it wasn't included in the headlines like if you actually look in the study at the actual data the group of women who ate the low fat diet actually ate one hundred twenty fewer calories per day on average for eight years, which means the women in those group on average eight, three hundred fifty thousand four hundred fewer calories per day for eight years did biology work like a balance scale? Is arithmetic an accurate encapsulation of metabolic science? Well, here's how much weight on average the women in the group who ate over a quarter of a million more calories ended up gaining busting a pound which is actually statistically insignificant it's over eight years consuming three hundred fifty thousand more calories and females in another group on average gained basically nothing from a statistical significance perspective. Your body doesn't work like a balance calories in versus calories out is not something that should need to be consciously regulated calories in a calorie they've very dramatically calories are not all that matter. We shouldn't focus on quantity and there is a proven alternate for every single one of these myths. Instead of this mythical conscious calorie balance, we'll talk about your set point or how you have a dynamic system in your brain and in your hormones in your gut that is designed to regulate calorie balance for you just like it balances like vitamin c like you don't need to think about vitamin c in and vitamin c out right? Or like what about phosphorus or like vitamin a right? These are all critical things but it's like on ly calories do you need to count? But that doesn't make any sense or like blood sugar like your blood sugar goes up, your body does things to bring it down if it goes down your body this things to bring it up same thing with blood pressure maybe the body is designed to balance itself out automatically that's that thing called homo stasis we all learned about in high school biology, but we've just been told that it doesn't apply to energy balance. We'll learn the calories in a calorie and in fact there are very sane and insane calories. The scientific community has created a fairly simple framework for determining the quality of the calorie we abbreviate the four factors of calorie quality using the acronyms saying and then finally we're talking calories are all that matter and this is why as we age which we try to eat less, we continue to gain weight and we say, oh my god like how how is this possible that's possible? Because your hormones are changing and hormones matter a heck of a lot, so we're going to change our biology instead of fighting against it which is what this alternate approach works to do calorie restriction is fighting your body it's like trying to hold your breath it doesn't work you cannot win battles against your body try not going to the bathroom right like think about that though telling a person to stop eating when they're hungry and too just like be hungry for the rest of their life like just just be hungry for the rest of your life jim it's all you you lose weight it's like saying jim just don't blink like what hunger is a needed it's a desirable thing the question is why do we continue to be hungry or a wire we hung hungry improperly so we need to persuade our bodies we don't need to take these bodies the bodies that are struggling to burn excess calories that tend to store excess calories and just starve them and rip calories out of them we need to say how do we make those bodies work more like naturally thin people people who eat more and just burn more as a response a bit like think about liquids what happens when you drink more more in more out naturally thin people maurin more out why isn't maurine moore out for these people and how can we fix that we fixed it just eat more on exercise less but to do that smarter instead of eating less and exercising more but doing that harder and we'll get into it this is repetitive, but what we want to do is really unclog our body we want to heal our metabolic system and we wouldn't need to understand and appreciate all of the other things that go into this system. It's not complicated, it's really, really not, but we just haven't been told about it, so we've got nutrients that aaron food we have endocrine or hormonal, we've got our brain, we've got our gut we've got a bunch of things interacting and will uncover all of those things and how we can make them work better but on alternate paradigm that I would encourage you to adopt instead of thinking about your body like a balance think of it like a drain like a sink think about in a body that is overflowing with fat like a by like a thing that is overflowing with water, okay, what makes a sink overflow? It's actually not too much water in right it's not even like a rapid rate ofwater coming in it's a clog it's the sink has lost its ability to naturally balance maurin with more out and we could just, like put less water in the sink but that obviously doesn't solve the problem like we could be like I don't wash your hands anymore but that's that's all right, you wanna wash your hands, I want to eat and we could also have more water out manually like we could take a little teaspoon and like flick the water out of thinking we sweat we could put on spandex and like loud music and we'd be like yeah man, I'm doing so much to lower the water level in my sink wow list the clog remains and as soon as you stop with that teaspoon or as soon as you start just using a normal amount of water it's not an excessive amount of water the sink will just overflow again right so what causes what actually is causing this it's not too much water right it's the wrong quality of inputs what clogs the drain no quantity of water will ever clogged drain no quantity of what the sink was designed to handle will ever clog it but you start putting stuff in it that it wasn't designed to handle quickly comes clogged with the hair pick towels not good stuff so don't eat hair or paper towels riots conclusion that we're done we good is that the full in time so your metabolism works the same way it's not too much in you can never clog your metabolism from eating too much of the right quality of food were designed to deal with a lot of food. In fact anthropologists estimate that prior to the advent of agriculture when we ate mostly wild plants and animals people would consume two to five pounds of food per day our metabolism gets clogged when we put the wrong quality and any right like if you put a little bit of hair in your sink it will just clog it slower but it will still clog it it's not like hair and moderation won't clog your sink it will just like smoking in moderation will still give you lung cancer just slower it's a quality problem not a quantity problem so when I talk about a clog metabolism which will then result in an elevated set point which we'll talk about your clog is your body's inability to respond to hormonal signals which are designed to automatically keep us at a healthy weight and when you hear things like designed to automatically keep us that maybe like oh infomercial like automatic weight loss the earliest known rates of obesity come from the turn of the century's from the early nineteen hundreds they were estimated at sub three percent if you just think about like people prior to the past three generations there were no jim's no one knew what a calorie wass and everyone was slimmer and healthier the default state of our body is not obesity and diabetes right by default our bodies do want us to maintain a normal healthy weight that's why it's called a normal healthy weight because that's what your body wants to do there are systems in place to enforce that but when we eat the wrong quality of food we can break those systems and we can break the hormonal signals that would otherwise help regulate us not sure how useful these slides are gonna be, but I wanted to mix them in because they always take us back to that primary research or, for example, dr kela cetus over at harvard medical school who tells us that the circulating hormone levels directs our central nervous system in regulating energy balance so it's not that energy balance doesn't exist it's not that calories in calories out is some fictional thing it's that your central nervous system is designed to balance it out for you just like it balances out water in the water out vitamin c vitamin c out thiamin, riboflavin everything else? The vast majority of obese humans are resistant to these weight reducing effects so again they're clogged clogged sink lesson never will solve the problem it will cause temporary results the water level will fall, but I won't stay down if the fix the system if you want to keep it down, we'll talk about that faucet exercising more like scooping water with the teaspoon both our temporary things they treat symptoms, they don't solve the problem you want to solve the problem so the myths how did we get into a world where we would lead to believe that our biology works in such a when we take a step back kind of a ridiculous way that we need to consciously regulate calories but we don't need to consciously regulate any other mission critical function of our body, right? I think about that for a second think about if you had to consciously regulate right like use your front party brand your neocortex is part of your brain that allows you don't like love and create art and help people and right and like rock your unique purpose on this earth the part of our brain that makes us uniquely human is this part of the brain so many of us are spending this part of our brain doing things that this part of our brain are a magdala are animal brain is designed to take care of for us right animals like cows have all the grass they could ever want ever, but somehow they don't overeat they the right amount of grass to keep him at a normal cow body weight you know a quick way to make a cow fat, feed it stuff other than grass and in fact that's what we do grain fed cattle if you want to fatten the cow really quick, you feed it the same things that make people fact and it's not because you're feeding them too much it's because you're feeding them the wrong quality of things you're breaking the system that is supposed to keep them in balance automatically calories in calories out this crap and the research supports that in fact, it was research done at indiana university and the researchers conclusion when looking at this hypothesis of calories in calories out the study examine the relationships among body fat, energy and taken exercise, there was no relationship between energy intake and body fat if metabolism worked like math, I want to do two quick examples the university of north carolina performed a study on food intake and the study showed that we are eating more in fact we're eating five hundred seventy more cat more calories on average per person per day, then we were prior to the obesity epidemics with seventies, right? So the study then concluded, well, clearly we have now demonstrated that the cause of obesity is simply an over consumption of calories. We're consuming five hundred seventy more calories than we were per person when we were relatively wait stable in the seventies, right makes sense kind of does that really make sense? Let's? Do the metabolic math let's dig a level deeper five hundred seventy calories per person per day more let's assume that we didn't just jump right up to five hundred seventy right let's assume that like since nineteen seventy to twenty thirteen there were some sort of ah gradual increase right? So whatever let's say that the average of that was three hundred more calories per person per day over this time period I'm going to do the exact math for you. You do it on your phone three hundred more calories per person per day for forty years if you actually do that math three hundred excess calories should make us all way over a thousand pounds, right, like we have gained weight. The average american has gained twenty pounds in this time period way should have gained over a thousand pounds. What happened to the ninety eight percent of wait? We should have gained well. Maurin equaled mohr out just not completely like once you understand how devastating ah lot of what we're being told to do is for your body. The question isn't like how did seventy percent of us get overweight it's? Why aren't one hundred percent of us overweight metabolism math doesn't work, it doesn't even make sense and in fact this research report just came out in september of twenty thirteen by a company named credit suisse. There are financial institution based in switzerland to capture the global economic burden of obesity and such look at this like so this study says, and this is a brilliant research report it's free online I would recommend downloading it it's brilliant that according to the uk and us national health surveys, they estimate that the average person should consume between two thousand five hundred and twenty, seven hundred calories per day, okay they also then show that actual consumption is now significantly ahead of this in virtually every market per peeking at thirty seven hundred calories per person per day in the yusa so the us authorities recommend twenty seven hundred the actual intake is thirty seven hundred more metabolic math so the experts are telling us that the average person in america is consuming a thousand extra calories per day thirty five hundred calories in a pound of fat remember okay seven days in a week times a thousand extra calories per day equal seven thousand extra calories per week divided by thirty five hundred equals two pounds of fat gained per week equals one hundred and four pounds of fat gained per year why aren't we getting hundred four pounds per year why this is either wrong or the model we've been given to understand our biology as wrong this isn't wrong the model we've been given to understand our biology is right so blindly cutting calories in and increasing calories out does not make you burn fat what it actually makes your body do is slow down and burn a bunch of muscle tissue and that's really really important because those two things actually increase your likelihood of being obese and diabetic long term researchers tell us that metabolism has sharply reduced when an organism falls into negative energy balance gonna fly through this next slide here because it's it's so common but it's just so wrong they don't spend too much time on it. So if you talk with someone who is like a calorie fan and they just haven't heard the science yet, they're going to tell you the law of thermodynamics proves that if you eat less and exercise more, you have to burn body fat like physics, like I hear this every single day. Okay, there's four laws of thermodynamics, not one law of thermodynamic. Two of them have nothing to do with that loss. They have to do with things like defining absolute zero. There are two that apply to fat loss, and they tell us that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only change forms that is interesting. It tells us that if we are able to create a negative energy balance in our body, which we'll get into science showing that that's not as easy as just eating less, if we are able to create a negative energy balance in our body, they say that that proves that we have to burn fat. What the actual applicable laws of thermodynamics prove is that if you create a negative energy balance, your body has to do something that's what thermodynamic law proves you have now have to leave physics and go into the realm of biology to say how does the body respond to an energy deficit? Saying it just burns fat is an assumption that has been disproven for forty years. What your body actually does is it slows down and it slows down a lot. You want to see this for yourself, eat less what's. The first thing that happens, you get tired and cold and you feel terrible because your body has just downshifted into second gear. Your body doesn't have enough energy. Why would it burn fat designed to protect you from starving when it could just slow down it's? Much simpler. If your body still is in a state of negative energy balance after slowing down, it will burn tissue, but it wants to burn the most calorically hungry tissue, right there's. A shortage of calories wants to conserve calories. What burns a lot of calories. Your brain can turn that off. Your liver can turn that off your muscle tissue, huh? I can burn off muscle tissue and we do burn off muscle tissue when we drop our food intake so we slower metabolism down dramatically. We burn off our muscle tissue then, and only then, if we still are in a state of negative energy balance, will we burn fat, but who cares like if you wanted to doom someone to a lifetime of metabolic struggle? You would do two things to that person slow down their metabolism and burn off their muscle tissue and that's exactly what happens if you do what we've all been taught to do to cure this problem right? What we've been told to do to cure this problem actually causes this problem, which is just shocking and just a few examples so you know it will make you lose weight right? You burn off muscle tissue, you lose weight, you burn off some fat tissue, lose weight but imagine you had a fever you have a fever if you put yourself in an ice bath your fever will go down but like if you stay in the ice bath for too long, you get pneumonia and if you don't treat the actual cause of that fever like it could kill you so yes, eating less and exercising more we'll make your way less and pouring gasoline on your garden will kill the weeds but it will kill everything else too. Don't slowly kill yourself off, empower yourself, eat mohr and exercise less and do it smarter for an example of how individuals who struggle with obesity have a unique metabolic challenge when it comes to actually getting to their fat tissue and burning it unless they fix the system first this is a wonderful study that was done at st joseph's metal medical hospital where researchers took burn victims that were not able to eat food and they fed them this zero calorie solution with essential vitamins and minerals so these people were on zero calorie diets zero calorie diet and there was obese patients and naturally thin patients when faced with no calories none zero this is how those people's bodies fuel themselves the thin people the people that did not have a lot of fat on their body made up for that energy deficit by burning sixty one percent or getting sixty one percent of their energy from their own body fat which they had very little of the heavy people on ly burned only got thirty nine percent of their energy from their store fat thes people who were drowning in an abundance of fat burned less fat than people that had not enough fat on their body. Why these individuals were clogged they did not have the ability to burn body fat even in the face of a caloric deficit because the system is broken we did fix the system, so I dr friedman over rockefeller university tells us there's something metabolically different that results in obesity independent ofthe caloric intake that's why calories are so so misleading we've already kind of covered this but again, if this seems too good to be true talking about there's a system that tries to balance you out and tries to take care of you automatically think about other bodily systems your respiratory system like do you you have to think about breathing well, of course not but does your body even sit back and passively accept if you try to manipulate your breathing rate it's very easy tried hold your breath doesn't work and if you try to hold your breath when you finish your body will hyperventilate it will try to balance you out automatically. You can try, for example, to change your heartbeat you can raise your heartbeat temporarily but your body will normalize it over time you can try to eat all the nature a and vitamin c you want to not get a cold but our immune system is in control. There are these automatic systems in our body that we need to understand appreciate, facilitate and hell if we ever want the long term outcomes were after so our respiratory and circulatory immune systems have ultimate control over what we're doing and we can temporarily change them right that's the key you can you absolutely can temporarily lose weight by eating less and exercising more right and the fact I can tell you the secret here's a secret for you listeners at home too you can lose fifteen to fifty pounds right now by going to your local hardware store buying a hacksaw and sawing off your leg instant weight loss instance but obviously not desirable right? So our metabolic system controls are set point and if you really want to geek out don't search for set point that's kind of a mainstream term for it. Search for, for example, homie, a static regulation of weight or look up researchers like dr g n a and michael shorts right over here at the university of washington that has one of the most prestigious obesity and metabolic dysfunction research institutes in the world. Dr friedman over at rockefeller university again tells us that we actually eat about a million calories per year and that if you actually look at the data, our bodies regulate us with a precision of over ninety nine point five percent and the little anecdote we gave earlier right where we should all have gained two thousand pounds. In fact, we've gained twenty has it right in that ballpark, the ninety eight to ninety nine percent accuracy level. Our metabolic system is like any other bodily system. It automatically regulates us. It regulates us around our set point. Wait, which is just the way I think about it. Like you know you have a set point body temperature ninety eight point six degrees you have ah set point level off blood sugar or blood pressure. Like there are these normal ranges that biological organisms try to maintain balance within only a stasis, right, same thing applies to body weight as to every other component of your body so body fat masses tightly regulated around a set point weight from our friend dr whitehead over at st george's university in london back to the university of california body weight is tightly regulated over long periods of time back to the university of washington dr wiegel obesity is not a disorder of body weight regulation most obese patients regulate their weight appropriately about an elevated set point these people it's body was doing everything it could to weigh two hundred seventy pounds let's say despite eating twelve hundred calories well my body did everything it could to continued away one hundred fifty pounds while leading six thousand calories everything it could in its power. So the set point area body rate regulation is based on a large body of empirical evidence only a small portion of which can be presented here I couldn't have said it any better myself and that, of course right are these nutrient nutrient food quality and okra hormonal neuronal new neural brain signals are what actually control are set point wait the ultimate set point study is done on twins. This is super super cool because this allows us to eliminate as many variables as possible and answer the question like given excess calories what do so let's say we have the smith twins actually think I have visuals? Okay, yeah, these are the smith twins let's say so the smith twins and the thomas twins let's say they're all we feed that we know how many calories they need, and we feed them in over abundance of calories. So of course, like if you feed someone an over abundance of calories, they are going to gain some weight they won't long term, but for the purposes of the study, feed an abundance of calories, they're going to gain some weight if calorie quantity was all that mattered, everybody in these studies would gain the exact same amount of weight, right, like the thomas twins would each gained four pounds and the smith twins would also gained four pounds despite the fact these two people have the same genetics, these two people have the same genetic, so they're set points without intervention are the same. So when twin studies you hold genetics or set point constant and you very calorie quantity and you look to see what matters more calorie quantity in the determinant of weight gain across all participants or the set point or their genetics, would the weight gain be the same if everyone gained the same amount of weight, then it's pretty clear that calories or just the be all end all and if you eat x number of calories more everyone's going to get the same ona wait, what would be really interesting is what these studies consistently actually show and it's not that what the studies show is that fed the same quantity of excess calories people who share the same set point a k a the same genetics, a twins did gain the same amount of weight, like precisely the same amount of weight, but that amount of weight was up to three hundred percent different than people with other set points fed the exact same number of calories. So the set point or your genetics determine how you respond to whatever quantity of calories you eat, and we need what we can't change our genetic. We can change a bunch of other factors in our body that influence our genetics, such as our hormones so holding calories, constant people, the same genetics and set point gain the same amount of weight rest. People with different genetics, different set point gain, a different amount of weight and the set point would reign supreme. Dr friedman leaves us on a high note telling us that we've been led to believe that weight can be controlled by deciding to eat less and exercise more. The simplistic notion is at odds with substantial scientific evidence illuminating it precise and powerful biological system that maintains body weight with a relatively narrow range. You could see my body trying to regulate my breathing and take c, so I took a deep breath. After exhaling a lot party does the same thing automatically it's brilliant our bodies aren't broken as long as we fiddle with the quantity of calories were fighting again against our set point. What we need to do is change our set point wait the only way to practically and permanently burn a body fat let's go back to the freedom unquote d a precise and powerful biologic system that maintains body weight within a relatively narrow range we're going to change that system we're going to fix that system and we're going to lower that range to unclog and to lower set point and this is just a fun little anecdote to end on a somewhat of ah snarky note so the american heart association which continues to tell us what's eating exercise tells us and this is like this is true and this is coming from the american heart association few reliable data are available on the relative contributions to this obesity epidemic by energy and taken energy expenditure meaning they do not have data supporting that eating too much and exercising too little is the cause of obesity but then the american heart association also tells us how can we manage our weight in a helpful way? The answer was simple balance the calories you take it with the calories you burn well if you reliable data are available to support this, why are they making this record emanation. And even if we can't beat our bodies like, we're not going to beat our bodies into submission. But that's. Okay, we don't want to beat our bodies into submission. We wantto work with our bodies and think about how cool it would be if we could make our bodies work. Mohr like naturally thin, people's bodies like everything that makes it hard to lose weight. Now, that system that's, making it a struggle, can make it easy. You can get it to work for you, not against you.