I’m quite pleased that my friend DaNelle Wolford, my guest on the most recent episode of the 180DegreeHealth podcast, is on the cover of this month’s issue of Woman’s World, one of the most prominently-displayed magazines in the entire country. On the cover it says “Cheat your way slim and fit into a size 6! DaNelle lost 35 lbs eating fat-melting cake, brownies, potatoes, mac ‘n cheese and lasagna.” Inside is a featured article on how she was able to lose weight without dieting and some recipes from her book, Have Your Cake and Lose Weight Too!
I am quoted in the book itself, so I guess I’m pretty awesome.
The book is a testimony to the power of eating what you want, when you want, and as much as it takes to satisfy your appetite. That’s exactly what DaNelle did, and sure enough, it resulted in spontaneous, effortless weight loss. How is this possible?
In the weight loss and fitness industry, combining fat and carbohydrates, particularly in a hyperpalatable package such as cake or mac n’ cheese, is considered to be the most fattening of all combinations. I can see why they believe this to be true. If you are used to restricting your food intake, intentionally reducing calorie consumption, and depending upon low-grade energy shortage in order to lose or even maintain your body weight–switching to eating calorie-dense, tasty foods can be quite fattening.
For a while.
Put more simply, going from restricted to unrestricted results in temporary fat gain pretty consistently.
But a funny thing happens when you don’t restrict your diet for an extended period of time. Most people will experience their food cravings disappear and their metabolic rate rise. Before too long, body weight reaches the point of equilibrium.
The prevailing mainstream belief is that weight is a simple matter of how many calories you consume and how many calories you burn. While this may be true to some extent, it often ignores the power of the body’s natural energy regulating systems. The fitness industry also seems okay with its recommendations being “hard.” No pain no gain right? Being hungry is acceptable, exercising when you don’t feel like it remedied by “motivation,” and fighting cravings with “willpower” par for the course. However, the powerful physiological processes behind hunger, cravings, and fatigue are shown repeatedly to make dieting an ineffective long-term strategy. We can suffer for a while, but eventually we obey the body’s signals. Those with remarkable willpower and discipline often don’t fare much better, regaining weight that was forced off even while continuing to eat and do “the right thing.”
If forced weight loss via restriction were effective, it would be one thing. Sure, it works for many when you are actively suppressing those hunger pangs and cravings, but eventually most will falter. If most falter, then it’s not a particularly good strategy for losing weight and keeping it off. For most it’s just unnecessary physical and mental turmoil that gets them nowhere–and in many cases does serious physical and psychological damage.
Before we discuss DaNelle’s route to losing weight effortlessly and keeping it off, it’s probably safe to say that most people won’t lose weight and keep it off trying to follow her path religiously either. The difference is that it’s easy to do, much more sustainable, much healthier on a multitude of levels, and it might still result in substantial weight loss. At the very least, it’s almost guaranteed to result in achieving weight stability without gaining or losing weight, for the vast majority of people. Being able to do that without ever being hungry or performing unwanted exercise is pretty cool. More people should know about it. That’s why I keep on keepin’ on, and why I am feverishly celebrating DaNelle’s feature article and cover appearance.
So how did DaNelle lose the weight, and what other types of weight loss strategies can she compare this one to? She tried low-carb, low-fat, a 30 day juice fast, and raw veganism. She fared very poorly on all of those, not just in terms of losing weight, but she felt terrible. Her metabolic rate was low enough to feel freezing cold all the time in Arizona. Not exactly Siberia, but it felt like it to her. And she lost the weight by making “real food” versions of all her favorite foods, eating a nutritious, mixed diet to her heart’s content–almost exactly what was advocated in the original version of my book Diet Recovery.
That’s it. Sorry, no bells and whistles there. It may sound too good to be true, but this happens all the time–especially for those who are willing to follow through and eat to appetite, focus on other basics of self care like sleep and stress reduction, and do so consistently over the long-term. I get reports from individuals of it taking one, two, and even three years before weight starts coming off spontaneously, but it can and does happen quite frequently.
Better yet, listen to DaNelle and I discuss this and more in the latest episode of the 180DegreeHealth podcast HERE.
About the Author
Matt Stone is an independent health researcher, author of more than 15 books, and founder of 180DegreeHealth. He is best known for his research on metabolic rate and its central role in many health conditions as well as his criticisms of extreme dieting. Learn more by signing up for his free Raising Metabolism eCourse HERE, which also includes THIS FREE BOOK, and subscribing to the 180DegreeHealth podcast HERE.