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I finally got around to reading Jon Gabriel’s The Gabriel Method earlier this month.  Although it might lean a little too heavily towards the meditation/positive thinking/woo-woo side of things for most, and Gabriel is more excited about flax and fish oil than Barry Sears himself, I will go out on a limb and call it one of the best weight loss books in print.
It is more in alignment with 180DegreeHealth on the topic of weight loss than practically anything out there.  It’s about eating well.  Eating MORE real food.  Eating to appetite.  Being in general harmony with your body.  Not eating an overly restricted diet.
Gabriel also feels strongly that restricted dieting is a prime contributor to long-term weight gain – and is NOT the solution in any shape, form, or fashion.  According to Gabriel, to lose weight and keep it off without willpower we have to convince our bodies not to want to be fat anymore.  How do you do that?  By de-activating what he calls the FAT programs.  Those programs are the hormonal repurcussions of leptin resistance more or less.  And to turn off the FAT programs the focus should be lowering inflammation, stress, and other factors that raise cortisol and SOCS-3 – discussed in one of last week’s videos:

Anyway, my attempts to help out the lovable and likeable Jimmy Moore by merely highlighting a stern warning given out by Moore’s hero – Dr. Atkins himself, needless to say, was not taken kindly by the “tater haters” as Nathan so eloquently labeled them.  Well, I apologize if I sounded condescending or like I was “gloating” over Jimmy’s weight troubles.  That was absolutely not the intent in any way. I’m still a bit perplexed as to how people could have taken it that way. Rather, it was a heartfelt message that came from a feeling that Diana Schwarzbein once expressed:

“It’s very hard for me to see people doing something that I know is going to harm them.”  

But hey, I was never a 400-pound dude.  I don’t know what it’s like to lose all that weight.  To try to keep it off.  Everything I’ve studied suggests that it’s so difficult as to almost be impossible for most (certainly by conventional methods as Rudy Leibel and other top obesity researchers have discovered).  But Jon Gabriel was a 400-pound dude, and now he’s not anymore.  And, let’s be honest.  Excluding a couple of word choices and at most a sentence or two, this could’ve easily been written by me, and would certainly be my advice to Jimmy and virtually all people struggling with a weight problem.  In fact, Gabriel’s advice is so spot on that I used this very passage to conclude the chapter in my 180 Degree Metabolism revision called “Duck Fiets.”

?Dieting ? actively depriving yourself of certain foods ? activates the FAT Programs. The stress of forcing yourself to eat less and of denying yourself the foods you’re craving, day in and day out, causes hormonal and chemical changes in your body. These changes act as a signal to your brain that it’s time to go into fat conservation mode.

Dieting sends only one message to your brain: ?There’s not enough food. We?d better put every spare calorie we can into fat because we don’t know where our next meal is coming from. In essence, dieting sends a famine message to your body that triggers the FAT Programs, and that’s why diets don’t work.

It’s unlikely that anyone has ever told a person struggling with excess weight to EAT MORE, but if you’re starving yourself to try to lose weight, THAT?S EXACTLY WHAT I’m RECOMMENDING YOU DO.

Diets all follow a similar pattern. By eliminating or severely restricting items from your diet, your body will, for a time, lose weight. You may lose weight quickly at first, but then the rate at which you lose weight will start to slow. Eventually, you stop losing weight altogether. You find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to restrict yourself, count calories, or follow unnatural eating schedules, not to lose weight, but to simply maintain your current level of body fat. You feel like you’re running on a treadmill that just keeps going faster. The longer you go, the harder it gets.

From your body’s perspective, you’re now stuck in starvation mode; your appetite increases and it takes a lot more food before you feel full. Your taste buds become desensitized, and you start craving sweet and fatty foods. Your brain also sends a message to your thyroid to slow down your metabolism. This causes you to stop losing weight even though you are now eating less. Also, your body goes into perpetual fat storage mode: you become very efficient at storing fat and you lose the ability to burn it.

As a result, when dieting, you’re hungry all the time and constantly fighting cravings. Then when you finally give in to your cravings, you gain the weight back very quickly because all those excess calories turn into fat. If you now go back to eating the way you used to, you’ll get fatter on even fewer calories than before.

Many experts now concur that dieting can actually MAKE YOU FAT. Studies have shown that teenagers who diet are statistically three times more likely to be fat in five years time?

If dieting doesn’t work, what’s the answer? Simple: eat more real foods!

-Jon Gabriel