Daily Archives: January 24, 2012

Obese: A Year to Save My Life

Did you see the show “Obese: a year to save my life”?  It aired last night on Sky 1 at 9 pm and we watched Claire – here is her story.

Claire is 32 but feels twenty years older.  She is constantly juggling a busy and stressful job with the needs of her energetic four-year-old son. And when the stress spiralled out of control, Claire took comfort in food.

Claire-obese

Name: Claire

Weight before show: 26st 7lbs

Metabolic age: 47

Actual age: 32

Since adolescence Claire would go from yo-yo dieting to extreme binges, and on a bad binge day she could pack away more than 8000 calories.  She turned to food to heal past emotional problems and even though she’s undergone therapy, she’s never been able to take control of her eating disorder. She was also at the point where she worried that she couldn’t keep up with her son.

Claire longed to break this vicious cycle and desperately wanted to get her life and her weight under control, so she could play a more active role in her young son’s life.

It’s a familiar story?  And handsome weight loss coach, Jesse Pavelka flew in from America and told Claire to eat less and exercise more.  That’s it in a nutshell really.

Claire-obese-afterAnd Claire did lose weight.  A staggering amount of weight……BUT…

What happens when the cameras leave and the attention fades?  Can you fill in the gaps?  What’s your experience of conventional dietary wisdom?  And why don’t these shows ever record a follow up 6 months, one year, two years down the line?  Because you’ve probably guessed it, Claire will have put the weight back on.  In the interim, the staggering transformation makes for perfect “fairy tale” television.

Sadly,  anyone watching this type of show with excess fat to lose can’t help but take on board the fact that to get from morbidly obese to “normal” involves getting up at 6 o’clock in the morning; putting in 2 to 4 hours of training per day and eating less that 1500 calories for each meal.  At least that’s what conventional dietary wisdom tells us.

And watching Claire’s secret diaries recording her binge eating during her diet when the stress of it all got too much for her (6 large bars of caramel chocolate in 4 hours on one occasion) suggests that things are not under “control” and that the long cycle of yo-yo dieting may well return.

jesse-pavelkaOh and did you catch Jesse Pavelka’s response when Claire fell so spectacularly off his wagon?  He blamed her and her “issues”.  This is horribly common amongst health professionals who will always blame the slimmer’s lack of will power and tend to believe that slimmers delude themselves about their eating and exercise habits and don’t stick to the rules.

At Paleo Works, we say that it’s not because people don’t work hard enough at “eating less and exercising more.” People don’t succeed because the strategy itself is based on flawed science and simply doesn’t work!  We say so called ‘healthy eating’ causes more problems than it solves and even leads to weight gain and ill health. We say “Eat More and Exercise Less!” This may go against the grain of what we’re told to believe but it’s absolutely true. If you just want to lose weight then it is entirely possible with diet alone, remember exercise is a fitness tool, diet is the weight loss tool.

Take a look at the Minnesota Starvation experiment.  Read the conclusions (and this was on a diet of 1560 calories per day)

 “Among the conclusions from the study was the confirmation that prolonged semi-starvation produces significant increases in depression, hysteria and hypochondriasis as measured using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. Indeed, most of the subjects experienced periods of severe emotional distress and depression. There were extreme reactions to the psychological effects during the experiment including self-mutilation (one subject amputated three fingers of his hand with an axe, though the subject was unsure if he had done so intentionally or accidentally). Participants exhibited a preoccupation with food, both during the starvation period and the rehabilitation phase. Sexual interest was drastically reduced, and the volunteers showed signs of social withdrawal and isolation. The participants reported a decline in concentration, comprehension and judgment capabilities, although the standardized tests administered showed no actual signs of diminished capacity. There were marked declines in physiological processes indicative of decreases in each subject’s basal metabolic rate (the energy required by the body in a state of rest), reflected in reduced body temperature, respiration and heart rate. Some of the subjects exhibited edema (swelling) in their extremities, presumably due to the massive quantities of water the participants consumed attempting to fill their stomachs during the starvation period.” – Source Wikipedia

Claire needs to lose the physical addiction to sugar (and grains) and to build her diet up around good fats and protein with carbohydrates taking a back seat.  In this way, Claire will create balance and space for other good things to come into her life.  Once this process is up and running, Claire’s body will become a fat burning machine taking energy from fat stores and using the surplus fat in her body to fuel her life.

This is the basis of our diet.  A return to ancestral health.  Learning from our ancestors what drove them forward for in excess of 2.5 million years.  It’s only in the last 100 years we have turned to processed “high sugar” food.  It’s only in the last 30 years we have been told to eat less fat.  Its only in the last 20 years we have begun to develop such an intense problem with obesity….

How many more have to end up like Claire, or worse end up dying as a result of excess fat?  Well given current practices and standard dietary advice the answer perhaps is many more. However there is an alternative, a solution. So if you’ re overweight and believe you too only have a year to save your life, or simply want to improve your lifestyle and well being, take a look at what Paleo Works has to offer,  let us empower you to change your life forever.

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