Why is it so difficult to lose weight, get fit, stay slim and healthy?

Because you've been fighting against nature, not working with it!

Doctors, governments, diet and fitness gurus keep telling us we should lose weight and get fit. They keep providing us with diet and exercise plans? But as a society, we get fatter, less fit, and more and more of us get diseases like diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, cancer and dementia.

The ridiculous truth is that scientists have known since 1946 that diets make you fat, and since around 2020, that while exercise is excellent medicine, it won't help you lose weight!

But there is a solution!

The Stakes – The brutal truth about being overweight and inactive

The truth is it affects every aspect of your life - Now, In the future and at the end of life. The stakes are huge.

Being overweight and inactive affects every aspect of your life. In the short term, it affects how you work and play, it affects your mood, emotions and happiness. It damages your social life, other people’s perceptions of you, your opportunities for promotion. It even harms your libido and relations with your partner, and not just in the bedroom

As you grow older it makes you more vulnerable to a whole host of conditions from cancer to dementia, from diabetes to stroke, from heart disease to arthritis.

Maintaining a healthy weight and keeping active can easily add 20 years to your lifespan. Even better it can increase your “healthspan” by even more.

Very few governments around the world are taking the problem seriously - but the Canadian government is; they produced the video below!

On this page

Click on a link to scroll to the section

  • How long will you live?
  • Diets make you fat
  • Exercise - great medicine but...
  • How to fix the problem
  • Think yourself thin
  • Putting it into practice

How long will you live?

This calculator, produced by Northwestern Mutual gives an excellent estimate but it will also help you see what changes you can make to your lifestyle to add years to your life expectancy.

Begin by answering the questions honestly. Then start over and put in your ideal weight and answer the questions about the lifestyle you would adopt if it was easy. Then see the difference the changes might make.

Find out now

the button blue Yes Please

Why diets make you fat and exercise won’t help you to lose weight

Diets make you fatYou have very smart systems to manage your weight. If they are allowed to operate as intended, they will keep our weight within tight limits based on what is called our weight set-point. Unfortunately, modern lifestyles frequently interfere with the systems and we overeat. 

Equally unfortunately, the system didn’t just stop working; it adjusted to your current weight - over time - and came to regard that as your weight set-point. We continually adjust the set point throughout our lives to ensure we always have sufficient fuel reserves. It will even change in anticipation of future events or in response to particular stresses.

One such stress is famine. When we experience a famine, we will raise the set-point to ensure we build up additional reserves whenever the body has the opportunity.

Dieting is, of course, interpreted by the body as a famine. So if it wasn’t bad enough having to fight the body’s systems during your diet, it is now telling you that you should weigh even more than before you started to diet.

So, of course, the weight quietly creeps back-on and then gradually rises to the new set point designed to cope with famine.

So what about exercise

ExerciseThe government recommendation for exercise is 30 mins of moderate exercise 5 times a week or 30 minutes of vigorous exercise 3 times a week.

We know that a typical man will burn around 130 calories if he walks 1.5 miles in half an hour. Do the government-recommended amount – 5 times a week – and you’ll burn 800 calories or about a quarter of a pound of fat.

Run at 7.5 mph (vigorous) for 30 minutes and he’ll burn around 440 calories – 1320 calories per week which is almost 0.4 pounds.

Not a lot but surely it makes some contribution. Unfortunately not! Two things happen. Most people are inclined to eat a little more following exercise. If you are aware that this is happening you can resist it.

But even if you resist the temptation, something else happens. We know from studies started in the 1980s that as we increase the amount of voluntary activity, we become more efficient at “resting”. When you’re watching television in the evening, or having a glass of wine or a cup of coffee with friends, you’ll burn less energy than before. The result is that you compensate for the energy expended during your exercise.

The further complication is that the exercise will also improve your sleep quality and quantity. While this has huge health benefits it will further reduce the number of calories you burn on a daily basis

But don’t forget – exercise will make you happier, more alert and energetic as well as reducing the risk of a host of conditions – diabetes, heart attack, dementia, cancer……

  • How long will you live?
  • Diets make you fat
  • Exercise - great medicine but...
  • Think yourself thin
  • How to fix the problem

The three things to fix your weight and fitness problem - for good

Given all the effort you've put into diet and exercise over the years, this must be pretty disappointing!

But the good news is that the solution is a good deal less painful than dieting – actually you should find it fun – but you will need a little perseverance.

There are three things we must do if we are to get fit and lose weight for good:

  1. Eat Well - Reset your body’s weight set point
  2. Build pleasurable activity into your daily routine
  3. Think your self healthy

1. Eat Well - Reset your Weight SetPoint

Weight SetpointEat lots of good nutritious food that you really enjoy. By doing this your body will naturally control your appetite without you having to pay attention to eating. You will have to lose weight for the body to adopt a new set point which means that you will have to eat fewer calories than you burn.

This probably sounds like a diet but you’ll do it very gradually and you will not feel hungry. You will also be eating more and enjoying your meals. 

Sleep more

You will also need to get more and better sleep. Sleep is essential for a host of the body’s “housekeeping” activities. During sleep, you produce most of your Human Growth Hormone (HGH). This hormone is essential for the repair of our body and the development of new muscle.

Lack of sleep also affects the production of a host of other hormones responsible for regulating things like appetite, sugar processing as well as the sex hormones, in particular testosterone which is important for women as well as men and is involved in the development of muscles.

Reduce stress

Stress results in an increase in the hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is an essential hormone but in excess, it has a wide range of unfortunate effects. It down-regulates the immune system, suppresses HGH and predisposes you to store more fat.

2. Build pleasurable activity into your daily routine

Pleasurable ActivityBeing inactive is the single biggest threat to a healthy, long and pleasurable life.

The key is to start with small things and gradually build. You don’t even have to start with what most people think of as “exercise”.

Ultimately, you will want to build some muscle and get heart and lungs working harder and better. But depending on your current level of fitness the first steps might be as small as ensuring you sit for no more than 30 minutes at a time.

Too often we are led to believe that fitness is about strength and “cardio”. The adverts promote the idea and even you doctor tends to think in those terms – he might even “prescribe” the gym on the NHS but he won't prescribe Salsa, Jive or Ballroom!

But fitness is much more than this. It includes flexibility, balance, coordination, reaction time. You are looking for “functional” fitness; ensuring the body can fulfil the functions demanded of it in the most effective way.

There are many ways to do this but if you don’t enjoy them you won’t keep doing them. The essential principle behind developing fitness is progressive overload. You push your body a little beyond its comfort zone and it will adapt. Keep doing this and it will keep getting fitter.

So we will start to get you fit gently and then help you find ways to do this that bring you satisfaction and pleasure. And don’t leave you feeling totally knackered!

3. Think Yourself Healthy 

brain 544403 1280 TransI guess this sounds a little “new age”. I would certainly have thought so myself before I started to study the real scientific literature.

However, I invite you to suspend judgement for a little while at least. Many, if not most of our bodily functions are controlled by hormones and peptides. These are chains of amino acids that lock into receptors on the individual cells. They have an impact on what our organs and muscles do and also on our brains, affecting the way we think, feel and behave.

Hormone levels rise and fall depending on what is happening in the world around us and within our own bodies. They control such things as appetite, heart rate, breathing, sleep, conversion of blood sugar to fat to name but a few. They do this by locking onto specific receptors on the relevant cells but it was not fully appreciated until the 1980s that many of them had receptors on brain cells thereby influencing emotions and feelings.

It was also not understood that the brain could stimulate the production of many hormones purely by thinking. If you start thinking happy thoughts your body will release the hormone dopamine in measurable quantities resulting in you feeling happier. And you can magnify this effect by smiling. You don't even need to think happy thoughts - just smile and the brain will release dopamine and you will start to feel happier.

The Placebo Effect is not all in the mind

You will be familiar with the placebo effect. When testing new drugs some people will be given the real drug while others are given an inactive, "sugar" pill - a placebo. When this is done neither patient nor doctor knows which is being given. This is because we know that the simple act of being given something that you are told will make you better does, actually, make you feel better.

So if you want to know whether a new drug is any good you must compare the results of the drug with those of the placebo. But most people - including the medical profession - are not aware that the placebo doesn't just change the way people feel; many cases it really does make them better!

Placebo antidepressants change brain chemistry, even placebo antibiotics will produce an immune response that kills bacteria. 

And it goes further than this. In 1939 a Dr Fieschi introduced a procedure to improve blood flow to the heart. In involved cutting off the flow of blood through some arteries supplying the heart to stimulate the growth of other new "clean" blood vessels. Sound logic and very effective it was too!

Two decades later one of the surgeons using it began to wonder why it worked. So he started carrying out sham operations, cut the patient open and then sew them up. They too were very effective, even more effective than the real surgery!

Since then it has been shown that simply visualising doing exercises could produce real muscle development. To do so the brain must stimulate the production of Human Growth Hormone amongst others.

Even standing up straight and smiling will make you feel happier while lowering your blood pressure at the same time!

It’s a two-way street! And we should use it!

Break the never-ending cycle - 

EinsteinSYou may have realised from what we have discussed, that losing weight and getting fit is not as simple as doctors, governments, 

Lose Weight, Get Fit
and 
Live Well