Fat Trap


I picked up on an article from someone on Twitter last night and it got me thinking…..

The article is about how Joseph Proietto has been helping people in his clinic in Australia for over 15 years to shed the excess pounds.  Without regurgitating the whole article (here, you can read it for yourself http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/magazine/tara-parker-pope-fat-trap.html ) it basically reports how almost without exception, his clients all put on the weight again and sometimes even more. 

So, as with any enquiring mind, he needed to know more, so he devised a study of 50 obese (I hate that word) men and women to see what was happening biologically.  He put them on his usual extreme low-calorie diet, which consisted of special shakes called Optifast and two cups of low-starch vegetables, totaling just 500 to 550 calories a day for eight weeks. Ten weeks in, the dieters lost an average of 30 pounds.   In the follow-up a year later, it transpired that all the participants in the study had gained an average of 11 pounds and were now even more preoccupied with food and hungrier than they were before.

The article doesn’t go into how this data was obtained.  However, the findings were that these people were ‘ in a biologically altered state’.  A gastric hormone, ghrelin aka ” a hunger hormone” was around 20% higher, peptide YY and Leptin were also significantly lower than at the beginning of the study, these hormones are associated with hunger suppression and Leptin is also responsible for increasing metabolism.  There were many other hormones responsible for hunger and metabolism which were also significantly altered at the end of the study. 

The conclusion of this article is intriguing to me, they are basically saying that once fat, you are destined to always be fat. 

Hmmmmnnn, not sure about that… if you look at the diet that the participants were on and the speed with which they lost the weight – is that not the reason for the altered state of the participants biology?  I will harken back to a previous blog ‘Martin MacDonald’s 10 Rules …..’ and in particular Rules 3a – Don’t do a diet that you can’t live with….. and Rule 4 – Do not lose weight too quickly. (here’s a link to the original blog http://fromgastricbandtofitness.com/2011/12/26/martin-macdonalds-10-rues-to-weight-loss-and-weight-maintenance/ )

Seems that this study is flawed or maybe Mr Proietto and colleagues need to attend one of Martin’s lectures or conferences! 

This study has been published in the in The New England Journal of Medicine.

All coments welcome

About Lian Munday

My journey from having a gastric band to actually losing weight in a healthy controlled way with the help and support of Martin MacDonald, Mac-Nutrition, my Nutritionist and Andy Angell, my Personal Trainer. Please join us on our journey.
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2 Responses to Fat Trap

  1. Glad to read this blog! Keep it going!

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