Eating Less Doesn’t Cause Long-Term Fat Loss (Side Effects of Starvation)

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Jonathan: Welcome to Living the Smarter Science of Slim, where we provide a scientifically proven lifestyle for long-term health and fast lost by eating more and exercising less, but smarter.

Carrie: Eat smarter, exercise smarter, live better – I am so ready for that. Hey folks, we’re here talking about the Smarter Science of Slim. I’m Carrie Brown and I have Jonathan Bailor with me.

Jonathan: Special guest today.

Carrie: Special guest and modern day Adonis over here in the corner.

Jonathan: You are too kind. Moving right along, let’s talk about where we left off last week. Last week we talked about – last couple weeks – not about calories in, calories out. Our body automatically regulates, as long as it’s not broken down, it regulates at a higher point so it fights to keep us heavy. We call that an elevated set point. That’s due to a hormonal clog. The way we unclog that is by increasing the quality of our eating and the quality of our exercise – drops that and unclogs us and our body automatically regulates us around a slimmer set point much like naturally thin people.

Carrie: Well last time, what I remember is that you told me after we finished, that I didn’t talk much so I’m going to be interrupting you all episode long today.

Jonathan: Yes we should put a poll up. It will be “how do you feel about the Jonathan versus Carrie talking?” You can rate more Jonathan talking, less Jonathan talking or more Carrie talking. We may or not do that but where going to get comments at this point no matter what do at this point. So the number one question we get asked about the set point – If the set point is true, how can it be true? Because eating less causes weight loss and exercising causes weight loss. And doesn’t exercising less cause fat gain, and eating more cause fat gain? Carrie?

Carrie: I know the answer.

Jonathan: What is the answer?

Carrie: Well I know the answer to some of it. Because eating less does not equal to fat loss and nor does exercising more. I know that because I did it really, really, really hard for long enough to know that it doesn’t work.

Jonathan: It doesn’t work long term. And that’s the key. It may be a semantic issue. But yes – eating less and exercising more causes weight loss, temporarily. Just like pouring gasoline over your garden will kill the weeds but it will destroy everything else. It’s not a good long term strategy and we’re after long term health and fitness. So the question is: does eating less and exercising more help you achieve long term wellness? And does eating more and exercising less compromise your ability to achieve long term wellness? We’re going to see some pretty surprising science about each of those statements.

Carrie: I’m excited to hear that.

Jonathan: So I like to actually call them the four fallacies. And again, those fallacies are proven to be fallacies. We’ll step through the first one today. The first fallacy is eating less causes fat loss. The second is exercising more causes fat loss. The third is exercising less cause fat gain. And the fourth is eating more causes fat gain. So let’s talk about the first one today. We’ll talk about one each podcast or so for the next few podcasts. So eating less causes fat loss. False.

Carrie: Ding-Ding-Ding. You are correct.

Jonathan: What it actually causes – it causes us to slow down. It causes us to burn down muscle. It causes us to worsen the hormonal clog causing the problem in the first place. And it may burn some fat, but only after it’s done all that other stuff.

Carrie: So maybe that’s why my arms are weak as wet spaghetti. I spent too long doing it that way and lost muscle and not fat.

Jonathan: Carrie, unfortunately, the studies are unequivocal here and that’s when we just eat less. Again, when I think about this, we’re starving ourselves. Up to 70% of the non-water weight we lose is coming from muscle and not fat.

Carrie: Wow.

Jonathan: So that full 70% – if you lose 10 pounds –let’s say you lose 10 pounds of water weight, research has shown that up to 7 of those pounds are coming from muscle, not from fat. Now if you gain those 10 pounds back, that’s all coming back in the form of fat. So you actually have 7 more pounds of fat on your body than you had before when you weighed less.

Carrie: That is scary.

Jonathan: Yes it is very scary. It makes intuitive sense. If our body is starving – which is what it is – if we eat less, our body is starving. What does our body want to burn? Right? It wants to burn the tissue that is burning a bunch of calories. It’s a state of caloric storage. What does it want to do? Preserve calories. What burns a lot of calories? Muscle. So that’s what it’s going to burn off.

Carrie: Got it. That makes sense now that you’ve put it that way.

Jonathan: We really don’t want to burn off muscle. None of us are like, “You know what? I want to burn off my muscle.” We want to be slimmer. We want to be healthier. Muscle takes up way less space than fat. It keeps us healthy. It burns calories it. It helps our hormonal balance. We want to keep and potentially develop some compact muscle while we burn fat. Starving your body burns everything and it burns predominately muscle for a lot of us. So it’s not good from that perspective.

Carrie: That makes me just want to head out of the studio and go eat something.

Jonathan: Yep, well true. It depends on what you’re eating, but yes, absolutely. The other thing to keep in mind is when we eat less, our body just slows down. It doesn’t necessarily have to burn fat at all. If it doesn’t have enough calories, it just runs slower and we’ve all experienced this. Forget about going on a diet. We just don’t eat for 6 or 8 hours. We’re tired and we’ve got a headache and our mind is foggy. That’s because our body and our mind just slow down to make up for the calories we’re not consuming.

Carrie: I’ve experienced that way too often. I’m actually not – I always have said that my hunger and my buttons were broken because I have the ability. That sounds like something I’m proud of. I’m not. But I can actually go for 3 days and not drink anything and not be thirsty. But I think that’s just something with me. Either I’ve trained my body to not pay any attention to hunger or thirst signals or I don’t know what it is. But it’s good to know that that has such a detrimental effect on you, whether you do it deliberately or not. It’s not good.

Jonathan: It’s absolutely not good. Taking a step back, I do think it’s a bit funny/ unfortunate we have to explicitly make the point that starvation is not unhealthy. Because really, that’s what we’re talking about. Starvation is not healthy. In fact, leading up to about 50 or 100 years ago, every single aspect of our biology was designed to avoid starving. It was feast or famine. Oh, we don’t have any crops this year. What’s our body going to do? I mean, starving, not having enough food, is unhealthy. Our body does not like being in that state. It’s a stress.

Carrie: I know emotionally, mine doesn’t.

Jonathan: Mine doesn’t either. So actually, Dr. Thor, in the Journal of American Medical Association, reminds us that: “Eating less doesn’t making us lose weight by selective reduction of body fat, but by wasting of all body tissues. The reason this why matters so much,” Dr. Thor continues, “any success obtained must be maintained by chronic undernourishment.” Now let’s break this down, Carrie, because this goes back to the last podcast to where if we are going to do anything, we need to be able to keep it up forever. We don’t just want to do anything. Please don’t eat less and exercise more, unless you planning it on keeping it up for the rest of your life. Because if you start and if you ever stop, you won’t just go back to where you started, you are biologically guaranteed to be worse off than if you did nothing.

We already kind of touched on why. You’re going to burn a bunch of muscle and slow down your metabolism. So if you go back to eating what you use to be eating, you’re will gain all of the seven year or so percent of – the weight you lost will come back as fat and your metabolism is slowed down. So now it’s going to take you even fewer calories than it took before for you to gain that weight back. So you eat less. Your body detects starvation. You slow down and your burn muscle. You achieve temporary weight loss.

Carrie: Is that like that “how to lose 10 pounds in 48 hours” kind of deal?

Jonathan: Exactly, exactly. But hunger will win. Hunger will win. Then you’re going to gain all the weight back as fat and we’ve all experienced this. It’s called yo-yo dieting. Dr. Gardener from Michigan State University tells us through his research that it’s only the rate of weight regain, not the fact of weight regain that appears to be open to debate. He basically just says it’s going to happen. Weight will come back. It’s just how fast it’s going to come back.

Carrie: And to be clear, this isn’t the world according to Jonathan Bailor. This is biological proven fact.

Jonathan: Absolutely. Well let’s dig in to some of those facts. Let’s talk about some study. Think about this – I like to think about this as side effects. So eating less and exercising more has side effects. One of the side effects are you burn muscle. Another one of the side effects are your metabolism slows down. Let’s talk about that. A Study performed at on the University of Geneva – we a group of normal rats – actually, Carrie, I have to disclaim this study because this really is one of my favorite studies. It had to do with rats but we can also talk about it – what it would have been like if we did it on humans.

So picture this as a normal 40 year old woman – so normal 40 year old woman and normal rats in the study. Then we had rats who are eating less. These are rats that are forced to consume less calories. Think about this – a 40 year old woman who is on a diet, cutting calories – 1200 calories a day. Then we had, in the study, young, naturally skinnier rats. So these would be college-age women who naturally fit into size 4, that a 40 year old woman eating 700 calories a day is attempting to fit into.

So these 3 groups of rats – and what happens over the first 10 days of the study, we have normal rats eating normally and the “eat less” group or the “dieting” rats eating less. So that was days 1 – 10. On day 10, the researchers began to monitor the skinny – or these college-age girls – but the skinny rats. And they, again, just let the skinny rats eat normally and they let the normal rats eat normally. The only change they made is they took the rats who had dieted and just let them eat normally. So the question, Carrie, that I have for you – 3 groups of rats, one is eating normally for 35 days; another is dieting for the first 10 and then eating normally for 25; and the third group, that came into the mix on day 10, was naturally thin and ate normally. Which group, at the end of the study, was the heaviest?

Carrie: Well from what we’ve been told for the last 40 years, I would have to say the heavy ones would be the ones that just ate normally.

Jonathan: Yeah, according to everything we’ve been told, it seems nonsensical to think anything else. That skinny group is naturally skinny, so they’re going to be skinny. And the dieting rats, they dieted, so they must weigh less, right?

Carrie: Because over the 35 days, they consumed less calories, so they must have ended up skinnier.

Jonathan: Well here’s what the study actually showed. The rats who dieted weighed dramatically more by the end of the study. And the reason for that is –

Carrie: Wow, I’m looking at that chart. That is dramatic.

Jonathan: The way the researchers put it is that – and again, this took place in the University of Colorado – “When we eat less, metabolic adjustments occur, which contribute to a large potential energy imbalance, that when force able control of energy intake is relieved, that results in exceptionally high rates of weight regain.” I will post this chart as well, up on the show notes. But the jist is that the rats who ate less, ended up weighing the most because of the metabolic damage that caused to their body.

Carrie: That makes me want to go out and eat something too.

Jonathan: But again, think about this here, Carrie. It makes sense. After our metabolism is starved, its number 1 priority is restoring everything that it lost, which frankly, protects us from starvation in the future. Now it’s like, “Oh my God, I could starve at any point in time. I better store some extra fat incase that happens.” That is a proven phenomenon. It’s called fat super accumulation. Researcher Young, at the University of Texas, tells us, this study we’re talking about here and other studies, “strongly tells us fat super accumulation, after energy restriction, is a major factor contributing to relapsing obesity that is so often observed in humans.”

Carrie: Okay. So the risk of derailing things – and tell me to shut up if you don’t want to answer this now – but do you have a view on fasting? Because I know there’s some religions, but there’s also some lifestyles that encourage, say, 1 day a month, of fasting or 1 day a week. What do you think about fasting? Where’s that fit into all this?

Jonathan: I think if an individual is eating high quality food and doing – eating a lot of high quality food – and doing a little high quality exercise, things like occasional fasting, assuming that it’s intentional and for the right reasons, is not going to be a long term problem. Remember that our body is a resilient, wonderful, robust machine that can adapt to almost anything. So as long as we’re not chronically beating the heck out of it with the wrong quality of food and the wrong quality of exercise, it can rebound.

And actually, that’s an important point because in listening to this, people might be like, “Oh my God, I’ve been trying to eat less and exercise more my whole life. Have I just broken myself? Am I just – well, might as well give up because I’ve done so much damage.” The good news is, no. It might take a little bit longer for you to heal, just like having the same injury over and over again. It’s going to take longer for it to heal every single time. But, you’re not broken. The body can repair itself. We just need to give it the right quality of stuff to do that.

Carrie: So what you’re saying – what I’m hearing – is that there’s hope. It doesn’t matter, really, how far down the track you’ve gone. There’s a way that you can get me, for example, back to where I was when I was 25.

Jonathan: Yes. It may take a little bit longer than someone who is 27 and may have only been eating less and exercising more for 2 years. Because we’re talking about eating more high quality food and doing less, but high quality exercise. That’s really not that hard.

Carrie: Well, for me, as long as there’s hope, that’s more than I’ve had in 4 years. Because, you know, I got the point where there was no hope because nothing worked. If there’s hope, I’m in.

Jonathan: There is hope. I don’t want to make this sort of a sad podcast. But I really want everyone to walk away from this podcast, never again starving their self. Because it’s just not healthy. So actually, let’s go back to the study we just talked about. And Carrie, you made a point, which I really want to emphasize. This is shocking because the rats that were “dieting” – the rats weren’t actually dieting, ended up weighing the most, but the consumed the same amount of calories as the normal group.

And this is true. The thing in the study that surprises – you may be thinking to yourself that the rats who were starved just went crazy. When they stopped being starved, they overcompensated and ate a bunch of food. But here’s what’s so amazing: they didn’t. The rats who dieted, they were just eating a normal – the same amount as the normal group and the skinny group. They didn’t eat any more food. So we have 3 groups of rats, all consuming the same quantity of food. But one group puts on way more fat. So the same quantity and the same quality, Carrie.

So the question is – 3 groups – they’re all eating the same quantity and quality. How in the heck can we see different rates of fat gain? What could be different? What could be different is the metabolism itself. Take the metabolism, slow it down, clog it up, give it the same quantity and quality of calories, and it will store more fat.

Carrie: Because all of these process that are controlled by hormones – they’re not controlled by us.

Jonathan: Exactly. We can control the quality of our food and the quality of our exercise, and therefore indirectly control our hormones. And heck, some people do things with drugs and such that impact their hormones. But we’re not going to talk about that here today. The key thing, though, that even in this study – and Carrie, again, this is not about sadness. This is about educating ourselves so we don’t do anything in the future that harms our long term health and fitness.

Carrie, at the end of this study, the researchers found – and again, remember, there was only 10 days of dieting and eating less – that the metabolisms of the rats who dieted burnt fat less efficiently by over 500%. So they’re metabolisms we’re over 500% less efficient at burning fat and they’re metabolisms had then slowed down by 15%. The investigators and the researchers remarked, “These investigations provide direct evidence for the existence of a specific metabolic component that contributes to an elevated efficiency of energy utilization during re-feeding after low food consumption or after eating less stops.” We’ve been calling that specific metabolic component a clogged up and slowed down metabolism that just completely destroys our body’s ability to burn fat and clogs us up and causes us to restore more fat than we’d like.

Carrie: That sounds like madness. It’s fascinating to me how you could starve yourself for a short period of time, but the effects of that go on for a very long time afterwards.

Jonathan: They do unless we do something to intervene. That’s why –we’ll get into the solution later, folks. Again, it’s eating more high quality and exercising less but with high quality. Think of that quality. It’s like a medicine. It’s like – I forget who said it. I’m sure someone will comment in the show notes. “Let food be thy medicine.” I think it was some ancient Greek. I think it may have been Hypocrites or someone like that. “Let food be thy medicine.”

Folks, food is an incredibly powerful substance. We all know this. When we do exercise correctly, it can be incredibly powerful and incredibly therapeutic. We can use these tools to heal ourselves but we have to do something different. It’s not about doing more of the same. It’s not about walking on the treadmill for longer or going to another boot camp class or eating 100 calorie snack packs.

It’s about eating more nutrition and doing more resistance in a safe fashion when we exercise. Frankly, Dr. Weegle, at the University of Washington tells us, point blank, “A general public health recommendation for weight reduction through dieting cannot be supported strongly with existing data.” So – I want to do – we might go a little big long in this podcast because this is one of my favorite subjects.

I want to do two more studies and then I want to do a quick analogy. Let’s do the second study first. This is a human study. The reason I want to include it is because we haven’t talked about many human studies really illustrates the long term side effects. Because I’m not going to sit there and argue with anyone – of course it causes short term weight loss, yes. But the question is: what are the long term side effects?

So this is done at Rockefeller University. They had a group of people weighing an average of 335 pounds who starved themselves down to 220 pounds. Again, temporary weight loss – the absolutely did. People 335 pounds starved themselves and lose 115 pounds.

Carrie: Wow.

Jonathan: I mean – Oh my God, Carrie, I lost 115 pounds. Wahooo!

Carrie: What did you do?

Jonathan: I didn’t eat. I should start a televisions show about this. So but – the question now, after that starvation period was over, the researchers wanted to see what impact that had on the now 220 pound dieters ability to burn fat. This is really fascinating, Carrie. They brought in people that were the same age but were actually slim. So, they had really 3 groups of people to compare here. They had the metabolisms of the 335 pound people before they starved themselves. Then they had the metabolisms of the formerly 335 pound people who now weigh 220. And then they had people of the same age who only weighed 138 pounds.

Carrie: Okay, so that’s where their weight was.

Jonathan: So again, naturally at 138. So, we would imagine, much like a large SUV would require more gas than a smaller motorcycle, the non-starved 335 pound – so the individuals before they starvation-dieted should need more calories per day than the naturally 138 pound people, right?

Carrie: Right.

Jonathan: That just makes sense and it showed. Individuals – again the people who starved themselves down to 220, started at 335 – when they weighed 335, they needed 3,651 calories per day on average. So they’re not going to gain or lose weight – that’s how many calories they need. So the naturally 138 pound people needed 2, 280 calories per day. Makes sense, right? All things being equal, more body weight means more calories needed. We would now expect – okay, those 335 pound people lose 115 pounds – how many calories do they need now? The still weigh – I can do the math – they still weight more than the 138 pound people. But, Carrie, this is amazing. The 220 pound people, who starved themselves down to that weight, they required 2,171 calories per day. The 138 pound people required 2,280 calories per day. They naturally burnt more calories per day, despite weighing way less.

Carrie: Because they still weight half as much.

Jonathan: They still weighed – well not half as much – but 80 pounds less.

Carrie: Yeah.

Jonathan: 80 pounds less. Imagine what these 220 pound people now have to deal with. They basically have to eat less than someone –

Carrie: Just to stay where they are.

Jonathan: Just to stay there. Their metabolism – Dr. Keesey, over at the University of Wisconsin, tells us that, “Disproportionately, large declines in resting metabolism are seen in deprived people.” So again, what are the side effects? We’re going to another study. This study goes way back in time to around World War II. I love this study because this study reminds us, that again, starvation is not bad.

This study was conducted at the University of Minnesota, because remember, researchers wanted to see how to help people who were actually starving in Europe because they couldn’t eat because of World War II. So they recruited a group of conscientious objectors here in the states, who were not participating in World War II, and starved them. They could then heal those people. They put them on a 16,000 calorie diet and had them walk a few miles.

Carrie: Okay.

Jonathan: Now correct me if I’m wrong, but many, many, popular “eat less, exercise more” techniques today would think 1,600 calories a day and walk a few miles a day, that’s – what are you talking about? 1,200 calories pull day and give me 2 hours on the elliptical.

Carrie: Yeah, that’s hardly starvation.

Jonathan: What did these researchers observe? Well the metabolisms slowed down 40%. And this was just on 1,600 calories per day. In the meantime, their strength fell by 28%. Their endurance fell by 79%. And their rates of depression rose by 36%.

Carrie: Wow. That makes me want to go eat something.

Jonathan: And hopefully something for the right reasons. But let’s put that in perspective – just that 40% decline in metabolism. So let’s take you for example, Carrie. Is that okay? I’m going to use you as an example.

Carrie: Sure. I’ll be your guinea pig.

Jonathan: My guinea pig, or my rat.

Carrie: Your rat.

Jonathan: My rat.

Carrie: I think I’d rather be a guinea pig.

Jonathan: That’s fair. So, say that you need to eat 2,000 calories per day. This is before the Smarter Science of Slim. And you wanted to drop a few pounds before your vacation in two weeks. So you read a magazine that tells you to eat less and exercise more, basically starve yourself.

Carrie: Okay.

Jonathan: It’s a euphemism for starve yourself. So you cut back to 1,600 calories per day According to this study, your metabolism will now slow down by 40%. So that means you only need 1,200 calories a day.

Carrie: To keep me where I’m at.

Jonathan: To keep you where you’re at. So before you weighed less, you needed 2,000 calories per day. And let’s say you were eating 2,000 calories per day. So now you’re eating less. You only need 1,200 calories per day, but you’re eating 1,600 calories per day. And when you stop eating less, when you actually go on your vacation, you’ll eat 2,000 calories per day, but only need 1,200.

Carrie: That’s a problem.

Jonathan: That’s not helpful. You’re going through this pain and it’s not even helping. It’s actually hurting you. Please don’t do that. Because, going back to this World War II study, in addition to destroying their metabolisms and becoming depressed, as soon as these subjects stopped eating less, they ate an average of 5,000 calories per day until they gained all the weight back plus 5%. But here’s really the key. 5,000 calories per day – all the weight back, plus 5%. That’s nothing to laugh at. But that’s actually the good news.

The bad news is because of all that weight lost was mostly from muscle, when this was all said and done, Carrie, and they were back at their weight plus 5%, their body fat percentage was 52% than before they starved themselves. Because they burnt off all their muscle, gained back all that weight and then some.

Carrie: Wow.

Jonathan: Folks, I’m actually feeling really bad here.

Carrie: Are we nearly done here? I want to go eat.

Jonathan: No, no, hold on. Because – please don’t starve. Starvation is not healthy. The name of the whole show or this podcast is “Starvation is not healthy and Jonathan is on a soapbox.” That’s going to be the subtitle – “Jonathan on soapbox.”

Carrie: I want to eat!

Jonathan: So, hold on – another study. Yo-yo dieting. This is what we all see. “Oh my God, I gained back. I’m 52% fatter than I was before. I definitely have to go on a diet when I get back from my vacation.”

Carrie: Right.

Jonathan: So now I have to go on a diet. Carrie is going to go on a diet when she gets back from her vacation. So we yo-yo. Let’s talk about yo-yo dieting studies. Let’s just do one of that. University of Pennsylvania – back to the rats. What do the researchers do? They took the rats. They put them on a fattening diet. The rats gained weight. They then starved them so they lost weight. They then gained the weight back. Starved them again. Lost weight. Ate more. So they basically yo-yoed up, down, back up, back down, and back up. So – not uncommon for people. Now here’s what’s amazing, Carrie. The second time the rats tried to lose weight, they lost weight 100% and then regained the weight 300% faster than the first time they did it.

Carrie: This is like a recurring nightmare. It just gets worse and worse.

Jonathan: It’s like those smoking public service announcements. We’ve got to break this cycle. We’ve got to reprogram our minds. And the researchers tell us that after the rats stopped eating for the second time, they had a “four-fold increase in food efficiency compared to obese animals of the same weight who had not yo-yoed.” Translation: the rats who yo-yoed the second time stored food as body fat 400% more efficiently than rats who just did nothing.

Carrie: And that’s not an efficiency we want.

Jonathan: No, no. Literally, this University of Pennsylvania study shows us that doing nothing is 400% better than eating less.

Carrie: And you know, that’s what I did. I stopped cycling and I stopped dieting because it wasn’t doing anything. I didn’t know what to do but I just stopped. And guess what – nothing changed. I wasn’t getting smaller but I wasn’t getting bigger either.

Jonathan: And you were enjoying food. You had more time to do other things. Let’s do one analogy here and then one quick study to wrap up. Carrie, I like to think of – try to imagine you’re watching television and you see a commercial for a new medication. And that medication tells you it will slightly improve your vision as long as you keep yourself chronically sleep deprived.

Carrie: Okay.

Jonathan: So – no, Carrie, you can temporarily have better vision – like X-ray vision – if you keep yourself sleep deprived. But then – what happens as with most medication commercials, at the end, a quieter voice comes on and starts listing side effects. And one of the side effects that the voice tells you is your vision will become much worse if you go back to sleeping like you were. Would you ever use that medication?

Carrie: No.

Jonathan: Why?

Carrie: Because that would be stupid.

Jonathan: Dare I offer a more articulate –

Carrie: I think that was very articulate.

Jonathan: So let me give an alternate response. I would pause it that most of us believe that we know it’s not possible to go through our life tired so that a temporary benefit of increased vision is silly because I’m not going to go through the rest of my life tired just to improve my vision in the short term only to have my vision get much worse in the long term. Because clearly, I’m not going to keep myself tired for the rest of my life.

Carrie: Right. See, it’s stupid.

Jonathan: It is stupid. But Carrie, look at the actual commercials. People are like, “what the hell is this guy talking about?” But we see commercials like this, right? Watch TV this week. You will see a commercial for a meal program that says, “If you just stay hungry for the rest of your life, we promise that you will slightly reduce your weight.” However, if you ever stop being hungry, we just showed – you will gain more weight back than you ever have. Therefore, as Carrie would say, that’s stupid.

Carrie: But they kind of don’t market it like that – do they?

Jonathan: They don’t. Well they don’t tell you the side effects. Maybe the actual title of this podcast should be “The actual side effects of starvation.”

Carrie: Right.

Jonathan: Because we do not hear about the side effects. And we should. We absolutely should. We’ve heard “eat less, exercise more” and that doing that makes us weigh so much and that you might be laying in bed tonight and say to yourself, “Okay, that podcast was interesting. But I mean, come on. If I eat less –there’s got to be some truth that eating less means less body fat. Right? Come on.” Come on, Carrie. There’s got to be some truth.

Carrie: Temporarily.

Jonathan: Okay, but here’s some interesting data around that with the longitudinal look.

Carrie: That supposes that there’s no – nothing biological, nothing hormonal, nothing else going on. If you just eat less, you’re going to weigh less.

Jonathan: That’s an excellent point. Yes, it trivializes the amazing and beautiful complexity that is the human body into a math equation, which is obviously ridiculous.

Carrie: Well there’s a tiny, tiny bit of it. They’re just missing all the other bits.

Jonathan: All the other bits. Harvard pointed out those bits. They did a study where they took a massive sample of people, Carrie – 67,272 people – and divided them into 5 groups, according the amount of calories they ate. They wanted to see – you could imagine, people were like, “Why are you doing this study?” They wanted to see if the people who ate the most calories weighed the most and if the people ate the least weighed the least. Why would you do a study on this? Again, I’ll post this graph. Carrie, the study showed actually the inverse relationship. The people that ate the most calories had the lowest BMI and the people who ate the least calories had the highest BMI. That’s 70,000 people, basically showing 70,000 people that the more you eat, the less you weigh and the less you eat, the more you weigh.

We’ve reviewed these studies, Carrie, and let’s just wrap it up with Dr. Man here at the University of California, who concludes, “We’ve reviewed studies on the long term outcomes of calorie-restricting diets to assess whether dieting is an effective treatment for obesity. In some, there is little support for the notion that diets lead to lasting weight lost or health benefits.” And Carrie, yo-yo dieting has shown, time and time again, to increase our risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, immune system failure, eating disorders, impaired cognitive function, chronic fatigue, and depression. So to avoid that – Carrie, no, the good news is to avoid this –

Carrie: Eat!

Jonathan: Just eat food and enjoy it. Oh my God. That’s the happy ending. That’s all we have to do to avoid the end of the world – is eat and enjoy food. Yay!

Carrie: See you then. We’ve got to get us some grub.

Jonathan: Carrie Brown, Jonathan Bailor, Living the Smarter Science of Slim. Eat more, exercise less, but smarter. And as Carrie said, eat some food.

Carrie: Eat some food.

Jonathan: Eat some food but eat sanely and have a great week. See you next week.

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