Traci Mann, a psychologist, recently published “Secrets from the Eating Lab: The Science of Weight Loss, the Myth of Willpower, and Why You Should Never Diet Again.” I have not read the book. I did read an excerpt which spells out all the reasons why people fail at dieting. Short version: your body won’t let you lose weight, so don’t bother trying.
I agree with Dr. Mann. Dieting doesn’t work. Changing your lifestyle and eating habits does. Changing your body composition does. Dr. Mann fails to take the metabolic effect into consideration in her criticism of diets. She assumes metabolism will slow as you lose weight. Yes, it should, all things being equal. But as many of my patients have seen, eating a lower carb diet and adding lean muscle while losing fat boosts metabolism. A few of my patients have seen their metabolism either INCREASE or stay roughly the same while losing 15% of their weight.
Dr. Mann is right. Your leptin levels will fall as you lose fat, making it harder to feel full. But eating healthy fatty foods will make you feel fuller faster and keep your body burning fat. Dr. Mann is right. Your brain will want the foods it wants and convince you you should eat them. But you can plan your menu and have snacks like almonds or cocommune bars handy so you don’t make bad choices.
Diets don’t work. What I have seen in the past year is that simple changes do. But YOU have to make the changes. If you have only dabbled in these changes I invite you to go all-in.