It’s January. High feeding season, and if you reach for the new weight loss system, you are not alone. But how do you know if this choice is another crank diet?

So what exactly is a crank diet? Here’s what I think: The special combination of foods prescribed is a way to eat less than the scientific explanation for why it works metabolic magic. If the diet says “eliminate high-carb foods and you’ll eat less,” that book won’t sell many copies. There must be. One reasonAnd then the lips start to move.

Let’s be clear: you absolutely, positively can lose weight on a crank diet. If you’ve lost weight on a diet that eliminates fat, or carbs, or gluten, or plants, or meat, or sugar, you’re not alone. But the dirty little secret is that if you lose weight, you’ve found a way to eat fewer calories than you burn. Avoiding food categories is one way. A good way, for most people, at least for a while.

We should eat more plants. Here are which ones are best for the planet.

Okay, now you’re probably thinking, if those diets work, why write a whole column about their crunchiness?

Truth, justice and the American way, of course. But it can also be an incentive. Because people need to know when selling a bill of goods.

Let’s look at some interesting examples of diets that fit the crank model.

  • A grain-free diet“Wheat Belly” Digestion of wheat yields polypeptides that bind to opioid receptors in the brain, making wheat an appetite stimulant.
  • Carnivorous diet He said it reduces hormonal changes because it creates insulin spikes associated with carbohydrates.Risks of other imbalancesHormones associated with hunger and fat storage.
  • Temporary fasting He realizes that restricting your intake for long periods of time gives your body no choice but to tap into fat stores.
  • Blood type diet He says your blood type tells you your race, and we thrive on the food our ancestors ate. And there are many other ancestral diets that double down on this idea.
  • And of course low-carb/ketoThe catch is, because insulin is key to fat storage, if you don’t eat carbs, you don’t release insulin and store less fat.

To be honest, there are a couple of diets that will tell you how to eat less. The main reason for a low-fat diet is that 1 gram of fat has 9 calories and 1 gram of carbohydrate or protein has 4, so if you indulge in a low-calorie macronutrient, you’ll consume fewer calories overall. And the Volumetrics diet shows that if you eat a low-calorie diet, you’ll end up eating fewer calories.

Some diet logic is pretty silly, but not all of it is false. For example, insulin facilitates fat storage. But there’s one nutrition fact that trumps all others, and the only thing you need to know about food and health: What we know is undermined by what we don’t know.

A simple dietary change that can help you lose weight and reduce health risks

Remember the example The blind man and the elephant? Six blind men “see” an elephant with partial hearing and each come away with different ideas about what an elephant is. He thought that the person holding the tooth was like a spear; He thought the man with the trunk was a snake. You get the idea. Because they couldn’t feel everything, they came up with inaccurate ideas.

That’s what’s in the diet. No one can see the whole elephant. Science has not nailed it (yet). So every nutritionist latches onto a certain human metabolism and decides it’s the key to health and weight loss – but it’s really just a toenail. Certainly, wheat digestion produces polypeptides! But there’s so much going on in the human body that it’s hard to know how that works.

Of course, there is one way to find out: actual experiments. And – surprise, surprise – what we have (and we have a lot) show that, for a long time, no diet works for weight loss. The direction – subjects lose weight for a period of time, even up to two years, and then regain it – is the same for everyone.

But back to the part where people actually lose weight with the foods they eat. for what Because, after peeling back the science stuff, there are usually some pretty cool strategies for doing that thing that’s central to weight loss – eating less.

So here’s how: Ignore the science and cut right down to the methods. Of course, intermittent fasting is no better than other diets, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea to close the kitchen after dinner. It’s actually a good idea.

Then look at low-carb. No, insulin isn’t neatly linked to diet and weight gain, but that doesn’t mean cutting out sugar and refined grains is a bad idea. It’s actually a good idea.

You don’t have to understand the nitty-gritty of human metabolism to lose weight; Diet is not a to know The problem is that you just need to know strategies that can work to eat less; Nutrition a to do Problem So think of the crank diet attack as strategies and pick and choose the ones that fit your lifestyle.

I used to be overweight, but I’m not now, and I’ve used ideas from different diets to keep it that way. I rarely fast, but after dinner I close the kitchen and skip breakfast until I’m very hungry. I don’t follow a low-fat diet, but I do limit the added fats in the foods I make. I’m not low-carb, but I don’t eat a lot of refined grains. I add foods with vegetables (volumetrics). I don’t eat super processed foods (every diet known to man). I don’t keep easy-to-eat foods that call me home (common sense) and when we have to buy girl scout cookies for a neighborhood convention, I make my husband put them somewhere (okay, no one recommends it. But it works for me because Thin Mints are calling my name.).

What I hate most about crash diets is that they often prey on people who are desperate to make a change. Metabolic logic provides a lifeline – that’s all I have to do! – And then he feels the final fall. yours Failure. But anyone who has tried it knows that losing weight is hard. There is nothing. And only you Know where yours Diet goes off the rails, which foods yours Reversal, how changes fit or not fit yours Life.

My hats off to people who are comfortable at any weight and focus on other aspects of their health. Unfortunately, I am not one of them; Being fat didn’t make me happy. That’s why the false hope that squeezes traffic leads me to failure. But I think losing weight is not only possible, it’s completely straightforward – at least in principle.

It’s not a problem to know, so forget about polypeptides. It’s a work in progress, and only you know what to do.

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