Posted by: Chris Maloney | March 8, 2012

Mayo Clinic Still Isn’t Treating Weight Loss Correctly.

Setbacks along your weight loss journey are no...

Setbacks along your weight loss journey are not stop signs (Photo credit: MotiveWeight)

If you look at weight loss online using google, which most of us do, on the first page is the Mayo clinic.  I like the Mayo Clinic.  They do good complicated lab work, and they do it from a “satellite” Mayo clinic down in Massachusetts.  Generally medically they are considered some of the best and the brightest.

So when they address weight loss with the following, I get a little depressed.  “Weight loss comes down to burning more calories that you take in. You can do that by reducing extra calories from food and beverages and increasing calories burned through physical activity.  Once you understand that equation, you’re ready to set your weight-loss goals and make a plan for reaching them.”

Ok, hands up.  How many of you have NOT heard the calories in, calories out equation?  Anyone, anyone?  Bueller, Bueller?  (80’s joke).

Right.  There is no news here.  But here’s the rub.  The entire Mayo Clinic staff evidently hasn’t been looking at weight loss over the last twenty years.  The U.S. population as a whole has been getting fatter while eating about the same (way too much yes, but about the same) and exercising slightly more.  Look at the trends.   We should be getting slightly thinner, not spiking into the double-digits on obesity.

How does this match up with the calories in vs. calories out equation?  It isn’t hard to find a major flaw in this equation, this theory of weight loss.  A theory is something that has been proven over and over again.  When there is an experiment that counters the theory, the theory needs to be questioned.  So here’s an experiment to test the calories in/calories out theory from 1988.  That’s right.  It’s been in the literature forever.

Twelve overweight women were put on seven hundred calories a day.  That’s two hundred calories less than true starvation.  These ladies were serious about losing weight.  Six of them got to sit around and starve, and six of them were put on a treadmill.  The treadmill ladies got a month of double pain, over which they put in twenty seven hours of endurance exercise.  According to the theory, the ladies who exercised should have lost more weight.  Results?  “Weight loss over 4 weeks in the two groups did not differ”  (Complete abstract at my weight loss and thyroid function page)  So, there is a problem with the theory.

I would challenge any doctor who proclaims the theory to undergo experimental study on his or herself.  I have already done so.  The results I obtained after starving myself for a month (800 calories) was a one pound weight gain.  I have listed the various experiments I have undergone myself (you all describe this as trying diets).   I’ve even posted a year of my weight fluctuation online, to make it clear that I expect the same from all the diet gurus out there. The end result is that I now understand that weight loss is a very complicated matter IF the goal is lifelong weight loss maintenance.

So, before your doctor convinces you to feel horrible about your inability to simply starve yourself into supermodel status, have them do what they are asking you to.  Lose weight.  I also recommend making them a gift of a five pound bag of white sugar.  IF calories are all equal (every experiment I have seen indicates otherwise) then your doctor should be able to obtain all of his or her calories from a mere four cups of white sugar a day.  Think of the time savings!  Do this especially if your doctor talks to you the whole time with one hand on the door.

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Responses

  1. Great article blasting the antiquated and inaccurate “eat less, move more” theory of weight loss. I have found the best trick for success is your attitude. Yes, it is as simple as that. 🙂

  2. Yes, but maintaining that attitude? If I could but give attitude pills, much of what I treat would resolve itself.


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