The big news in the fat-related world this week is Brendan Fraser's hideously fatphobic new movie called The Whale. Since there's been so much commentary, rather than including it in The Conversation section, I've given it its own list down in the Quick Resources.
Now, on to this week's letter:
When I say that we know scientifically that diets don't work, I don't mean in the short term.
Most of us can work real hard and starve ourselves and do whatever it takes to lose a little -- or a lot -- for a few months. And even for a few years.
But when you look at the slightly larger picture -- say, five years out -- the weight is back, and more.
That's because human bodies don't work that way.
Every individual body has a natural setpoint that it gravitates toward, and that setpoint is determined largely by genetics.
This leads to what is called "weight cycling," where people lose weight on a diet, gain it back, and lose it again when they start a different diet.
It's a crushing, depressing cycle that's really hard on your body and mind.
Yes, of course there are exceptions! Somewhere between two and five percent of dieters do manage to lose weight and keep that weight off for the long term.
We don't know exactly why those outliers are different. So sure, you can diet and hope to be a unicorn.
Me, I'll be over here actually living my life.
Any diet or "lifestyle change" that tells you you can keep more than 10-20 pounds off in the long term is lying to you.
Ask them for proof. Ask them for the peer-reviewed, statistically significant study that shows their method works for more than five years.
It won't happen, because it doesn't exist.