A weight loss surgeon has claimed that the reason diets often don’t work is because we don’t consider our body’s individual ‘weight anchor’, which is different for each person and is the weight our body ‘naturally reverts to’.
Appearing on This Morning, Dr Andrew Jenkinson, a bariatric surgeon at University College London, revealed how people can lose weight and keep it off by being aware of their body’s ideal weight.
He also stated that if people want to lose weight, they don’t need to count the calories.
According to his theory, to lose weight you should decrease your insulin levels by decreasing sugar and refined carbohydrates, and eating healthy meals two or three times a day – without snacking or ‘dieting’.
Dr Andrew revealed how he made the discovery after talking to patients who had put weight back on despite going on a diet.
He told Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes: ‘There is emerging evidence that everyone has their own individual weight setting, so this is your own natural weight and it acts like a weight anchor so you can drift up and down a little bit.
‘You tend to be anchored to that weight, which is okay if it’s in the normal weight range, but if you’re in the overweight range, it can be a problem. The further you try to diet yourself away from that weight anchor, the more difficult it gets.’
He continued: ‘It’s a little bit like if you could imagine being tied by an elasticated rope to a weight anchor – the further you get away, the stronger the pull back and our metabolism and the way our body works pulls us back to this particular weight’.
The surgeon went on to explain how his findings are more of a lifestyle change over another diet.
Insisting that it’s not another quick fix to drop the pounds, Dr Andrew commented: ‘So your weight setting is determined by your genetics which you can’t change but it’s also determined by your internal hormones – insulin and cortisol and various other things.
‘These are triggered by the sort of foods we eat. It has the same effect as a drug so if I treated you both with insulin or steroids, your weight setting would go even higher,’ he told Ruth and Eamonn.
‘If I took those steroids away, the weight setting would go down. The environment has the same effect. It almost acts like a proxy drug causing increase in insulin.’
Responding to Ruth’s question about whether people should just stop dieting altogether, Dr Andrew replied: ‘Some of those diets might work slightly if they’re long term lifestyle changes but if they’rw short calorie counting mechanisms to try and lose weight then you’re going to rebound back up.
‘Recurrent low calorie counting is counterproductive.
‘It’s like you’re giving a programme to your brain that there’s a famine so when your weight comes back to normal, it wants a little bit of extra energy and extra insurance to stop you losing weight during the next famine.’
Instead, Dr Andrew suggested eating a mix of healthy foods and cutting out foods that are infused with artificial vegetable oils.
‘It’s not about calories. it’s about the type of food and the stress environment.
‘In the long term, your body is in control. Your body’s metabolism – the energy it burns – it preserves a lot of energy to get you back up to your weight setting and that weight anchor.
‘So in order to change your weight anchor, as far as the food you eat, decrease your insulin level by decreasing sugar and refined carbohydrates, eating really good food, two or three meals a day and not snacking.
‘There’s no evidence that fat makes you fat. Vegetable oils tend to have a bad metabolic effect on you.
‘Fast food, processed food is infused with this artificial vegetable oils which increases your weight anchor.
‘Throw away the vegetable oil and cook with butter or olive oil.’