An obesity researcher and clinic worker shares background science and strategies to sustain weight loss in this debut consumer health guide.
Why do some folks stay thin while others remain obese, given that everyone in modern society faces too many fattening food choices and less need, thanks to cars, technology, etc., to burn calories with physical exertion? Proietto, an Australia-based Ph.D. who has published on the topic of corpulence and has also worked in obesity clinics, breaks down the scientific reasons that cause a segment of the population to overeat. They include low levels of the hunger-inhibiting leptin protein in children’s systems as well as “epigenetic change”: there may be “common obesity-predisposing genes whose expression (not sequence) can be permanently altered by environmental factors such as high-calorie-dense diets.” After discussing various research findings, including that mice (and people) tend to return to a body-weight set point, Proietto outlines his plan for obese individuals to defy this tendency. His two-part strategy involves consuming extremely low-calorie diet products (such as Optifast) for two meals and then eating one substantial, no-carb meal a day (a protein, three non-starchy vegetables, and a salad with a dash of fatty oil) in a prescribed cycle until one’s target weight is reached. This regimen gets pounds off fast, the author asserts, because it induces the state of ketosis, suppressing an uptick of hunger-producing hormones. Proietto also recommends ramping up physical activity post-weight loss to further trick the body into maintaining its new slimmer state. Sample recipes as well as helpful lists of foods to favor or avoid are included. The author speaks with passion and authority about his subject, and wisely cautions readers to consult their physicians before embarking on his program. While his scientific discussion becomes rather dizzying, with not particularly illuminating illustrations of DNA structure included in this text, those heartbroken over being heavy will be relieved to learn the genetic underpinnings to their struggles to lose weight. While some diet suggestions remain questionable, including that fruits should be avoided in the dieting phase and appetite-suppressant drugs have a place in weight maintenance, the book still offers plenty of useful food for thought.
Intriguing insights for those prone to overeating.