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It's Not About The Diet

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A specialist in both anaesthesia and intensive care, Dr Luc Evenepoel also has an interest in weight-loss woes. He reveals his no-nonsense approach.

Description: The Japanese Diet

The Japanese Diet

1.    There is no magic cure

Countless scientists are searching for the magical cure for obesity. The foolproof weight-loss pill is just 10 years away. And always will be… Apologies for shattering your hopes. There never will be a single pill or treatment for being overweight. Ads for fads make you believe otherwise. Don’t fall for them. You’ll lose money, not weight.

 “All natural” reads one advert. Tobacco leaves are also natural. “These pills prevent fat absorption in your gut!” studies have shown these pills only remove about 41 kJ per day. So the ad didn’t lie, you’ll lose weight. About one and a half gram per day.

2.    Can you mange a whole roast chicken in one meal?

You’d struggle with that. But you may have no problem drinking four glasses of wine, which is in total the same amount of kJ. As a rule of thump, one serving of a kJ-containing drink (juice, beer, wine, spirits, etc.) has as many kJ a two slices of bread.

Description: Can you mange a whole roast chicken in one meal?

Can you mange a whole roast chicken in one meal?

If you exchange two serving per day for two glasses of water, there’ll be five or 10 kilos less of you after a year. What about fruit juices that say “no sugar added”? this doesn’t mean they don’t contain sugar – they have the same amount as sodas. Rather have the fruit, not the juice.

3.    Don’t diet, don’t!

On average, 80 percent of people who go on diet regain all the weight (or more) within two years, and 95 percent regain it (or more) after your years. Diets would work to keep your weight down if you could continues with them for the rest of your life.

Description: Don’t diet, don’t!

Don’t diet, don’t!

But the vast majority, if not all of them, are unsustainable. After a hundred days on a no-chocolate diet, what are you going to do on day101? Right, celebrate. And with what? I guess not with broccoli.

Eating is not about restraint. It’s about “relaxed restraint”. Allow yourself a treat now and again, and you’ll be more successful in controlling your weight.

4.    12.5 + 12.5 = 25

Going on a low-kJ diet, let’s say 25 percent below your usual intake, is going to fail in the long term. Your body will decrease its metabolism so that it needs less energy, and going so low on kJ is unsustainable. The solution is to go easy. Take in 12.5 percent fewer kJ – that’s the equivalent of two sodas, a kJ-dense snack or a bit less on your plate.

Description: that’s the equivalent of two sodas, a kJ-dense snack or a bit less on your plate.

That’s the equivalent of two sodas, a kJ-dense snack or a bit less on your plate.

Expend 12.5 percent mire kJ by being active whenever you can. To do this, incorporate exercise into daily activities.

5.    In the morning, eat like a king

People who skip breakfast are 4.5 times more likely to become overweight. Eating three meals per day, at a regular time, maybe with two small snacks in between (like a piece of fruit, not chips or chocolate), decrease your risk of gaining weight by 35 percent.

Description: In the morning, eat like a king

In the morning, eat like a king

Your body needs certain nutrients to burn your fat – these can only be found in unprocessed or unrefined food. Stay as close to nature as you can: there are apple trees, but there are no jelly-baby trees. Fruit and veg are like motor oil for your car. Go without them, and you’ll stall.

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