Friday, 22 August 2014

Weighing in this week

Weigh in this morning on the flat line, and a kilo down in the last week.

A fair bit of hard training, 2 hour sessions three days in a row. I don't know if that has a large effect on rate of weight loss, but it would be interesting to find out. I was expecting two things with this diet and training regime, firstly slow steady loss over.time and secondly a peak rate of weight loss at some time into it. Finally i hope for long term appetite effect and self discipline after I move on.

Like the recent 5:2 starvation diet, my regime is based on scientific facts from other sources and is a common sense and logical approach to losing weight for those who are prepared to extend their training sessions to well over an hour three times a week.

Also I feel a very much reduced appetite and much better control of snacking. Some of which is allowed on the diet to keep you from complete boredom.

However as in the 5:2 and many other diets, in particular the calorie starvation type, is that they have not been proven conclusively - statistically that is to day. In diets you cannot compare to placebo in most regimes and so you lose quite a few of the neutralising effects of a double blind trial, where neither researcher nor patient know which group they are in until their alocation of medicine is decoded.  Also there is more variance in how people comply: so if you compared one diet, say taking a chrome salt tablet, to the 5:2 then there would be a lot of people following the simple take a pill a day ,while a significant number of 2 day starvers would be eating anyway. Worse for my regime which combines a strict 5 hour at over 110 bpm heart rate per week minimum plus a restriction in treats then it gets worse.

So there is an issue with finding out which diets are best for the public. You can of course take people into a hospital or the like and control their every bite and step, but then the diet is just as much about the artificial discipline as much as the content of the diet regime. Diets have to work in everyday life to be relevant to the western human condition.

What you need to smooth out the variances is firstly to just report those who dont comply as failures, and secondly to have a large enough group to make a meaningful average.  That means two things: we see a standard distribution in weight loss for the group, secondly when we compare to another group then we know that these two averages are comparable and the difference between them is large enough to have occured by effect of the different regimes, and not random chance. Look up clinical trials if you dont know about them, and a two tailed t-test for statistical significance.

That is why infact dieting is not like treating many of the diseases obesity and high calorie intake leads to. We can treat or as consultants like to say "manage heart disease" because you eventually die from it. They use pills, they use surgical procedures they even use clinically controlled exercise regimes. All are proven to work because they have to be by law. That is to say all those mentioned above have been subject to infact numerous clinical trials. We "cure" heart disease.

Propriety, branded diets by in large have not gone through the type of clinical trial that shows on average that they are effective enough to bother with. Most are based on controll of calorific intake which is scientifically proven to reduce fatness, in the short term at least. However the variations of people's long term response to the diet and actually the measure of how easy they are to comply to, are  usually not proven in a comparative way to other non branded diets.

There is as yet no magic pill for dieting which is both effective and first and foremost, safe to take.   Stomach stapling surgery of course is proven to be effective. But that is only afforded in morbidly obese people.  This is one reason why a new diet appears every couple of years as the next magic thing, because there are always people who have failed on other diets.

Atkins was a welcome departure because it was genuinely unique and novel, while being based on scientific observation.

Really though what all the low carb and calorie controlled diets should make we in the west aware of is that we take far too many additional sugar based calories which are surplus to our daily requirements, and are sometimes eaten and drunk in a short time span leading to fat deposition due to blood sugar overload.

On the calorie controlled diets i hear people speak and write of the hell week or fortnight. This is within a month of starting the diet usually and it is when you hit a wall of feeling low on energy while thus craving treats and gratification. For me when i last lot more than a stone on exercising and dieting a bit more drastically, hell week was every week. I was depressed by the diet.

This time I did find a bit of a hill to climb. Luckily or not as it prove to be, i had started my longer duration training in january before deciding to cut out beer and extras in june. So i was through the barrier to getting out three or four times a week was broken. The hell was mild when i came to stamp on extras.

There we have the grounds for at least five longtidunal and comparative studies, with varying control groups which could be conducted with some degree of statistical significance if the regime is actually effective for larger groups of sporty fatties.

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