“An Open Apology to All of My Weight Loss Clients,” sent my way by a friend, caught my attention. It was on the website of Iris Higgins, a “certified hypnotherapist, past life regression specialist, and women’s health coach.”
Ms. Higgins opens with, “I worked at a popular weight loss company for three years…” She then confesses, “I’m sorry that I put you on a 1,200 calorie diet and told you that was healthy.” Now she really had my attention. I currently eat a 1,200 calorie a day diet, and I weigh probably twice what she and most of her clients did, and I’m very healthy (besides being a Type 2 diabetic for 33 years). Is she going to tell her former clients that just eating 1,200 calories a day is unhealthy? Well, she does, but as my readers know, a calorie is not a calorie because…
All calories are not alike. The body metabolizes foods differently, according to their macronutrient composition. A carbohydrate calorie is not processed the same as a protein calorie or a fat calorie. On this, you must be clear.
Higgins’ confession, though, is sincere. And here is where she gets to her point: “that you’ve been played.” “And that’s why I’m sorry,” she says, “because I’ve been played for years…” “And it wasn’t just the company [her employer] feeding them [lies] to me. It was the doctors and registered dietitians on the medical advisory board. It was the media and magazines confirming what I was telling my clients.”
She sold her clients food that helped them “lose weight and then gain it back, so that you thought we were the solution and you were the failure,” she wrote. “You became a repeat client, and we kept you in the game.”
Ms. Higgins’ main thrust is that most of her clients were not really overweight. Recall what we learned in Retrospective 141: In 1997 the World Health Organization redefined obesity with the result that many of her clients obsessed over losing a few pounds to satisfy their mother or some other societal pressure to conform to an artificially created norm of what is considered a “healthy” weight. Amen to that! BMI be damned, I say.
My main disappointment with this confession, however, is that Ms. Higgins failed to understand the cause for the yo-yo weight swings of her clients. “When,” she asks, “did we become ‘professional dieters.’”? “I’m sorry because I get it now,” she says wrongly. “If you’re trying to starve your body because you’re eating fewer calories than it needs, of course it’s going to fight back.” Of course it will, but she fails to see why. Calories are not the problem.
The macronutrient composition of the diet is the problem. What your body does with the calories that you eat – burn them or store them – is the issue. The quality of the calories you eat is the issue. And the quantity of low-quality processed carbohydrate “foods” that we eat is the reason we gain weight. Avoiding these processed and manufactured “foods” is the solution.
At the end of her “confession,” Ms. Higgins does share some good advice. She concludes, “Just eat food. Eat real food, be active, and live your life. Forget all the diet and weight loss nonsense. It’s really just that. Nonsense.”
Of course, if you’re seriously overweight (obese or morbidly obese), and you have health issues (hypertension and/or ‘high cholesterol,’ you can lose weight naturally by following Ms. Higgins’ “real food” advice, tweaked only to eat many fewer carbohydrates, moderate protein and high fat, even just 1,200 calories a day.
By changing only the type of food you eat, you will lose weight without stress and without hunger. Real food, unprocessed and unmanufactured, is higher in bio-available nutrient value than the refined “foods” that dominate the boxes and bags on supermarket shelves. And they have no added sugars, and fewer “natural sugars” and carbs.
I make no brief for or against “hypnotherapy, past life regression analysis or rediscovering the magic in your life.” They may indeed be good pursuits. But if you need to lose weight (only if you really need to), you might try a LCHF Way of Eating. It’s a way to eat 1,200 nutrient dense calories a day and be healthy without hunger. The rest of the energy your body needs will come from your fat stores. Don’t get played!