Weight Loss Radio Podcast

The big splash last week about Australia being a gold-medal contender in the Obesity Olympics ain’t true.

The official stats from the OECD that came out at the start of 2008 (as pointed out to me by an observant patient of mine) show the US is 1st, Mexico 2nd, UK 3rd and Greece 4th.

Australia was a measly 5th.

Even if the new study I mentioned in “The Fat Bomb Cometh” found a new figure that is higher for Australia, it still lags behind US and Mexico.

However all is not lost. Australia is catching up. Obesity rates have tripled in the last 20 years, whereas in the US they’ve only doubled.

Seriously, no matter where in the world you are weight and eating are still important issues, and the most popular talk-back radio station in my local town caught up on the idea and one of their presenters, 5AA’s Amanda Blair, invited me in for a chat.

Weight loss. The myths, facts, and what you can really do to make it happen.

Listen in on the podcast here (or Right Click and Save it)…

http://podcast.fiveaa.com.au/afternoon080623.mp3

[NOTE: Unfortunately 5AA has taken down this podcast. For full details about what I was discussing on that program enter your details here.]

-Dr Martin Russell

The ‘Fat Bomb’ Cometh

In the world Olympic event for obesity, apparently the US has been dethroned.

Turns out in the “Australia’s Future Fat Bomb” Report as splashed across The Age newspaper that Aussies have put in a gold medal winning performance. This report finds that 26% of Australians are obese (BMI >30 ie significantly overweight) just pipping the US at 25%.

And Aussies haven’t even got the same extent of Super-Super-Size me options yet.

Australia, we can do better!

Seriously, if we are to believe the “eat less, exercise more” mantra then this result is a fluke.

In terms of eating Australia seems to still be behind the US in oversized meals, take-away lifestyle, and the plethora of “diet” food alternatives to help us out.

And in exercise terms most of Australia has a much more favorable climate for participating in sport and getting out and being active than much of the US. Not much snow to keep most Australians stuck indoors for a winter.

I even understand that the levels of exercise activity and participation in sport in Australia have slightly increased over the past decade, so the trend is that Aussies should be getting thinner, shouldn’t they?

But no.

When 7 out of 10 middle-aged men, and 6 out of 10 middle aged women are overweight or worse (ie BMI >25) then epidemic is a reasonable word.

So what is really going on?

My suggestion is that the seemingly obvious idea of “eat less, exercise more” idea is actually deeply flawed.

The calories in, calories out model of human bodies is incorrect. We are not machines.

Just take the most obvious example – calories out with exercise.

How much weight do you lose by exercising?

What do gyms tell you? What do “health experts” make you believe? What are you hoping for when you start on an exercise program?

Forget theoretical calorie counting, what’s the reality?

Well fortunately this is an easy piece of scientific research, and the studies have been done many times and the collated results over many good quality studies show a consistent result…

You will lose, on average, 1 kilogram or about 2-3 pounds.

That’s all.

And that’s not per week or per month, that’s forever.

This comes from the most well-reputed body for summarizing medical research, and the studies are consistent all the way from 3 month programs out to a full year…
http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab003817.html

But there is a slight ray of hope.

If you increase to really vigorous exercise you can make it 1.5 kilograms or almost 4 pounds of weight loss. Yeah, go kill yourself for that extra pound!

Exercise is great for improving fitness, living longer, toning up and improving mood, but it’s yet another disappointment for most people in trying to lose weight.

Once gyms face up to this fact, they will stop having the reputation of churn and burn, and will start realistically informing people of what results to expect. The first gym that seriously does this will remove much of the “buyer’s remorse” in gym memberships, and also build a lasting trust with their clients. It’s a slower dollar, but more repeat business.

That’s just the “calories out” side of the equation.

I have been taking the last couple of months to do free public talks about the “Myths and Facts of Weight Loss”.

Exercise for weight loss is one of the most pervasive myths around, and yet it is one of the easiest to answer in the literature.

If you are current taking advice about your weight, does your health expert know these facts about exercise?

Most either overstate the weight loss you can expect, or they give vague and “it depends” answers. The results however are clear. The “exercise myth” is my test for whether someone is advising based on the research, or based on beliefs.

If you want to know what to do instead of exercise and “eating less”, then follow the 4 habits/rules from this book I reviewed.

If you are in Australia, I can send you a book direct rather than from Amazon in the US. Just email or phone me.

If you are even closer to home for me in Adelaide, and want to be notified of future public talks, events and more, then you can enter your details here…

http://www.drmartinrussell.com/adelaide/

Either way, you’ll be hearing more about this.

-Dr Martin Russell

What Can We Learn From Computer Nerds?

“Would you like me to give you a formula for… success? It’s quite simply, really. Double your rate of failure… You’re thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all… You can be discouraged by failure — or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember that’s where you’ll find success. On the far side of failure.”

-Thomas J. Watson
Founder of IBM

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”

-Bill Gates
Founder of Microsoft

-Dr Martin Russell