Besides winning the lottery, there may not be a more universally shared goal than losing body weight and keeping it off.1 If this is a goal you are after, you may not want to read the rest of today’s piece! That is because brand new research has pointed out that the odds of going from obese to a normal weight and staying there – are vanishingly slim.2, 3 For men, the odds are 1 in 210, and for women the odds are 1 in 124. That’s less than 1% – no matter what gender you are.
So how do we beat these (very depressing) odds? Quite simply, by following a Paleo diet! By consuming foods that are high in satiety and nutrients, we keep hunger at bay, and our body and brain happy.4, 5, 6, 7 Satiety and nutrition are both absolutely vital if long term, sustainable weight loss is one’s goal. As has been seen in scientific studies, a Paleo diet works better than even condition-specific diets (like those seen in patients with diabetes).8 One study sums it up thusly: “The Paleolithic diet might be the best antidote to the unhealthy Western diet.”9
Combining a great diet with a smart exercise routine (like CrossFit) is a great recipe to start stacking these odds in one’s favor.10 As the CrossFit Games are in full swing, we get to see professional athletes at their absolute peak – hopefully inspiring us to spend less time on the couch and more time at the gym. But you do not need to be a CrossFit Games competitor to enjoy a healthy exercise routine. If you are sedentary, just start walking around your neighborhood every day after work. Get your head in the game with baby steps, you’ll feel the difference.11 Once you’ve mastered that, you can progress to higher feats of fitness.
And even more than exercise, make sure you get plenty of sleep! This overlooked factor allows many to work extremely hard, eat right and still not keep the pounds off. Scientific researchers have known this for years.12 Sleep is an important modulator of neuroendocrine function and glucose metabolism.13 Both are usually disrupted when a person becomes obese, so getting them back in line requires eating well, exercise, and plenty of shuteye!
Sleep loss has also been shown to result in metabolic and endocrine alterations, including decreased glucose tolerance, decreased insulin sensitivity, increased evening concentrations of cortisol and increased levels of ghrelin.14 Bottom line: With all of this at play, our chances of losing weight and keeping it off are very slim! We want our body to be insulin sensitive, cortisol lower in the evening, and to express low levels of ghrelin (a key hunger hormone).
Finally, sleep loss leads to decreased levels of leptin (one of the main satiety hormones) and increased hunger and appetite.15 So, the longer you go without sleep, the hungrier you get. Stop the cycle by hitting the pillow earlier.
With our world in an ever-increasing obesity pandemic, think of all the healthy ways you can lose weight and keep it off.16, 17, 18, 19, 20 Put your mind to it, don’t let anything stand in your way, and you’ll be on your way, to a leaner, healthier you!
 Why Do You Say You Want to Lose Weight But Then Don’t Do It | Psychology Today. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shrink/201208/why-do-you-say-you-want-lose-weight-then-don-t-do-it
 Available at: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150716180913.htm. Accessed July 21, 2015.
 Fildes A, Charlton J, Rudisill C, Littlejohns P, Prevost AT, Gulliford MC. Probability of an Obese Person Attaining Normal Body Weight: Cohort Study Using Electronic Health Records. Am J Public Health. 2015;:e1-e6.
 Westerterp-plantenga MS, Lemmens SG, Westerterp KR. Dietary protein – its role in satiety, energetics, weight loss and health. Br J Nutr. 2012;108 Suppl 2:S105-12.
 Paddon-jones D, Westman E, Mattes RD, Wolfe RR, Astrup A, Westerterp-plantenga M. Protein, weight management, and satiety. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87(5):1558S-1561S.
 Leidy HJ, Carnell NS, Mattes RD, Campbell WW. Higher protein intake preserves lean mass and satiety with weight loss in pre-obese and obese women. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007;15(2):421-9.
 Soenen S, Westerterp-plantenga MS. Proteins and satiety: implications for weight management. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2008;11(6):747-51.
 Jönsson T, Granfeldt Y, Ahrén B, et al. Beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2009;8:35.
 Klonoff DC. The beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on type 2 diabetes and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2009;3(6):1229-32.
 Curioni CC, Lourenço PM. Long-term weight loss after diet and exercise: a systematic review. Int J Obes (Lond). 2005;29(10):1168-74.
 Erickson KI, Voss MW, Prakash RS, et al. Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2011;108(7):3017-22.
 Patel SR, Hu FB. Short sleep duration and weight gain: a systematic review. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008;16(3):643-53.
 Van cauter E, Knutson KL. Sleep and the epidemic of obesity in children and adults. Eur J Endocrinol. 2008;159 Suppl 1:S59-66.
 Knutson KL. Impact of sleep and sleep loss on glucose homeostasis and appetite regulation. Sleep Med Clin. 2007;2(2):187-197.
 Pejovic S, Vgontzas AN, Basta M, et al. Leptin and hunger levels in young healthy adults after one night of sleep loss. J Sleep Res. 2010;19(4):552-8.
 Roth J, Qiang X, Marbán SL, Redelt H, Lowell BC. The obesity pandemic: where have we been and where are we going?. Obes Res. 2004;12 Suppl 2:88S-101S.
 Swinburn BA, Sacks G, Hall KD, et al. The global obesity pandemic: shaped by global drivers and local environments. Lancet. 2011;378(9793):804-14.
 Catenacci VA, Hill JO, Wyatt HR. The obesity epidemic. Clin Chest Med. 2009;30(3):415-44, vii.
 James PT, Leach R, Kalamara E, Shayeghi M. The worldwide obesity epidemic. Obes Res. 2001;9 Suppl 4:228S-233S.
 Pan WH, Lee MS, Chuang SY, Lin YC, Fu ML. Obesity pandemic, correlated factors and guidelines to define, screen and manage obesity in Taiwan. Obes Rev. 2008;9 Suppl 1:22-31.