- Reviewed by Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing
Anyone who's tried to lose weight by cutting calories knows that this approach can work, but it's very hard to sustain and then maintain any weight loss. Why? Your body fights against your best efforts with a primal, biologically driven one-two punch. First, you feel hungry — your body's way of telling you to replenish those missing calories. Even if you resist those hunger pangs for a few days, you're hit with the second blow: a slower metabolism, spurred by your body's response to conserve energy. To keep losing weight, you have to keep eating less and less, even as your hunger increases.
"It's a battle between mind and metabolism that few people win," says Dr. David Ludwig, professor of pediatrics at Harvard-affiliated Boston Children's Hospital. That's why he endorses a different way of thinking about (and addressing) excess weight and its related risks. Known as the carbohydrate-insulin model of obesity, it considers the biological mechanisms that promote weight gain — specifically, how our bodies respond to processed carbohydrates.
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About the Author
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
About the Reviewer
Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing
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