Let’s discuss nutrition and diets

dieting is caloric deficit

Everyone has tried to alter their weight.  Most people try to lose; some do indeed try to gain.  Both positive and negative societal impacts affect both sides of the gender line and as a result, people seek answers that may or may not be of sound advice.  It IS important to maintain healthy bodyweight, as the human body is designed to bear a specific amount of weight.  This number isn’t “definitive”, but is a spectrum of “healthy”.

What is considered healthy?

The best measure is of one of body fat percentage.  The gold standard of this measurement is a submersion tank.  These aren’t the most accessible however.  Typically the easiest method of measuring this is via electric current.  This can be done via hand sensors, or foot.  Such a small amount of current if utilized that you cannot feel.  The sensor reads a small amount through the body and is read on the other side.  (left to right, or right to left).  These sensors have a small degree of “variance” meaning they read too high, or too low by a small percentage.  Typically 5-7% per reading.  This means there is a present set amount of error.  This “error” is understood by most health professionals and should be inferred when looking at the results from the test.  This won’t give a wildy inaccurate number.  If you’re close to the overweight level, you can typically tell if you’re overweight, or not.  And being borderline isn’t THAT significant (the spectrum of other clinical findings would be more important than this, if they are present).  If you’re between overweight and obese, it’s concerning.  Obese to morbidly obese is critically important to treat.  This isn’t an “attack” on overweight people, but a “call to arms” when any particular level of health has been reached.  The take home point is: having too much weight on the body doesn’t just affect the joints, it affects nearly every organ.

So what is a diet?

Any drastic alteration to the regular eating habits, is a dietary change, or a “diet”.  If you follow a new “guideline” that is advertised there’s a 90% chance that it’s a “fad”.  The key point is “advertised”.  Good health isn’t advertised.  When was the last time you saw an advertisement for sensible eating, frequent walks outside and peaceful meditation?  Any “fad” that suddenly springs up, is typically due to advertising, and short term results.  MOST are not because of their successful longevity, and overall benefit to humanity.  It took several years to assess the long term effects of the “Atkin’s Diet” back when it was popular.  The result, at 10 years of consistent use of their guidelines, there was a dramatic increase in all-cause mortality.  This means by following Atkin’s for 10 years, you were dramatically more likely to die from ANY disease.  ANY.

There’s an excellent point made in image form, from Myoleanfitness.com seen above.

Why do diets work?  Less calories in then calories expended.  This is the basis for almost all “diets”.

There is a difference in the fact that everyone’s body reacts differently, and that’s mostly due to personal genetic and epigenetic effects.  The foods you eat and habits you have, can and will activate different aspects of our genome which will have differing effects.  The ultimate point of this is that everyone responds different to dietary changes.  Someone may be able to eat plenty of carbs with nary an effect, while someone else may gain weight from the same diet.

PART 2 coming soon!

About the Author

Dr. Christopher Herrington is a Chiropractor in Buffalo, NY.  He strives to keep his knowledge well rounded, from nutrition, to family care, to sports injury.   A graduate from D’Youville College’s Chiropractic program in 2013, he started his own practice in 2014.  Dr. Herrington is a FAKTR certified practitioner and (at time of writing) a father of 1.