Last Wednesday you may have seen a strange story on TV3’s current affairs show Story where journalist Julian Lee was testing a theory about weight loss.
Working from the hypothesis weight loss is a simple equation of energy in < energy out, Mr Lee decided people must be able to lose weight by eating a diet consisting of only pies and beer, as long as you don’t eat too many.
Using himself as a guinea pig, while being monitored by a doctor, Mr Lee will follow his ‘diet’ for four weeks, with updates on how he’s going to be screened on Story (our very own editor-in-chif Niki Bezzant has been interviewed as the voice of reason throughout). Now, all this makes for entertaining viewing and I think we can safely say this whole exercise is a journalist poking fun at the multitude of fad diets making the rounds right now.
Obviously, this ‘diet’ is extremely unhealthy (high in salt and saturated fat and lacking in vital nutrients and fibre) but, provided the number of kilojoules he consumes is less than the number he burns, Mr Lee should lose weight.
I think the take-home message is weight loss does not automatically equal good health. The healthiest way to lose weight (if you need to) is by eating a wide range of whole foods, mostly plant-based, and watching your portion size.
The second message is that diets don’t work because depriving yourself or eating in a highly restrictive way is unsustainable. Simply put, we get sick of it.
When the story aired Mr Lee was only two days into consuming just pies and beer, so wasn’t feeling too bad. I bet now he’s wishing he never started.
Time will tell.