We seem to live in the era of the fad diet. Or perhaps we always have… From intermittent fasting, through low carb (or self induced Ketosis – you decide on how you want to frame it), and now landing on short term hunger suppression drugs. 
Do any of these short term hacks work?

We need to consider this from two perspectives; 
Firstly there is the very basic, and indisputable, science that if you have a sustained calorific deficit you will lose weight. Fact. And of course the converse is equally true, if you have a sustained calorie surplus you will gain weight. 

In that context any eating regime (diet to you and I) that leads to a consistent calorific deficit will appear successful – you will lose weight. 

However there is another dimension to being over weight, and that is the complex psychological relationship that someone might have with food. 

Comfort eating, eating disorders, call it what you like but the consequences is a dysfunctional relationship with eating. In that food no longer is about an energy source, or occasional pleasurable social event, but rather more akin to a legal recreational drug. Food (or rather the effects of metabolism) will influence mood, emotions and generally state of mind. It is highly unlikely that a short term change in eating regime (intermittent fasting anyone?) or indeed chemically suppressing appetite, without dealing with / unravelling the psychological aspects of someones eating habits is going to lead to long term sustainable weight management. 

But this is not new news. 

This is well understood and proven.

However, in an age of immediate gratification, ever reducing attention spans, and the never ending search for the quick fix… then who wants to hear about a long term slow plan to alter weight permanently? 

Maybe I was wrong to think we are in an era of the fad diet. Perhaps what is literally killing people is their search for immediacy and a shot term hack? But that doesn’t sound new either… Maybe what is new is the rate of change in attention spans and commitment? 

When we think about being overweight it is very easy to mistake cause and effect. To allow our emotional defence mechanisms to come to the fore. To do nothing. And yet for ‘large’ swathes of particularly the Western World; their personal obesity will kill them much sooner than the effects of the planet warming a tad. Beer anyone?

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