The new weight loss guidelines produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) appear to be something of a contradiction. There is consideration of lifestyle change with which I would whole heartedly agree. Then in the same guidelines they want people sent to slimming classes with the aim of achieving a 3% weight loss. Slimming classes are not a lifestyle change with some using a points system others using sins. They do nothing much in terms of educating you about nutrition and the whole focus is on weight loss and not fat loss.
Lifestyle change for weight loss
Prof Mike Kelly, the director of the centre for public health at NICE, said the guidelines were about lifelong change rather than yo-yo dieting, when the weight is piled back on after initial success. How is counting points, sins or calories a lifelong change? You are not equipping people to make a lifestyle change by putting them into a commercial weight loss programme. These programmes are designed for one thing and that is weight loss. You are not learning new skills such as how to shop sensibly or read a food label; what to do at times when you are tempted to eat unhealthily, how to plan for occasions when you may be tempted to eat and drink unhealthily. This is what these people’s lifestyles consist of and if you add a lack of activity into the equation some commercial weight loss programmes just pay lip service to activity and exercise. The people who tend to run the individual groups are not qualified nutritionists or exercise professionals. In fact sometimes their only skill appears to be weight loss themselves; in other words they lost weight doing this particular programme. Hardly a required skill when it comes to facilitating lifestyle change.
The final point I’d make about these recommendations is that they are still focussing on weight loss, when what we actually need is fat loss. All the time we keep the focus on weight loss you leave the window open for every FAD diet on the market. Most FAD diets achieve quick weight loss and this is what makes them popular. If we could shift the focus to fat loss suddenly FAD diets don’t have half their usual appeal. I just wonder at what point the government and NHS will wake up to the fact that lifestyle change is not really about weight loss. It’s more about the types of food available to the public and what the public’s understanding of healthy eating really is. To that end they have to start taking the food industry to task and also creating an environment where activity is a priority. This means access for car’s and ease of driving becomes secondary to an environment that’s safe to walk in and also to ride a bike. If you would like more information on nutrition and weight loss why not sign up for the FREE seven video series by completing the simple form provided below?