Big, fat problem Kyle Sandilands can't escape
Dr Nick Fuller
Leading Obesity Expert at the University of Sydney and founder of Interval Weight Loss.
We have created a monster for ourselves and it haunts us daily. No one is free from its clasp. It does not matter whether you are rich or famous, it still haunts. Think with empathy about the likes of Kyle Sandilands, who behind the façade of confidence and brashness, has self-confessed weight problems and desperately wants a solution. What makes a celebrity like Kyle, with all the wealth and the contacts, unable to achieve something that fad-diet advocates say is so easy?
Humans are designed to survive and procreate; for this food is required. Food is our primary energy source. Hunter gathers would gorge themselves when the opportunity arose, because more often than not this opportunity was rare.
Today food is everywhere, every day. So what do we do?
We apply a man-made solution to stop us overeating and to curb the fatness. We apply discipline, restraint and will-power. And guess what, it doesn’t work and it never will.
The problem itself is evolutionary, so the solution has to be evolutionary too.
We now live in an environment where we are surrounded by food everywhere we go; processed food that is high fat and high sugar, which triggers addictive eating behaviours. Think about it; when there’s cake at work or a block of chocolate that’s been opened, who can resist?
Some days you might binge on takeaway and snacks, and others you might eat mostly veggies – but your weight stays largely the same over time, thanks to an area of your brain called the hypothalamus.
It’s great news for people trying to maintain their weight day to day, but this area of the brain works against us when we try and shed the kilos. This is the result of human evolution. What once was beneficial for survival during periods when food was scarce is no longer required; our evolutionary propensity for weight gain dominates over sustained loss.
Diets advocate restrictions and are founded on the idea that you just need willpower to lose the weight. We all know that a large weight change is possible through dietary restriction, BUT, our body is far smarter than we give it credit for and will always return accurately to its starting point – a concept termed as ‘set point (that weight you will remember being at for sustained periods of time in your adult years). Eventually, the weight will come creeping back.
If I was Kyle Sandilands’ health professional – or the health professional working with anyone wanting to lose weight - I would advocate ditching the diets and getting on board with a sustainable weight loss program that is far from the typical idea people have, and would see Kyle down from a whopping 135 kg.
But like everyone, change for good is something he will have to come to himself. If you want it, you can do it.