Australian General Semantics Society Inc.





Saturday 26th May 2019
"How to Lose Weight, and Keep it Off!
While many people can lose some weight,
about 95% of people put it back on again. 
About 50% gain even more weight.
We will look at this process, from a scientific viewpoint,
and discuss some solutions to this problem. 

Presented by the trim, taught and terrific Mr David Hewson.

Our Seminar:
was graciously hosted at Gav & Pauline's beautiful home at Bonnet Bay in Sydney - Thank you!

Catching Up
Sharing of triumphs and tragedies and miscellaneous yarns.

GS Diary
In the spirit of "applying general semantics principles" to our lives, as opposed to dwelling in theory, we considered members' accounts of observations and applications relating to the principles and formulations of our discipline.

Today's Discussion: "Losing Weight"

What we need to lose weight and keep it off:

   * Sustained
   * An intelligent approach,

* Valid method

Today's focus was mainly on method.

First, we reviewed some relevant  GS formulations:

  * Similarities and differences
     and how this applies to people and the methods we have used for weight loss.

  * Time-binding

     learning from others and our past successes.

  * Either/Or
  applied to making or breaking our diet. 
An experiment showed that people act in an either/or manner when they break their diet
    and they go overboard with eating a lot more. 
A degree approach tries to minimise this behaviour and avoid a full relapse.

  * P1 => P2 behaviour change method
applied to weight loss.

  * GS happiness formula
 can be used to help with acceptance of long term weight loss plan.

  * Correct symbolism to fact
was applied to medical facts about the health benefits of weight loss.

  * Dema logics
 for weight loss where we replace absolute or action comparative decisions
    with ones that look at the consequences of our eating and drinking actions.

We must treat weight lose as a problem with multiple barriers between
"my overweight me" and "a slim trim healthy me"!

Some of the difficulties that we considered ...

Barriers that "stop us deciding" to lose weight:
Behavioural is change hard.  Keeping new habits is relatively easy.
           Analogous to: Getting fit is harder than keeping fit.
           Keeping the new fit level is physically easier and psychologically easier.

Brain discounts future events. 
Immediate pleasure now is more alluring than future pleasure.

Pleasure now is sure but distant future events less certain.

Barriers that "prevent us" from starting:
        a. Procrastination,

        b. Social factors, eg the embarrassment of "revealing ourselves" at the gym!  

Barriers that "let us" put it all back on again, eg:
Muscle burns 50 cal / kg / day, even when not used.
           When dieting, there is muscle loss in a moderate diet
           (e.g. 20 kg lost and 4 kg of it was muscle = 25%). 
That’s 4*50 = 200 cal/day. 
Fasting diets have been reported to lose up to 50% muscle. 
The faster it comes off the more the body thinks a famine is going on,
           and it then makes the body more efficient with the goal of surviving.

Energy E= F*d  => less force requires less energy,
           e.g. F=m*g  when climbing stairs. 
So if you lose 20 kg, the force  F = 20*10 = 200 Newtons less,
           and if you walk upstairs 20 times a day,
           that’s 5 m and the energy used comes to 20 KJ/day less that you burn off.

So both the biology and physics show that once you take the weight of,
           IF you go back to your old habits of eating and exercise,
           you will gain weight again but at a faster rate than before.

Solution: new lifestyle where you consume less than before,
           and exercise more.

Barriers that "make us" give up e.g. too hard:
Hunger, boredom with diet and too hard a diet.
Possible solutions:
 Go on a 5 - 2 diet.   5 days moderate calorie intake
                 and 2 days lower calorie level. 
On the low days start easy so as to learn the new habit.

Solve the hunger problem with soup and smoothies. 
Low calorie and nutritious.

Solve the boredom problem, with a variety of foods. 
You must use your intelligence to find what you like ,
                 so that you will stick with it and to discover what triggers bad behaviour,
                 and how to make things easier for yourself.

Resistance training, in a gym say, along with adequate protein 
and a good diet, can increase muscle mass,
                 and hence reduce the need for a very low calorie diet.

Visualise the consequences of your decisions
                 to help counteract the discounting of future events.

We discussed how to calculated the number of calories needed to maintain a desired weight in kg for a person’s height.  Then to lose 0.5 kg per week one reduces this by 500 calories per day. 

must remember to index (requirements vary from person to person), and date (requirements vary with time and circumstances).  Not everyone needs to lose weight all te time!

These need to be adjusted intelligently, i.e. experiment and learn.  If you don’t know how, then see a dietician or your GP!

Extra References:

     Benefits of not being overweight

  * Huffington Post:
     9 Science-Based Strategies for Long-Term Weight Loss Success

     I Lost 90 Pounds. Maintaining That Weight Loss Was Harder.

  * ProtoMag:
     Salt: The New Sugar


Next meeting:

Sunday 30th June
"Urban Myths and Stereotypes -
Master or Servant?"

Presented by Robert James.

Disclaimer: This "summary" is a collection of notes derived from our discussion by a number of means.  It is by no means a scholarly dissertation on the subject as presented.  It does not purport to be the "policy of AGS".  Comment and criticism (constructive or otherwise) is welcome.  If anyone has been misquoted, copyrights infringed or confidences betrayed, please Contact us.



Updated by Robert James
26 May 2019

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