Neon Angel

Seriously? COVID-19 Weight Loss Tips? Can’t Be Real

Cease and desist. That’s our reaction to a rise of inane headlines about how to lose weight in the midst of a public health crisis. Smelling the potential for great clickbait, one reporter reached out to an expert in obesity, asking: Do we have a fatdemic coming our way? The DietDoctor offers up Six Tips for Low-Carb COVID-19 Preparedness. Seriously, what the world needs now is definitely not COVID-19 weight loss tips. Knock it off.

The COVID Nineteen?

We’re in survival mode here. The last thing we need is to add in ill-informed consumer tips for fad diets during a stay-at-home order. What we need is a sense of normalcy. Not another bogus, unsustainable diet. And most of all, we don’t need more urban legends.

Our friend Christine Rosenbloom tells us that she’s starting to see frivolous speculation about the COVID Nineteen – some kind of perverse mutation of the freshman fifteen cliché. Please, folks, let’s not do this. Neither sensationalism nor trivialization is helpful when we’re dealing with health. If you want to have fun, let’s shift toward making good health and nutrition fun. Not making fun of a problem we face.

The Limitations of Diet and Weight Loss

Bear in mind that diets – with a purely short-term weight-loss focus – have limited value. Weight loss is a sprint, but defeating obesity is a marathon. That’s because weight is just an artifact of the largely metabolic disease that obesity is. Obesity is all about adipose tissue that harms one’s health. It’s not a choice. It’s a metabolic condition that occurs when processes regulating that tissue aren’t working right.

Dietary changes can help, but short-term diets don’t cure a chronic disease. A healthier diet for the long term can help. Finding healthier patterns of living can help. And those healthy patterns for living are especially important when our lives have been turned upside down by a nasty virus.

We all need to find a new normal that works for good health. So please, reject diet hype and weight loss sensationalism. Don’t read it. Don’t write it. Embrace life.

Click here, here, hereherehere, here, and here for perspective on taking good care of yourself in the midst of our pandemic.

Neon Angel, photograph © TORLEY / flickr

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April 5, 2020

5 Responses to “Seriously? COVID-19 Weight Loss Tips? Can’t Be Real”

  1. April 05, 2020 at 7:14 am, Al Lewis said:

    In the immortal words of the great philosopher Jimmy Durante, everybody wants to be into the act.

  2. April 05, 2020 at 9:47 am, Angie Golden said:

    Ted, this is so on point!!! And I love the first paragraph about limitations of diet! That says so much in so few words! I will be using and quoting this ALOT in all my upcoming talks. THANK YOU

  3. April 05, 2020 at 12:06 pm, Mary-Jo said:

    ITA with all you’ve so rightly presented here, but it seems the folks touting their restrictive regimes in times of this horrific pandemic have somewhat of a precedent:

    ‘For extreme diseases, extreme methods of cure, as to restriction, are most suitable.’ Hippocrates

    Everybody’s an expert. 😝

  4. April 06, 2020 at 5:57 pm, Eldad Einav said:

    Sorry, but I beg to differ. I observe my patients on a long-term weight-loss program who struggle during these times. None of them is in a “survival mode”. Most of them are sitting on stockpiles of food, overeating from stress and boredom and keep very sedentary at home. I think it could be helpful to provide prudent advise on how to cope with these challenges. This is part of our mission. It is true that COVID19 is a burning issue right now, but since this is a marathon, an advise on how to cope with this enduring circumstance is important. Lifestyle and health advice should not be dismissed when life throw curve balls at you.

    • April 07, 2020 at 2:52 am, Ted said:

      Thanks for sharing your view on this, Eldad.