Healthy diet and exercise can give same results as surgery

Following a stringent diet, and completing four hours of exercise each day, can be just as beneficial as having weight loss surgery, claims an expert in the field.
Dr Robert Huizenga, of the University of California, Los Angeles, has a rigorous diet and exercise plan called the ‘Biggest Loser’ programme. He believes it should replace weight loss surgery, as it helps people to lose just as much weight, whilst being cheaper than surgery. He also claims that it retains muscle mass better, and for people with diabetes, it supposedly improves their condition.
However, this diet and exercise plan is not without its critics, who argue that it ruins people’s metabolisms. They say that for those who went through the programme, their metabolisms slowed more, and their levels of the hunger hormone, leptin, were noticeably higher than normal. There is also a significant lack of data for long-term results of this diet.
There were also a number of physical injuries sustained by people following the programme, generally caused by the intensity of the exercise.
The Biggest Loser programme comes from Dr Huizenga’s namesake TV show, where contestants complete intense exercise each week, looking to complete four hours each day, for six days a week. They also had a very strict, calorie-restricted diet, high in fresh fruit and vegetables and protein, as well as reducing their consumption of sugar, fats and processed food.
“People watch TV four or six hours a day, so they do have time to exercise,” said Dr Huizenga, “Bariatric surgery results in massive loss, but it has disadvantages. For every 1,000 people who have the operation there are deaths. You will be losing fat-free mass, you will be losing water weight and you will lose more muscle mass.”
He added: “On a cost basis, a death basis and a moral basis, the Biggest Loser programme is a better alternative.”

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