SCI 38 — Nutrition for Healthy Weight Loss

A recent analysis of all the research on weight loss done to date, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that those with an “ideal weight” do not live as long as those who are a bit overweight. Furthermore, the National Health Interview Survey shows that those with a low body weight have as great a mortality risk as the morbidly obese. The research makes it clear that reducing body fat does not necessarily mean improved health. This course will address that conundrum. Our focus will be on eating for greater health and metabolic rate with body-fat reduction as a natural consequence, instead of the other way around

, where focusing on weight loss might come at the expense of health. Structuring a successful eating program requires four main steps: (1) putting each individual’s food likes and dislikes at the very center of their personal program; (2) making body fat available as fuel for lean tissue, which means reducing the digestion rate of processed carbohydrates; (3) eating in a way that drives the engine in our body, particularly our muscles; and (4) creating a meal plan from these concepts to put our preferences into a systematic framework. The scientific data gives us a common starting point, but applying it to our lives takes each of us on an individual and unique journey to success.

This course may not be taken for a Letter Grade.

Clyde Wilson, Research Associate, Biochemistry, UCSF

Clyde Wilson is a director at the Sports Medicine Institute. He teaches nutrition and human movement in Stanford’s Department of Athletics, and food pharmacology in the Stanford and UCSF medical schools. He received a PhD in chemistry from Stanford.