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Compensatory weight diet; does it work?

Without sparking another god-awful "fad" diet, please allow me to share with you some dieting advice I received from neighbors in Japan lately. It's a rather old tactic, apparently fallen out of popular favor among women because it forces you to carry a larger bag or purse rather than a small, dainty one, but the "compensatory weight diet" apparently did work when it was at its peak in 2000-2001.

Not really a diet so much as a method of turning one's daily routine into advantageous exercise, it works like this:

When your body plateaus at a certain weight, your muscles and bones all become accustomed to supporting that weight, and without increasing your exercise, decreasing your caloric intake, or both, you will not lose any weight. By suddenly increasing your overall body weight artificially (ie, adding weights to yourself), your body will work naturally to return your overall weight to the plateau to which it is accustomed. For example, lets say you weigh 80kg. If you begin to habitually carry 5kg of excess weight in your backpack every day, your body will begin to naturally lower your body weight to 75kg to compensate.

Purchase small weights (or find some small, dense stones) that you can hide in your handbag, briefcase, backpack, etc. Some people even hide them in their clothing, but this, of course, only works with certain outfits. Go through your daily routine as you always do, taking the weighted bag with you. Be sure to use the stairs whenever possible, or walk from places that are less than 10 minutes away that you might otherwise take a car to. When you find yourself alone in an elevator or waiting room, exercise with your over-weighted bag by lifting it off the floor with both arms, or simply by standing with it in your arms or on your back.

The weights should be about 2kg to 10kg, such that you can function while carrying them, but not so heavy that they cause you pain, nor so light that you can ignore them. Results generally become visible after 3 weeks to a month of daily activity. This practice relies on you moving around a little more than a standard office job and keeping the weight on you at all times.

So, anyone want to try it? I used my laptop as a weight and took it back and forth to work with me every day for a year -- I lost 10kg. ^_^ Yay!
Well, I don't think that you lost 22 pounds just because you carried around a laptop. First of all, I don't believe the whole theory that you just described; it's like saying that you can't gain weight, just because you're body is 'used to you being thinner.' No, scratch that, it's not like saying that you can't get fat, it is saying it.

I don't feel that you lost weight because of any additional exercise due to carrying around 10 extra lbs (or however much it weighs) via a laptop, but because you were more concious about your health. If you were paying attention to your weight, health, etc., to the point where you tried a diet, then obviously there was some special care there. That extra attention, I think, is what lost you the weight.
Drawingguy wrote:
If you were paying attention to your weight, health, etc., to the point where you tried a diet, then obviously there was some special care there. That extra attention, I think, is what lost you the weight.

Interestingly enough, I did not learn about the compensatory weight diet until after I noticed I had lost weight. My actions were out of necessity; the school computers did not run the software I needed to build my worksheets, so I brought my own computer back and forth daily. Dieting was far from my mind, to be honest... I had more than my fair share of custard pancakes and fried chicken at the local ramen house.

I heard about the diet in a discussion with my Japanese colleagues, while we were discussing the difference between American and Japanese weight-loss tactics... a conversation which started because someone else noticed I had lost weight.

Please consider this; if you change no elements of your eating habits, but add more strenuous exercise to your daily activities, is it implausible that you may lose weight? Think about the extra work you're doing when carrying around a laptop (mine was 8.5 pounds) or a weight. If you do it every day, it will add up.

Now, I do concede that it's not going to add up if you put your heavy bag in the car, drive to the office, take it in the elevator up to the third floor and set it beside your desk as you work all day, but if you have a fairly active regime, adding weights is a very viable form of exercise. Why do you think athletes use weighted cuffs or belts while exercising? It's the same principle, albeit in a shorter time period and much more efficient.

Also, I should admit that beyond the laptop, I had a lot of books and classroom tools in my bag, so it was much more than 8.5 pounds. I don't suggest doing so much unless you're used to it, though, because it gave me stiff shoulders for a long time.
Please do NOT encourage my SO to start carrying heavy weights around in her handbag. It hurts enough, already, when she gives me a handbagging. Laughing

Only joking.

I see the sense in this. I think it has more to do with the extra effort, in carrying the extra weight, though. This will only work if you don't increase your food intake to compensate.

Also, before you stop carrying the extra weight around you'll need to reduce your food intake and/or increase your exercise so that you don't just put the weight you've lost back on.
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