This topic is one that a number of people have requested. I have worked with weight loss for my entire career as a doctor. It is a topic
that effects everyone. It is my opinion that no one wishes to be overweight. To illustrate the denial factor at play, I once had a female patient that told me she was not fat, just fluffy. The comment pinch an inch has been modified to grab a slab. A physician friend one time pointed out the Dunlop factor when looking at an x-ray. He stated that his belly done lopped over his belt. I could go on and on about the way we humans keep the facts at bay as a defense mechanism. He stated she is on a sea food diet, she eats everything she sees. Dad used to joke that she eats like a bird, a vulture.
Some individuals have come out saying that fat is beautiful, sexy and this is the way they choose to be and no one is going to change the way they think. Once again this is a simple coping mechanism for protection of their self-esteem. They are lying to themselves and to others. Deep down they would admit that they would like to be trim and fit.
Just to set the record straight when I look in the mirror there are a few bulges that I could do without. Food and eating is a necessary component of life and we cannot continue to exist if we stop eating or drinking. It is said you can go three days without drinking water and you can go three weeks without eating food. Also eating is pleasurable. Who doesn't like a bowl of ice cream, a Krispy Cream donut, a piece of chocolate pie, or just plain chocolate? Have you been to a function such a wedding, funeral, graduation party, church function where there was no food or drink involved? It is just customary and expected. Have you ever heard someone at a wedding when offered a piece of cake say, "oh I would love to but I can't, I am on a diet." They are struggling with their own desires and want to enlist your help in their goal. Actually they should take some cake and eat only a bite or two and leave the rest.
Just to say you are on a diet does not mean you are trying to lose weight. It could be a diet to gain weight if you are to skinny. Overall though, when a diet is mentioned everyone thinks it is to lose weight.
I must use the phrase that is so meaningful that I learned when in the Army. I stand corrected. This really sums up the situation without a bunch of lame excuses. What I mean by this is that I made a mistake for many years in helping people to lose weight. By the way, the percentage of overweight individuals in the United States is about 60%. For the most part it is generally the ladies that are most concerned with their weight and actually do something to rectify it. The mistake is that I preached was increase your exercise and decrease your caloric input. The big error is that I did not focus specifically on what foods really make one fat. My eyes were opened when I read the book, What Makes You Fat by Gary Taube. The light bulb went off and I believe I have a much better perspective of the best way to lose weight.
When working one on one with a patient I ask them, what would you like to weigh if you could snap your fingers and be that weight for the rest of your like. Rather quickly they tell me a weight and usually make a comment such as I will never see that or it is just wishful thinking. In essence they have just set their own weight goal and it is what we work towards. If a person needs to lose 30 pounds for example I multiply it by two, in this case 60 and divide by 30 the number of days in a month. This gets us back to 2 representing 2 months and then I add one month, bringing the total to 3 months. The added month is a fudge factor because no one follows the diet perfectly.
It is imperative that no one lose more than 1 to 1 1/2 pounds a week. Otherwise they will be left with loose skin that has no direction to go and just hangs.
The big key is Insulin. It was pointed out that the site where insulin is injected becomes a fat deposit. Insulin is used as a ferry boat to move insulin from the bloodstream into the cells. It is manufactured in the pancreas and is dumped into the bloodstream after a load of sugar.
The foods to avoid are those that are directly sugar such as simple carbohydrates, or those that are readily converted to sugar. This means cutting out bread, pasta and cereal. Remember the farmers feed the animals cereal to fatten them up. Next come the alcohol such a beer and wine. They don't call it a beer belly for nothing. No soda, and certainly no diet soda. (read about Aspartame) Fruit juice is next because everyone thinks it is so healthy for them discounting the sugar content. Finally cut out all corn, potatoes and rice. Now you will say I thought these foods were good for you. Well they are quickly turned to sugar and if the sugar level goes up the insulin goes up and you get fatter. This is the bottom take home message!!!
Now regarding exercise. You do not have to go to the gym or have a membership at the health club. Just get active. Walking is one of the best exercises and it is free and can be done any place. The key is this. Your goal is one mile every 15 minutes or 4 miles in one hour. A normal hiking speed will cover 3 miles an hour. A rule is, if you cannot talk to someone with you because you are out of breath you will need to slow down. Start slow and build up endurance. If you have weights it would be good to use them as well. A good plan is weights one day and walking the next.
I have found that it is best to keep a food diary. I give the patients a form that has breakfast, (by the way it means to break a fast) lunch and dinner on it. I have them tally up the calories for each meal and then get the total for the day. I have them shoot for 1000 to 1200 calories a day. I also have them tally the glasses of water they have each day wanting to have six to eight. Water has been shown to be very helpful in losing weight. When they bring this back in it gives me a much better idea of what they did be it right or wrong.
How about appetite suppressants? I think they are helpful for some. As I think about it when giving the option of dieting with or without something to curb the appetite almost everyone wishes to have it. Phentermine in the form of Fastin or Adipex has worked well. Also Tenuate one a day or one three times a day is helpful. These are prescription only meds so you will need to find a doctor to provide them. I have tried Green Coffee Bean extract but so far have not been delighted in the results.
From Doctors Book of Food Remedies listed for help with weight loss are Chile Pepper, Figs, Fish Oil, Oats, Pectin, Sweet Potatoes.
Even though I mentioned it above I really want to stress that artificial sweeteners seem to contribute to obesity rather than preventing it. A patient I am currently caring for is consuming 12 12 oz cans of diet coke a day. In one week she had cut this to half or only 6 cans a day. Our goal of course is to eliminate it completely. One study showed that those who use artificial sweeteners were on the average two pounds heavier than people who did not.
In concluding this topic. I do not tell patients to never ever eat a type of food. For example since bread has been shown to be fattening just eliminate it completely as long as you are trying to reduce your weight. Once your goal is reached you may have some on occasion. Like anything in life, the key is moderation. Try to buy grass fed beef. Include fish and chicken in your diet. Do not buy into the low fat causing fat lie. I drink raw milk and it has no preservatives and tastes so good. I never buy low fat food because the food manufactures have put in massive amounts of high fructose corn syrup which is again what causes one to be fat.
If one goes on a fast or just stops eating starving themselves in order to lose weight they are doing great damage. Why because it takes more energy to burn fat than protein and the body uses muscle first. One can damage muscle tissue including the heart. Muscle building is so important because it acts as a furnace burning excess fat. So the better muscle you have the more fat you burn.
Call the above number if you wish to be on a doctor supervised weight loss program. In person or not I can help you reach your goal.