Figuring out how to lose weight these days is a lot like being Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee in the movie, A Few Good Men. “We want answers!” We want the truth! But can we handle the truth? The evidence suggests that the answer is no. The obesity rate in this country has soared to over 35% since 1990- when it was only 14%. This, in spite of the fact that there are more weight loss plans and programs than ever before.
Could it be that some weight loss programs are actually contributing to this epidemic? And how do we know if a weight loss program is any good in the first place? In this second, and final part of our two part series, we will be addressing these questions so that you will be empowered with the knowledge to choose the best plan for you.
If we accept the premise that weight loss (and we should be talking about fat loss, shouldn’t we?) is entirely a matter of caloric restriction, then our weight loss industry is doing a fabulous job and should be praised. However, if we take the view that weight loss is more complex than “calories in, calories out” and it involves; correcting imbalances in our hormonal system, cleansing organs and cells of dangerous chemical toxins and restoring the body’s ability to properly use and store energy- then we must conclude that the weight loss industry is a complete failure and is contributing to the obesity epidemic. All of which brings us to our criteria for evaluating your weight loss program;
1) Does your program address the reason(s) why you are overweight?
Have you ever met anyone who eats everything in sight and refuses to exercise, yet never gains a pound? How about someone who counts every calorie and works out constantly, yet is fat? Weight is not always all about the food! The gasoline is only as good as the engine it’s going into and no two “engines” are exactly alike. Your program should be customized for you. Maybe your metabolism is slow or your digestive system will not allow you to absorb important nutrients, or maybe, your hormonal system keeps insisting you store fat when all you want to do is burn it off. A one size fits all approach will never address all of your individual needs, which leads us to the question, “How do I discover what my individual needs are”?
2) Does your program utilize some kind of objective testing?
There is no reason to guess or assume when it comes to weight loss. Think about it. Every other field of endeavor in this “Information age” is driven by data. Your Doctor performs extensive tests before arriving at a diagnosis and treatment plan. So does your dentist and your lawn guy. Information is the key to understanding, and the more accurate and complete it is, the better your chance for a successful outcome.
3) Is your weight loss program fast?
Now I know this flies in the face of everything we’ve been taught about how one is “supposed” to lose weight, but in recent studies, fast weight loss has been proven to have better long term outcomes than slow weight loss (New England Journal of Medicine, January 31, 2013). Let’s face it, nothing kills enthusiasm for losing weight like slow, imperceptible results. How many of us have had this conversation with ourselves: “OK self, here we go. It’s really going to happen this time. Let’s see now, if I lose one pound a week I will be at my goal weight in just 67 weeks. I can do that. All I have to do is cut out the ice cream and the soda and go to the gym 5 times a week and before you know it… oh screw it, who am I kidding? Hey, what time is it? If I leave now I can hit the McDonald’s drive-through before it closes”.
Results matter. Momentum matters. And hope, like a prizefighter with poor stamina, can exhaust itself before reaching the late rounds.
4) Is your weight loss program permanent?
This would seem to be an important and reasonable criterion but, upon further inspection, it is actually quite absurd. Show me someone who is looking for a permanent weight loss program and I’ll show you someone who is either searching for a reason not to begin a program or who refuses to take responsibility for his own body. A program is just that…a program. It is the vehicle, not the driver. The better questions to ask are: a) Does your program change the factors which predispose you to weight gain ie: hormone balance, metabolism, weight set point, etc. and b) Does your program provide you with sufficient understanding so that you have the tools to make your weight loss permanent?
If the answer to these questions is yes, and you are willing to assume personal responsibility for your health, then you can achieve a lifetime of looking and feeling your best. And that, lieutenant, is the truth you’ve been seeking.
For more information on ThinTech’s programs please reach out to us at (908) 276-4393, or schedule a consultation online. Now is your chance to leave that behind and build a healthier, happier, more hopeful life.