"I need someone to help me say no!" Obesity diet problems. 

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Obesity medicine in general seems to be based on the concept that once a person loses the weight, it stays off but in reality, this is seldom, if ever, true.  Also, some providers tell patients to keep away from carbohydrates and only eat proteins etc. This is a concept which was disproven long ago. (Some doctors even have a website pointing out the dangers of the low carb diet). In truth, calories are the bottom line and even Dr Atkins admitted in his last book that you can get just as overweight from too many protein calories as you can from too many calories of any other type of food.

Every diet reduces the metabolism (how many calories you need a day) by 400-500 so as you can see, if a person keeps losing and re-gaining weight, they end up with a low metabolism, making the almost inevitable re-gain happen faster.

Most Weight Loss surgery (WLS) surgeons, tell patients they have to lose a percentage of their weight with conventional dieting in order to get ready for surgery.  Besides hopefully establishing a new lifestyle, this also reduces issues like "fatty liver" et al, reducing surgical risks somewhat, however somehow the information that this must be their new lifestyle after surgery, seems to seldom reach the potential patients... even if surgeons try hard to convey this information in their seminars (most of them do try to inform pre ops).

Patients seem to make a last ditch effort to lose the pre surgery weight, feeling that the surgery will do it all for them, easily and painlessly.

The surgeons cannot be blamed for these false ideas in patients because I've seen surgeons who try hard to warn patients that if they don't diet and exercise after surgery, they not only won't keep off the weight but they may become sick, too.

That being said, I, who have kept off over 100 lbs for more than 6 years and have researched this stuff for the last 38 years, wonder at times, how the public can continue to be so misinformed about diets and weight loss, despite the fact that 95% of the public, surgery or not, is unsuccessful in keeping off the weight in the long run.

The following about maintaining weight loss should be noted:

  • Lost weight will not stay off without daily vigilance, whether you have surgery or not!
    • Surgery is only effective in the very short term (even Dr Nowzaradian admitted that in an honest moment on TV!)
    • Every diet reduces the amount of calories you need per day making it harder to not regain so don't go on a diet unless you mean to make it your new lifestyle.
    • The only way I've found to keep off weight is counting calories - journaling all food before eating it.
    • Every surgical patient who has kept off the weight, does exactly the same thing I do - count calories, journal food, and weigh and measure portions.
  • Cravings
    • First of all, often, a bite or two, savored, will suffice. As one of the faith based weight loss individuals pointed out in their book, the first bite tastes the best, the second bite tastes good and by the third bite, the great taste is mostly gone.
    • Second, you can indulge a craving if you count the calories first.  I am eating a Hostess cupcake as I type this, eating slowly and savoring each bite. I did enter it into the journal before I ate it.  No one ever regained all their weight from an occasional indulgence.
  • If you go off program, get back on program, the next day.  One day off program is not going to make you regain or not lose weight. (bites now and then, don't count, generally).
  • They have wonderful on line journals...and many of them are free! Here's the one I use... it's called my Fitness Pal and you can also, enter your daily exercise in it. (as I looked up the link for the journal, I added my cupcake and 1/2 glass of milk!) :)
  • Counting carbs doesn't work and actually is not healthy in many ways - calories are the bottom line and most folks need some sweets now and then, to stay on program. Low carb programs were based on studies done in the 1950's - back when nothing much was known about weight loss.
    • To note, our brains need at least 170 - 200 carbs a day to process efficiently - one reason why low carbing is not healthy.
  • Include some of your "fun foods" in your daily program but weigh, measure and journal them.
  • Eat a balanced diet, heavy on veggies and lean meats, limited bread and other starches.
  • Often if you feel hungry, you might really be thirsty - few of us hydrate enough so try drinking water first before you eat extra food.
  • To maintain a healthy weight in a society which is a food jungle, providing opportunities to eat at every moment, it takes daily vigilance! But some of us feel it's worth it, for the comfort, like fitting well into places, not having wardrobes in three sizes, not having medical providers blame everything wrong with us on our weight and more. Bottom line, a healthy weight is really ideal if you do it in a healthy manner.

Take note of the above and you won't need to change your digestive tract to lose weight and maintain it.  Or if you don't want to do this, follow HAES (Health at Every Size). Several studies found that overweight folks who make mostly healthy food choices and do cardio exercise at least 5 times a week, are almost as healthy as folks at their "ideal weight" who make healthy food choices and do regular cardio exercise, and may be more healthy than the average sedentary American regardless of size. Don't buy the hype.

See for example, "BIG FAT LIES" by Glenn Gaesser, PhD

Partial list of research material I've read:

Research books