I am asked daily about weight loss. At last count there are over 17,000 different diets all claiming to help you loose weight. There are a few things you should know about loosing weight and doing it appropriately.
First, 65-70% of those with weight problems have some form of insulin resistance. This is a precursor state to diabetes. It doesn't mean you will become diabetic, however, it means that if you continue to gain weight (the average America continues to gain an additional 1-2% of his or her body weight each year) you have a 15% chance of becoming diabetic in the next 5 years. This is why two thirds of people can only loose a small amount of weight over the short term and then see a rebound in the weight almost immediately. Our societies current approaches to weight loss with the "low fat" diets will only be truly effective in 30-35% of people. This is why most people feel like they are going to DIE, as this is the first part of "diet."
Therefore, if you are overweight, you should see your physician and get checked for insulin resistance or impaired fasting glucose (another term that is used interchangeably with insulin resistance) or see our website to make an appointment at http://www.nallyfamilypractice.com/.
If you are not insulin resistant, the low fat approach is important and will be successful if applied correctly. If you are insulin resistant, then an appropriate carbohydrate limiting approach will be the only way you will see success.
Second, in either case, it is important that you body does not think it is hungry or starving. When your body is hungry it thinks it is starving it will turn on the storage of fat for up to 24 hours. To solve this problem, it is important to eat five to six small meals per day every three to four hours. This helps keep your body feeling fed and turns of the drive to store fat.
Third, drink enough water. Water is key to weight management. If your body is thirsty it thinks it is starving and turns on fat storage. It is important to hydrate yourself regularly. I recommend drinking 64 oz of water per day as a base. That is eight 8oz glasses of water per day. You should know that drinking anything more concentrated than water (soda, juice, tea, coffee) will dehydrate your body. So, chase these drinks with a glass of water.
Fourth, some form of exercise regularly is essential. I recommend that if you are not participating in a regular exercise program, start a simple walking program. Start out walking for 10-15 minutes three times per week. You can increase the time you walk by a few minutes every two weeks. It is important, however, that you get checked out by your doctor before you engage in any moderate or vigorous exercise program.
Last, it is important to know that being overweight and obese are diseases that are treatable. It is important to understand that recent science shows that your body releases hormones that cause very strong cravings and appetites in response to both physical and psychological stimuli. Keeping a dietary journal is important. Write down what you eat and record why you ate it. After a while, you will see patterns to why you are eating and when. Habits of eating are some of the most challenging to break and a diet journal is a key to unlocking these habits, both good and bad.
I have heard many physicians state that the only reason people can't loose weight is because they just don't push away from the table. For the majority of people weight control is possible as you appropriately regulate your hormones. I know very few women who can just concentrate or focus their will power and stop their menstrual cycle for a few months. Why they would anyone think that just pushing away from the table will reduce their weight?
You can loose weight and you can be successful. Start with these simple tips and follow up with your doctor if you are not seeing the success you desire.