Six reasons why we can't (or won't) lose weight

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Struggling to lose weight? Struggling to lose weight?

This week’s blog focuses on a difficult topic – Weight loss. I have avoided tackling the subject for some time however I think the time has come. In my experience obesity is the commonest lifestyle issue that patients have. The reasons that trigger a visit to my office vary: High blood pressure, diabetes, back pain, gastro-oesophageal reflux, and knee pain with or without swelling to name a few. Many persons have at two to three problems that would be solved by achieving a heathier body weight. Note I said healthier and not ideal. This is because even before you achieve your ideal body weight you begin to reap the health benefits of reduced body weight. 

It is estimated that for every pound lost in excess body weight there is reduction of FOUR pounds pressure on the weight bearing joints of the body. Conversely weight gain of say ten pounds increases the pressure on your joints by 40 pounds. It is easy to see why ths would cause back and knee pain. Despite the obvious connection between obesity and multiple medical problems patients find it difficult to make the necessary changes.

1. Can you give me a pill to lose weight?

NO. Simply. Let me be clear. I do not support the taking of tablets to lose weight. Please note I did not say they will not work. However in my experience they will not result in sustained weight loss and a healthier you as weight gain will re-occur once you stop taking these tablets/supplements. Additionally many of these supplements contain substances that can cause elevation of blood pressure, palpitations, dry mouth, irritability and headaches just to name a few. And they are often quite expensive.

2. I have always been overweight.

OK. That may be so but that can change. Many of the person who say this feel defeated and powerless to change their weight. Changing this mind-set is crucial. The truth is if you say you can or you say you can’t you are right! You are the key.

3. I am different.

This is another manifestation of powerlessness. By citing this “difference” the individual is effectively saying there is nothing they can do. The situation cannot change. You may be different…that doesn’t mean you cannot lose weight. There are person who find it more difficult to lose weight particularly if they have certain medical conditions such as hypothyroidism or polycystic ovarian syndrome. These people are in the minority of overweight persons and they too can lose weight despite their situation.

4. I don’t eat a lot…really doc!

This is one of the comments I hear the most. The truth is whatever you are eating now is maintaining the weight you have. Your weight is the result of the interplay between what you eat (intake), the energy you expend (output) and your metabolic rate. I hear someone saying “but Doc, I really don’t eat much!” and they believe it! The thing is it has been shown time and again that we are pretty bad at estimating our intake. We tend to under report want we eat. This is compounded by the fact that we do not actually understand what a portion of various foods really is. We do not read labels so we have no idea of the amount of sugar that we consume daily. And fast food is …fast…

5. I will wait until I go on vacation to diet and/or exercise.

The flaw in this thinking should be obvious. To effect a sustained reduction in weight the changes implemented must be integrated into your regular life. If the conditions for a healthy weight can only exist under special conditions you will not be able to maintain the weight you want when you return to the regular day to day.

6. It is too expensive to see a nutritionist/go to the gym/get the weight management help I need.

Consider this. What is the cost of not taking these steps? Many patients spend thousands each month on medication to treat the lifestyle diseases that have resulted from an unhealthy diet and obesity. At the most severe end of the spectrum is heart disease, kidney disease and damage to other end organs such as the eyes and nerves, all requiring special medication and treatment often preventing persons from working to sustain their lifestyle. the strange thing is many of the persons who say this have spent a lot of money on those weght loss pills I mentioned! 

Many peolple have given up, but it is possible to lose unwanted pounds. In the next blog I will outline a few simple steps that are not expensive that you can take to achieve a healthy body weight. in that post I wil  also offer a free tool that you can use to get started.

Read 85289 times Last modified on Saturday, 03 September 2016 19:09
Simone French


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