I overheard a revealing father-to-son comment while eating out. A family of 3 was seated at the table right next to me. Sadly, both parents were overweight by 40+ pounds, as was the 20 year old son. The father, speaking wisdom, commented, “Son, be very careful to protect your health, or you will end up with problems. Look at me…”
“…I’ve just got to lose 40 pounds!”
Their family weight problem was apparent, as was the complete absence of an effective plan. Everyone knows that losing weight and keeping it off long term can be difficult. But gaining weight is easy!
Consider these 3 weight gain facts in America:
Fact #1) No one wants to be overweight, yet it is epidemic ( more than 2/3 of Americans)!
An ever-smaller minority of Americans are normal weight, fewer than 1 in 3. Why so? Aren’t Americans among the most clever and knowledgeable people who have ever lived on planet Earth? Being overweight is unwanted, yet it is the new “normal”. In America, being overweight or obese is “automatic”!
Fact #2)Fact #2) “Self-dieters” find little success. Chronic overweight affects 2 out of 3 adults in America. Millions are trying to lose weight at any given time. However, few are successful. The International Journal of Obesity (Sept, 2000) reported that after 1 year of self-dieting, those trying to lose weight actually gained 1-½ lbs!
Fact #3) Americans gain 20 lbs of unwanted weight in 10 years from ages 25-35, on average! (CARDIA study). Excess weight is unhealthy, uncomfortable and unwanted, yet we are adding 20 lbs during our “healthiest” and most active 10 years of adulthood! Many people gain far more!
So, if weight loss is hard, and weight gain is the “norm” what should I do? Especially, if like the father above…
“…I’ve just got to lose 40 pounds!”
Here is my advice:
1. Don’t delay success by pursuing strategies that are not “40 pound strategies”:
- Example #1: Self-diets. Eating less and exercising more are admirable goals (and a great way to get hungry and tired), but not typically effective for losing anywhere close to 40 lbs. Researchers have concluded, “dieting to lose weight predicts weight GAIN, not weight loss…!” Int J Obes Sept 2000.
- Example #2: Franchise diet chains. The journal JAMA (Jan 2005), reported that average weight loss at Weight Watchers in 1 year was 6.6 lbs (participants started around 220 lbs and lost to around 213.4 lbs, on average, after one year).
- Example #3: Fad diet books. Whether Atkins (4.6 lbs), Zone Diet (7.0 lbs), or Ornish Diet (7.3 lbs), average weight loss after 1 year was closer to 4 lbs than 40 lbs, even though starting weight was around 220 lbs (JAMA, 2005).
Almost any approach is better than nothing! But if you HAVE to lose 20-40 lbs or more, choose your approach thoughtfully!
Significant weight loss is VERY achievable. Consider our Center for Nutrition “Topeka Study” of 20 consecutive obese men and women coming to us for weight loss. These obese dieters following their recommended personal, individualized treatment plans achieved:
Dr. Tague Center for Nutrition Plan: Average weight loss of 41 lbs in 12 weeks!
Let me be clear, medical weight loss, when individualized, can be highly successful. Obviously, these individuals were motivated to lose weight and were on a mission! They chose our most aggressive approach to weight loss. They were also thoughtfully evaluated and treated. Regular follow-up visits to our clinic allowed their plan to be modified according to their needs over time. This is not a “cookie-cutter” approach to weight loss.
How about after 1 year? We found an average weight loss of 39 lbs among 716 patients following our plan for 1 year! Remember, obesity is a chronic, progressive disease. For 716 individuals to lose an average of 39 lbs and have it off a year later is remarkable. Remember, many individuals lost significantly more than 39 lbs and many individuals did not need to lose 39 lbs to achieve their weight goal.
Like losing weight, maintaining weight loss requires the same “on a mission” mentality, or weight can always return. A long-term, medically supervised approach is the only strategy I recommend.
Remember, obesity is a MEDICAL DISEASE, not a character flaw!!!
As you pursue Optimum Health, remember that successful weight control and excellent nutrition are key factors. The unwanted weight gain trends in America are clear and alarming. Unwanted weight gain is literally destroying the health of America!
Let’s choose not to participate in these common trends. Instead, let’s:
- Identify our “Optimum Health” goals of weight loss and excellent nutrition.
- Identify an expert medical team to assess the causes of your weight gain. Let us help!
- Work with an experienced weight loss physician to develop weight loss strategies.
- Embrace those strategies diligently, daily, and long term!
If you are struggling with unwanted weight gain, whether it is 20, 40, 60, or 100+ pounds, take charge now!
Get the medical professional support you need for weight control! Time is ticking! Our professional team at the Center for Nutrition is available to give you the tools, strategies, and personal support that is mandatory for success!
For Optimum Health,
Rick R. Tague, M.D., M.P.H. & T.M.
P.S. If you need a personal treatment plan for chronic overweight, learn more at taguenutrition.com. At the Center for Nutrition, we have had over 20 years of experience assisting overweight individuals in their pursuit of weight loss and health. Let our experience with 20,000 patients losing well over 200,000 lbs go to work for you. Call us for a free initial consultation to learn more.