When I review how other weight loss programs approach the business of losing pounds they usually speak about “plans”. These plans usually always involve a drastic change in what one is currently eating and sometimes even include medications. These are called “Medical weight Loss” plans. And, of course one still needs to restrict their calorie intake for the medication and whole plan to work and create weight loss.
In some plans for example, Jenny Craig, one eats only portioned packaged foods that are very processed and lack nutrients. Yes, this plan does encourage limited intake of vegetables/fruit also but it is just devoid of dieters really planning and preparing and buying their own food as we all really do in “real world” eating. We need to be able to think about food and what we are going to eat “on our feet”.
Yes, Jenny Craig is low in calories and made so that it is palatable for most of us because we are so accustomed to high salt and sugary tastes that these pre-made meals provide and many find them eatable for a time. – And yes, people do lose weight while on this program.
Another weight loss plan is the hCG diet. This plan involves taking supplements, detoxing and injecting yourself daily with hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), a hormone produced during pregnancy by cells of the placenta. No form of hCG has been approved for weight loss and hCG diet products are illegal. The drastic cut in calories to approximately 500 a day, NOT the hCG, explains the weight loss, according to the FDA. Many patients that I spoke with thought that the hCG and supplements were the magic bullet and not that they were pretty much starving taking in so little food each day!
False claims for this and other very low calorie diets are;
- They can result in 1-2 pounds of weight lost daily
- Can reduce cravings and hunger
- Maintains muscle tone.
And this was really popular? I use these examples because all of them have been widely used and many people perceive them as healthy.
All of these plans are very radical and what’s more hard to stick to. Most notable, these diets have a dismal long term success rate because people really want to return to a more “normal” food intake.
The problem is plans like these are so far away from a more normal daily diet routine that people most always gain back weight quickly and then feel defeated and continue to eat. A real disaster for one’s health and weight loss which then goes in the opposite direction.
My Approach to Achieving Healthy Sustainable Weight Loss
We need EDUCATION to make a good plan.
Understanding macronutrient content in our foods and how much to eat of different types has made my patients extremely successful in managing their daily food intake and still eat with their families, go to parties and eat out at restaurants.
We need to eat in the real world and with new food products flooding the market more than ever we very much need to know which ones are healthy and even how they will affect our bodies to continue to keep us at a good weight and body composition.
In my practice EDUCATION is key for lifelong weight loss.