Do Weight Loss Programs Work?

Attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/4222532649/
Attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/4222532649/

The short answer is no! With everyone’s New Years Resolutions to lose weight, I thought I would weigh in with my opinion :).

Here are some statistics: 95% of weight loss plans fail after 3 years with individuals gaining all of their weight back, while 83% of diets that are developed by the individual are successful with the individual at their goal weight 5 years later.

What this means is that program weight loss centers such as weight watchers etc., and this also includes the liquid cleanse or “shake” diets as well, fail within the first 3 years. Why is this?

I believe it is because these people are not taught to eat correctly, unlike there counterparts that designed there own plans and succeeded in a lasting weight loss. I have known weight watchers dieters to make a meal out of popcorn because they used up their points.  Or how about the companies that sell weight loss and cleanse shakes, these companies are also in that 95% failure category.

Weight loss will not happen with a points plan, pre-packaged food or a shake. It requires a change on three levels; nutrition, physical, emotional/spiritual.

If you focus on food that is made from single ingredients, nutrient dense, and in season, you will feel satisfied, your blood sugar will stabilize and you will eventually lose weight. Start off in the morning with your biggest meal, it is well known that breakfast skippers will have a harder time losing weight.

What constitutes a good breakfast? Here are some suggestions:

  • Eggs and brown rice with greens
  • Whole grain breakfast cereal, steel cut oats, millet or quinoa add in nuts and fruit
  • Rice and beans
  • Almond Flour pancakes with fresh fruit compote
  • Quesodilla made with brown rice tortilla

All of these suggestions are nutrient dense, and will stabilize blood sugar, giving you a power start to your day!

Get moving, even if it is to take a walk outside every day. Very often weight gain can be the result of adrenal fatigue which is from stress and causes abdominal fat. This type of abdominal fat is the most unhealthy area to gain weight. So what does a walk outside have to do with cortisol and weight loss?  The adrenal glands produce cortisol and cortisol is released under stress. The adrenals love to be taken for a walk outside in the fresh air and sunshine! Walking outside helps in weight loss and is a great stress buster, thus restoring adrenal function. Beware of exercise intolerance, if you exercise and find it necessary to take a 2 hour nap afterwards you are doing more harm than good. Back off and take a walk slowly increasing the length of time and the intensity.

Lastly what is your emotional relationship to food? Dr. Rex Russell states in his book “What The Bible Says About Healthy Living” that we are not to make food or drink an idol. Examine what you reach for and why? Are you reaching for salty, fatty or sweet food? Are you reaching for these foods over something healthy? Are you living to eat or do you eat to live? These are questions that you need to ponder as you work on weight loss.

I have tremendous success with my clients just by removing from their diet antagonizing foods, adding breakfast and a walk outside. As you can probably have guessed I am not a fan of “diets”.  I prefer to work with people in changing their lifestyle that brings about superb and long lasting health!

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