“Weight loss programs have dismal success rates. Eleven pounds is the average lost after a year in a counseling based weight loss program. Yet dieting is the recommended strategy of most programs.
After two years, 83 percent of participants have gained back more than they lost.
Complete weight regain is the norm after five years. Most people are better off not going on diets at all.
The National Business Group on Health estimates that obesity accounts for 39 million lost work days, 239 million restricted-activity days and 63 million physician visits.
63 million visits to the doctor. And precious few of them on what actually does work.
Obesity is a problem which one person suffers at a time.
The only person who can solve the problem is the individual. Not your doctor, not your partner, not a television spectacle.
But there is something your doctor can do: ask you if you are sincere.
If your doctors effort focuses on helping you change your thinking, not just what you eat, it can help you today and right now.
It can also give you a tool for tomorrow.
If your doctors effort shows you how and when to eat, it gives you an alternative to eating while dripping and leaning over the sink, or while browsing the buffet table, or in the parking lot.
If you are someone who sincerely desires wants to lose weight and keep it off, you are half way there. You are ready to change your thinking; motivated to begin a lifestyle change not a diet; and available to do so.
If you do not qualify, then your doctor should help you get ready. That might be just by asking: Are you sincerely interested in investing the time it takes to lose weight and keep it off?
Notice that the question does not concern dieting. Because weight loss is not about dieting.
The question is about time, because time is an even more valuable, limited commodity than money for many people.
Using these ideas is logical, but it usually takes until you want to look and feel better to them, and are sick and tired of seeing the scale go up, or avoiding it altogether.
Most of all, it takes believing that the time to begin to lose weight and keep it off is now.”
*excerpted and adapted from “Own Your Own Weight Loss” by Palmer and La Puma, Managed Care Magazine 2007 November.