What if most of the existing weight loss programs are not based on good science? Would that explain why such a big percentage of people are not successful in their weight loss efforts? One of the participants in a recent weight-loss webinar remarked that she had been trying to lose weight for over 20 years, and she had never heard most of the information she was hearing during this webinar.
Perhaps this was because she was actually learning about the science of weight loss, as opposed to some fad diet or pill that was going to magically allow her to drop those extra pounds. Or, maybe it was because the presenter was not saying ridiculous things like "eat whatever you want and still lose weight!"
This webinar was based on the scientific facts about how the body works and how everyone is somewhat unique. Therefore, one weight loss program cannot possibly work for everyone. In addition, there is no easy way to lose weight that is good for your health, and that includes gastric bypass surgery. There were three basic principles laid out during this webinar. They are as follows:
- The body has a genetically programmed biochemical system for maintaining a proper weight.
- There are variations of this program that require people to eat differently, based on their genetic and biochemical makeup.
- It takes time and consistent and intelligent effort to lose weight and keep it off, while ensuring an optimum level of good health.
The Reasons Most People Don't Lose Weight
There are over 20 scientific factors that can cause people to gain weight and not be able to lose it or to keep it off. We will discuss five of the most important factors.
Brain Chemistry - The brain needs specific nutrients, and if it does not get them, serious cravings can occur for foods high in sugar, fat and salt. A vast majority of weight loss programs completely ignore brain chemistry, and this is precisely why so many of these programs are not successful.
Metabolism - There are five different types of metabolism, and if someone does not eat in accordance with their metabolism, they will gain weight. There are ten factors that determine metabolism, and none of the popular weight-loss programs mention them. Your metabolism determines how much of your food should be carbohydrates, protein and fat.
Meal Frequency - The body and brain need nourishment every three or four hours. This desired pattern has been established over thousands of years. Some weight loss programs mention this, but their explanations are not very good. The body stores more fat and slows metabolism if it is not fed regularly with nutritious food. Knowing how this occurs helps people to be more disciplined about planning what and when they are going to eat.
Losing Too Quickly - The body does not like to lose weight too quickly. In fact, if someone reduces daily calorie intake by more than ten percent of what is needed, their body goes into protection mode. When this happens, metabolism slows down and fat is stored to protect vital body organs and functions. No weight loss program explains this adequately, and it is one of the main reasons why so many of them fail.
Nutrient Requirements - In order to function properly, the body needs very specific amounts of vitamins, minerals, fats and fiber. Most diet programs do not explain the actual nutritional requirements to protect immediate or long-term health. In fact, many popular weight-loss programs are probably causing chronic diseases in many people.
There are other facts that influence weight loss, but these five provide an adequate picture of the inadequacies of most weight loss programs. The scientific approach to weight loss considers all of these factors and uses the following personal assessment tools to help develop a personalized weight loss program for anyone who is really serious about achieving a healthy body and a healthy weight.
- Weight Control Survey - This 20-question survey, helps to identify how much of someone's weight challenge involves eating patterns, brain chemistry, emotional factors or situations.
- Good Eating Habits Survey - This 20-question survey assesses the key factors that influence your nutritional intake, including things like meal frequency, sugar intake, fat intake, healthy food consumption, stress and exercise.
- Measuring Metabolism - This 10-question survey can help determine a person's metabolism. Then it is possible to make adjustments in the intake of carbohydrates, protein and fat to optimize the success of weight control efforts.
- Food Addiction Survey - Most people have some sort of food addiction, and this 10-question survey can help to determine if someone has such cravings and how serious they are. Then it is important to identify which nutrients the body and brain are craving, so they can be included in the daily food plan.
- Food Nutritional Value Chart - This food evaluation tool ranks over 200 foods on a scale of 1 to 10, based on nutritional value. By marking the foods eaten on a regular basis, it is possible to calculate the quality of someone's diet on a scale of 1 to 100. If the desired score of 80 or more is not achieved, one can make specific changes in their eating habits in order to improve weight loss efforts, as well as create a body that is very resistant to chronic disease.
- Optimum Nutrition Questionnaire - This is a symptoms-based assessment that can identify possible nutritional deficiencies for 17 key vitamins, minerals and fats. Our bodies speak to us when there are nutritional deficiencies. Leg cramps often mean that there is a magnesium deficiency. These deficiency symptoms often occur before blood tests show anything. No weight loss programs ever consider these deficiencies.
The scientific approach to weight management is not suitable for everyone. It will probably only be successful for those who are truly tired of failing, and are ready to dedicate the time and energy needed to read, fill out surveys and create a personalized weight loss program that can lead to the success they are looking for.
One of our recent clients found a group of employees who said they were ready for this approach. After eight weeks, the results were very impressive. Seventeen out of eighteen employees lost weight in the eight-week program and have kept it off for three more months.
Some lost up to thirteen pounds while the group average was six pounds. The only person who did not lose weight actually lost inches and increased muscle mass amounting to three pounds. That means that one hundred percent of these employees were successful using the scientific way to lose weight.
About the Author
Charles K. Bens, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized author, speaker and consultant specializing in the field workplace wellness. Dr. Bens has written nine books and over two hundred articles, and he was recently the Vail Visiting Professor at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. He has a small wellness company, Healthy At Work, Inc. in Sarasota, Florida.