TSD Memphis

Thu04242014

Opinion

Counting calories no answer to permanent weight loss

It seems like no matter how hard we try to change our attitude, our friends or our weight, it either gets undeniably worse or decidedly better. As the years continue to add up, we can become stuck in a time warp or become completely adrift.

Leslie is a prime example. In fact, she has a serious weight problem. She's 5 feet tall and weighs 280 pounds. In reality, her large frame really didn't bother her because she assumed, like the majority of individuals, that losing a pound wouldn't be too hard. Without trepidation, she continued to live life to the fullest, as if there was nothing to worry about.

One day Leslie visited her doctor for a routine insurance wellness check and was diagnosed with hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes. The only thing she said to her doctor was, "How could this happen to me? These diseases don't run in my family."

There are approximately 30-to-50 percent of the American population actively involved in some type of weight loss program trying to lose some unwanted pounds. The sad news is that two-thirds of Americans are already considered obese.

There are a number of weight-loss advertisements on TV and in print media. However, the majority of them are designed to cause a calorie deficit. Any spokesperson pitching his or her weight-loss program expects us to rely on less calorie consumption than what is recommended or required daily.

Leslie tried counting calories to lose weight, but was moderately successful. With tears in her eyes, she described the yo-yo effect of this approach. Millions have attempted some form of weight loss and ended with only some degree of satisfaction. It doesn't matter if you're eating bacon and eggs, soups, salads, chicken and waffles or apples, the dilemma begins once the diet ends.

Weight has a way of returning with a vengeance. In most cases we'll gain additional weight after stepping away from our diet. This is very frustrating and equally embarrassing. Although we're given different body types and frames, the diet works only until it is stopped.

When it comes to dieting, 98 percent of all weight loss programs are failures in most long-term situations. That means that out of every 100 individuals trying to lose weight, only two are moderately or permanently successful while the other 98 will fail.

So why can't we keep the weight off? As with anything we attempt, we often become too comfortable too quickly and deviate from the original plan. This usually leads us back to our old habits of eating the wrong types of foods again.

In order to find success in a healthy lifestyle and maintain a healthy, lifelong, desirable weight, we must begin by making healthy eating and exercising our lifestyle of choice. There is a proliferation of weight-loss programs to choose from. But we must remember that the weight-loss industry has a lot of experience in telling us what we want to hear.

How do we conquer this dilemma? First and foremost, if you want to permanently lose weight, you'd have to redirect your focus from desiring to be thin to focusing on being healthy. If you don't want to be called obese, you'll find this approach worth the effort.

For Leslie, this won't be a simple task or completely pain-free. I'm sure all of us enjoy the Western way of eating. This has to change. We must look at food as a nutrient rather than something that tastes good. We must realize that small changes reap rewards with great benefits.

We shouldn't let food seduce us, either. What makes this habit so hard to break? The key to weight-loss success depends on living a healthy lifestyle and switching to a nutritious diet. So select the right food for its ability to nourish and protect the body.

Leslie could lose those unwanted pounds, if she would eat to live rather than live to eat.

(Dr. Timothy Moore teaches nutrition, heart disease and diabetes reversal through a plant-based lifestyle. He is a professional speaker, wellness coach and personal plant-based chef. He is the author of 47 Tips To Reverse Your Diabetes." He can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , visit him at www.cheftimothymoore.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/cheftimmoore.)

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