A year and a half ago, when I knew I was going to start my clinic, I set up Google Alerts to catch anything pertaining to diet, weight loss, different diets, etc. Every day, I save those alerts in a folder in my Gmail account. Today, I have 3,530 alerts sitting in that folder. Each of those alerts has at least 3 articles, but *maybe one is a duplicate (published in more than one alert). So, if 2 of the articles in each alert is unique – that means in the past year and a half, I’ve received nearly 7,000 pieces of information about dieting and weight loss. SEVEN THOUSAND!!
How is the average dieter supposed to siphon through seven thousand articles and decide what will help them and what won’t? How many of these “tips” does an average dieter try?
According to 2012 data, at any given time there are 50% of Americans trying to lose weight. And, they will attempt 4 different diets in a given year. If you’ve ever needed to lose a few pounds, you already know how much time and energy the average dieter puts into this! You’ll read anything you can get your hands on! But – how do you know what to try? How do you know what is worth your time and money (about $65B was spent trying to lose weight in 2012)?
Different Types of Weight Loss Plans
As you can see from my Google Alerts folder above, which only contains a few specific weight loss methods, you can choose from low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie. You can “go Paleo”, read Atkins, try South Beach or Zone. You can google “cabbage diet.” There are countless OTC supplements sold at “nutrition” stores for you to try. Again, how does one decide?? How do you know where to concentrate your efforts – AND your money?
Weight Loss Analogy – You and Your Car
Let’s say you set out for work one morning and your car won’t start. So, you think – “hmmm – must be the battery.” The next logical thing is to head out and get a new battery. You’ve changed the battery and it still won’t start. Again…”hmm – must be the starter.” You run back to the auto store. Within an hour, you’ve installed your new starter. Still – no luck. Dead as a doornail. Here we go a 3rd time! “Hmmm…. must be the fuel pump.” I probably don’t need to tell you that after you’ve spent hours installing a new fuel pump – it’s not that either! You’ve spent all day “fixing” your car, you’ve spent hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars trying to get your car started.
But here’s the thing…. YOU NEVER KNEW WHAT THE PROBLEM WAS IN THE FIRST PLACE!!
Losing Weight is About Solving a Problem
If you are gaining, or if you can’t lose, there is a problem somewhere. I’ve said from the beginning that excess weight isn’t the problem – it’s the result OF a problem. If you don’t know what that problem is, how in the world are you supposed to fix it? When you are looking at the hundreds of weight loss supplements, or when you are reading countless articles, how do you know what will work? Then answer is …. you don’t! Unless you figure out the underlying cause, you may spend thousands of dollars and never find a solution. You will have replaced the battery, the starter, and the fuel pump** – only to realize you were simply out of gas!
The Best Diet for Weight Loss
The best solution for YOU will be one that addresses YOUR problem. It’s not about what worked for a friend, or your sister. It’s about what will work for YOU. There are countless studies with results claiming low-calorie diets are better (or low-carb, or low-fat). But the reality is, you are an individual. You have a unique physiology that needs a unique solution. Think about that. Trying to fit one eating plan to every single person trying to lose weight is nuts.
Because we are all different – the way we react to food is different! Consider this (yes another analogy, because I love them!), if I had 100 people standing in line. And I gave each of those people the same exact pill. As a physician, would I expect each of those people to respond the exact same way to the medication? Of course not! So – why in the world would we listen to anything that says one diet is best for everyone? Why do we understand that a medication we consume can have different effects on us all – but we poo-poo that food can do the same thing? What we put into our bodies matters!
Find Your Weight “Problem”
Obesity is a result of many intertwined things: genetics, food choices, emotions, income, environment, neurophysiology, lifestyle, etc. Your weight issue can lie within any, or all, of these. The problem MUST be identified before you can ever expect to be successful long-term.
Fortunately, there exists a group of professionals that have chosen to focus on obesity and weight loss. To find a clinician near you, go to the ABOM (American Board of Obesity Medicine) website and find a specialist near you.
** Dr. Hodges knows nothing about fixing cars.
**Fixing your vehicle’s battery, starter, and fuel pump will not result in weight loss.
This, as well as other essential information for weight loss, can be found in my new ebook! This new ebook prepares you for your next weight loss program – to make it your LAST weight loss program! Weight loss starts with your MIND….not with your BEHIND. Get your mindset right and your chances of weight loss success SKYROCKET!