It’s time to get more specific. Since you’ve presumably read the first four posts in this series, it clear that you seriously want to lose weight, may have tried and failed to lose weight or to maintain a weight loss, and you now wonder if there is an solution. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees. Although there is a solution that will probably work for you, there is no one-size-fits-all cookie cutter approach. You will decide what to believe, what makes sense, and what action(s) to take.
The first step is to try to sort out what is fact and what is fiction.
You may choose to believe conventional wisdom and dogma – the low fat, calories in = calories out, 1980’s food pyramid approach. Or maybe you’ve tried that with poor results, are looking for alternatives and are ready to chart a different course. Whatever path you choose, if you have medical issues, are taking one or more drugs, have pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes, you should only proceed under a physician’s care.
Here are several facts:
1.You are unique. All diet plans probably work for certain people. However, just because a diet may be popular does not mean it will work for you. In order to make progress, you will need to understand some facts about nutrition, decide what makes sense, and then start from that point. Statistically, you will be the experiment sample (n = 1).
2.In their book, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, Jeff Volek, PhD, RD, and Stephen Phinney, MD, PhD state: (since the 1970’s) “200 million adults in the United States have been encouraged to consume higher levels of dietary carbohydrate in place of fat. In the same time frame, more than half of us have ended up overweight or obese.” Does continuing to follow this type of thinking make sense to you?
3.If you are overweight, obese, pre-diabetic or have Type 2 diabetes, what has your doctor recommended? Weight loss? How has he or she suggested you proceed? Has that worked? Drug therapy? If so, do you know why drug therapy was recommended? Do both you and your doctor feel that drug therapy is working? Why? Have there been side effects? How long is this therapy recommended?
4.Are you comfortable looking at some of the current research that may be opposed to conventional wisdom and then deciding if following a different path makes sense?
5.If your current doctor is skeptical or disagrees, would you be willing to get a second opinion from an expert in the field or feel that a second opinion would be helpful?
6.If you don’t feel that your doctor understands the issues, if you are not seeing results, or if the only solutions suggested involve drugs, would you be comfortable in charting your own course?
The next step is to consider what causes an average person to gain weight, both on the macro level – what we eat every day − and on the micro level − some of the basic biochemistry of weight gain.
After gaining insight on these topics, it should be possible to chart a course forward.
The American Dilemma ─ Fat and Getting Fatter; #1
Calories In vs Calories Out to Lose Weight? -It’s complicated; #2
Calories In vs Calories Out – The Issues
Nutrition Vs. Weight -- What Should I Do? #4