Are you one of the millions of people in the U.S. that are overweight? Have you ever gone on a “diet”? Has your doctor ever told you to lose weight? Would you like to lose weight if you could? Do you think it’s hopeless? If so, you are not alone!
Statistics from the National Center for Health estimate that in 2015-2016 39.8% of adults aged 20 and over in the U.S. were obese (including 7.6% with severe obesity). An additional 31.8% were overweight!
If you answered “Yes” to any of the questions above, then it’s important to consider these facts:
1.If you have a medical condition or are taking one or more drugs, any diet undertaken should be medically supervised.
2.All diets work. For some people. No diet works for everyone.
3.Being overweight has many factors; medical opinion, conventional wisdom, social habits, addiction, genetics, misinformation, and bias to name a few.
4.You already know this, but if you choose to lose weight you will need to chart your own course. No one else can do it for you.
5.To succeed, you will need to take several of the following steps:
a.Make lifestyle changes over time. Temporary modifications in lifestyle and diet will not result in permanent change to your body and health
b. Define the reason(s) that will drive you to your goal, whether it’s health, appearance, or happiness
c.Learn enough information about weight loss so that you can decide how to begin
d.Be ready to draw your own conclusions about what will and will not work and what does and does not work for you
e.Be able to question conventional wisdom or your doctor’s opinion if it doesn’t make sense to you
f.If you and your doctor can’t agree, determine why and then decide whether it may be time to get another opinion
g.Decide on a course of action
i.You are unique! Some things you try will work, some won’t. After deciding what is working for you, decide on your next step and move forward.
j.Be willing to adjust your course
k.Your goals will change over time. Your initial goal may be to lose weight. Your eventual goal may be to maintain what you decide is your optimum weight for the rest of your life.
l.Continue toward your goals until you succeed.
If you believe America is in the midst of an obesity crises (see The American Dilemma – Fat and Getting Fatter; #1) – it seems clear that conventional wisdom, drug therapy, and other solutions suggested by nutrition experts and modern medicine are not working.
Before suggesting you consider a path that involves changing the standard American diet, coming posts will review current research, discuss possible reasons for the obesity crises, and suggest how common-sense changes to diet and lifestyle can be gradually implemented by the average person.