I love seeing people take charge of their health and weight destiny… successfully! (In one of our studies, 73 patients lost an average of 47.1 lbs in just 9 months! I love that!!!) But weight loss is not “easy”. The fact is, significant weight loss and maintenance is one of the most difficult of human undertakings. You see, we have things like stress, dangerous foods, powerful cravings, and negative influences all around us.
To make matters worse, internal challenges, like genetic tendencies, hormone and nutrient deficiencies and medical conditions can sabotage our every attempt. Medical care and support is now the standard of care for successful management of overweight conditions. Let’s see why…
First, let’s agree that NO ONE ever wanted to gain excessive body weight. Think about the consequences that typically follow:
- Joint pain
- Clothes don’t fit
- Loss of self-confidence
- Health problems
- Activity level plummets
- Career options may be limited
- Social life suffers
- Life expectancy drops
Who has time for any of that? We only go through life once, and we all want to make the best of each and every day. This begs the question. If no one WANTS to gain weight, why is it happening in epidemic proportions?
But, more importantly, if you are one who has suffered unwanted weight gain, then the question is not really why is it happening to so many others, the question becomes,
“Why has this unwanted weight gain happened to YOU, someone who cares?”
That question is why I started the Center for Nutrition and Preventive Medicine 20 years ago. I saw from my previous years of medical practice that this question had gone unanswered for my countless overweight patients in the 1980’s and 1990’s. No one was assessing patients individually and personally, diving in to their personal family history, medical history, nutritional intake, stress issues, lifestyle situations, appetite tendencies, and metabolism challenges. You see, it only takes one of these many factors out of balance (hormones, sleep problems, nutrient deficiencies, appetite disorders, metabolism dysfunction) to cause a long-term weight gain that after 15-20+ lbs becomes a major challenge to manage.
Once I saw all the factors impacting my patients, and the frustrating experiences they were having in trying to manage these medical challenges with the INEFFECTIVE strategy of “willpower” and painful, self-restrictive diets that provided short term, limited results at best, I knew we could do better.
After 20 years and many thousands of patients, I’m more convinced than ever that to manage significant, unwanted weight gain successfully, a comprehensive, thoughtful, personalized, science-based medical approach is needed.
Remember those statistics I’ve quoted about self-imposed diets and group meetings? JAMA medical journal, in 2005 summarized it well.
160 obese individuals (87 lbs overweight on average) dieting with Weight Watchers, Zone Diet, Ornish Diet, or Atkins lost a disappointing 6.4 lbs on average in 1 year. This included 2 months of “maximum effort”.
This was just 7% of what the individuals needed to lose to reach an ideal weight. Self-dieters (without a plan) do even worse. They typically gain weight while trying to lose weight!
In fact, research has proven the long-term weight destiny of self-dieters and fad dieters is discouraging to say the least. And, even if you could keep losing 6.4 lbs per year, who has 13 (or however many) years in the prime of life to achieve a weight goal?
Here are just some of the factors that I consider mandatory in our assessment of each and every patient BEFORE they begin the challenge of weight loss:
- Body Composition Analysis (knowing EXACTLY how much muscle, fat, etc)
- Blood Chemistry Analysis (vitamin/mineral status, organ function, etc)
- Weight Gain Trends Over Time (when?, why?, circumstances?)
- Medical and Medication Factors
- Stress and Mood Factors
- Genetic Family Tendency Assessment (are genetics involved)
- Nutrition Assessments (food quality, food cravings, food patterns)
- Appetite Assessments (cravings, hunger, patterns, overeating tendencies)
- Metabolism Assessments (thyroid, sex hormones, stress, energy levels)
After all, doesn’t it make sense that you should understand WHY you’ve gained
unwanted weight prior to battling the unwanted weight?
A principle of war is to first “KNOW YOUR ENEMY”! In the battle against unwanted weight, this principle is all too true!
Now you understand why I embrace the personal and thoughtful medical approach as the standard of care for individuals struggling with more than 15-20 lbs of unwanted weight gain. The medical approach, requiring thoughtful investigation, is the only approach founded in science that treats each person as an individual. Remember, you deserve the best of care, support, encouragement, and effective strategies.
Significant weight loss can be a hard journey! Take advantage of all the support, insights and strategies that can be offered in a quality medical weight loss center. You are worth the time and effort required to lose weight. Be encouraged! Thousands of our patients have experienced the benefits of successful weight loss. Health, quality of life, and even life expectancy may be at stake.
And remember, Optimum Health is ALWAYS worth the effort. Learn more at TagueNutrition.com.
For Optimum Health,
Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H.
P.S. If you want to learn more about the benefits of our individualized medical approach to weight loss and using the power of nutrition in the battle against high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure, call for a simple initial consultation. In Topeka call (785) 273-4443 or in KC call our Leawood office at (913) 814-8222.