To what lengths would you go to lose weight?
Remember when people were getting their jaws wired so they couldn’t eat anything but a liquid diet? I’ve never known anyone who did that, but I read about it. Based on the same principle, now you can get a patch sewn onto your tongue! It makes eating so painful that you can only consume liquids.
After one month, the Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who invented the patch removes it and voilà – you’ve lost weight. If the gross factor isn’t enough to turn your stomach and turn you off food, think about this: the device puts the patients at risk for infections, ulcers and choking.
Those who can’t consume sufficient calories lose weight, regardless of the method employed to make eating difficult. Those who don’t change their lifestyle will regain the weight as soon as their jaw is unwired or their tongue patch is removed and they return to their old, deeply ingrained habits. Surviving on a liquid diet or any other severely calorically restricted diet puts participants at risk for other medical problems such as gallbladder damage. Procedures are not solutions, although they can be part of the solution in some cases.
Addressing one’s underlying psychological issues for extreme eating, and slowly but surely changing one’s lifestyle is the answer.
Desperate people do desperate things. There’s a sucker born every minute and a snake oil salesman willing to take advantage of him. Anyone who promises that you can get fit in just 10 minutes per day or lose weight while continuing to eat fries and cake every day is more interested in profiting off of your naiveté than helping you achieve your goals.
Have you heard about the man who ate all his meals at McDonald’s for 90 days and lost 28 pounds? Of course, he lost weight because his fast-food diet consisted of significantly fewer calories per day than he used to consume. Formerly sedentary, he began walking for exercise, which contributed to weight loss.
This type of diet has two major flaws: 1) without engaging in regular strength training, some of the weight loss would include muscle mass – not a good idea because we need to build and maintain muscle; and, 2) while he did choose some of the healthier menu options such as salads, including hamburgers, fries and sodas as dietary staples fails to deliver sound nutrition. I think this man has done a great disservice to overweight people whom he may have fooled into thinking that fast food is a healthy option.
One of the best decisions I ever made was to stop going to fast food restaurants. If you want to get lean, fit and healthier, you need to learn life skills such as how to shop, prepare and eat healthy food. You also need to learn about portion control so you don’t eat too much – or too little. You can lose weight eating anything, as long as the calories you consume are fewer than the calories you burn; however, a balanced diet is preferable because it provides the right amount of complex carbs, protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals you need based on your age, height, weight, gender and activity level. Think beyond the numbers on the scale. Think in terms of health.
Did you know?
• People who eat a healthy breakfast everyday have a significantly increased chance of long-term weight management, and are less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and become obese.
• People who skip breakfast consume more sweets, soft drinks, fewer vegetables and less fruit; tend to have higher cholesterol, elevated insulin levels and larger waist circumferences; and have an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart attack or death from coronary artery disease.
I’m very excited to announce that my book Personal Best: Train Your Brain and Transform Your Body for Life will be available at the end of February at Amazon.com and at select local businesses.
It’s the story of my journey from overweight, unhealthy couch potato to fit long-distance runner and personal trainer.
In addition to sharing my personal challenges and how I overcame them, I include a seven-point plan for success, and lots of tips like the ones in this article. No quick fixes. No gimmicks. It takes hard work and commitment to achieve your goals.
Gloria Schwartz is a personal trainer at the Soloway JCC.