Permanent Weight Loss

Originally publihed: 11-12-13

When Americans decide to lose weight, they almost invariably do one thing:  go on a diet.  A weight loss diet usually calls for significant caloric restriction and/or food group elimination, often requires the adherence to impractical rules or the performance of cumbersome chores, generally results in hunger or feelings of deprivation, and almost never results in the achievement of the originally planned weight loss.

For these reasons and others, all diets end, and all dieters return to their previous eating habits and their previous overweight state.  Even when dieters regard their diets as tolerable and effective, the diets end, because “going on a diet” means eventually going off of it.  So, what is the result of dieting?  Temporary weight loss.  And what is temporary weight loss good for?  Absolutely nothing.

Being overweight is uncomfortable, unhealthy and unhappy.  Excess weight significantly increases the risk for many common and often serious diseases suffered by Americans today, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, several types of cancer, sleep apnea, gastric reflux, chronic pain (particularly in the low back, hip, knee and foot), and depression.  The overweight state worsens most of these diseases and often is the main cause of some of these diseases.

Being overweight is permanent.  The factors that cause us to gain weight are powerful and ever-present, yet most of us are unaware of their presence because they are so natural and a part of our daily lives.  Human metabolism is geared to favor weight gain to prevent us from starving to death during food shortages, the human brain reacts to fattening foods by making us crave them and feel pleasure when we eat them, and human culture practically forces us to engage in fattening behaviors whenever we are in social situations.

So, given the misery and permanence of the overweight state, it must be treated with the lifelong observance of specific thoughts and behaviors.  Such thoughts and behaviors must be the substance of a comprehensive plan for weight management designed and administered by a medical professional who specializes in the treatment of overweight individuals and is available to provide them ongoing, long term guidance and support.

If you are overweight, don’t even think about going on a diet.  Treat your overweight state the right way, so you can enjoy the comfort, health and happiness that come with permanent weight loss!

Dean Sloan, MD

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