Losing weight (Part 5): How fast is fast enough?
With more and more commercial programs advertising bigger and faster weight loss in a short period of time, I was not surprised to receive this email: “Dear Dr. P., I changed my eating habits as suggested by you. But I have been losing only about 3 pounds per week.”
This reflects what has become a serious misconception about weight loss. The urgency to lose a lot of weight may be understandable if you are to about to star in a Hollywood movie that requires you to look thin, or, to be serious, if your doctor tells you that you have the potential for kidney or heart failure from obesity. But even in such cases, it is water weight that you need to lose more than fat weight.
Losing weight, and keeping it off, takes time. In fact, losing only about 1/2 to 1 pound per week is, in my view, the most reasonable goal to expect, and you do this by changing your approach to eating and, for the most part, avoiding grains. My suggestion is to seek to lose weight at the same likely rate you gained it, slowly and steadily.
A True Life Story
To illustrate the best methodology to lose weight slowly, let me tell you about Ron.
I had known him for a few years, always happy and smiling. So, when he came to my office with a pensive expression, I knew something was not right. He explained that he was concerned about a colleague at work who was having her leg amputated that day because of diabetes-related blockage of her blood vessel. But I suspected that there was more on his mind.
Then he revealed the real reason. He himself had been taking medications to control his blood sugar for a few years. He was on two medications by mouth. A few days before, his endocrinologist suggested that he start insulin injections. He did not want to be on insulin because his colleague had been on insulin and she was still needing to have her leg amputated. Ron wondered, what if the same thing happened to me? How could I run my business that requires a lot of travel? How could I take care of my family with two boys in high school getting ready for college?
He told me the details of his weight problem. He began gaining weight in high school when his football coach wanted him to be bulkier. He ate everything in sight, gained the required pounds, and played so well that he was awarded with a sports scholarship to a university. After college, he became successful in business, had money to spend, traveled a lot, and enjoyed his meals, drinks, parties and friends. He had gained over 100 pounds of weight during adulthood.
He knew that weight gain was the cause of his diabetic condition. His medical regimen kept his sugar under control, according to his doctor. But he could not lose weight as he was told.
I discussed my concept of type 2 diabetes and he was interested in trying my recommendations to change the way he eats, more than anything else. He did not clearly understand my emphasis on “mindful eating,” chewing slowly and savoring the food. This allows the brain to register the nutrients in the food, and helps you pay attention to the signals your brain gives to stop eating. We even went to a restaurant together and he ate his food under my direction. But he was convinced that he would never master eating food the way I suggested, as he always believed that enjoying a meal to the fullest is indicated by the feeling in his stomach.
I did not see him for over one and one half years, but one day, he walked into my office with a beaming smile. He went straight to the weighing scale to show that he had lost just over 100 pounds by following the conscious way of eating I had taught him. He informed me that his doctor has taken him off all his diabetic medications. I sent him for a glucose tolerance test, where he was given a premeasured amount of glucose to consume followed by multiple blood tests. This test revealed results similar to someone who never had type 2 diabetes.
Eating Mindfully is the Only Effective Way to Lose Weight
I tell you this true story to show that you can reverse type 2 diabetes by focusing on how you eat, not on how fast you lose weight. Paying attention to your brain’s signals about hunger, eating mindfully, chewing slowly and stopping your meal based on satiation is the only effective weight loss program that will help you avoid overeating and allow you maintain your authentic weight for the rest of your life. (If you don’t believe me, ask any commercial weight loss program for their statistics on how many of their clients keep their weight off for years after trying their methods.)
Reducing body weight gradually allows you to maintain skin tone without experiencing sagging skin folds. Slow weight loss also helps you avoid significant changes in the level of key nutrients in your body that often lead to binge eating episodes. Most importantly, a slow rate of weight loss allows you to practice and perfect the most effective methodology to maintain reduced weight. So, eat what you enjoy, more importantly, enjoy what you eat.
If you are overweight or concerned about getting diabetes, Eat, Chew, Live provides exactly the new science & inspiration you need.
Based on more than twenty years of research, Eat, Chew, Live offers a revolutionary new explanation of high blood sugar and Type 2 diabetes. While traditional medicine says it is due to “insulin resistance,” Dr. Poothullil disagrees. Eat, Chew, Live will show you:
- How the consumption of grains causes your body to develop high blood sugar
- How you can lower your blood sugar to avoid or reverse Type 2 diabetes without using drugs.
- How you can change your eating habits to avoid grains while still enjoying every meal
There are no special diets to follow or products to buy. Get your copy today and inform yourself.