A staggering 65% of all Americans are either overweight or obese. The majority of these people are either engaged in weight loss pursuits or have tried multiple times to lose weight. Even though many are successful in the short term at losing weight – studies show that most people regain the weight they lose and in fact get fatter over time. And despite the success of some popular diets in achieving short term weight loss (check the New York Times bestseller list to see what I mean) – dieting can be quite harmful and lead to weight gain in the long term. Chronic dieting often leads to a viscous diet cycle where you: 1) omit the foods you want 2) then you feel bad/deprived 3) the deprivation leads to out-of-control or binge eating 4) the binge eating leads to weight gain, low self-esteem, and then guilt –and then the diet cycle continues again. In addition, this yo-yo or diet-cycling contributes to a drop in metabolic rate, muscle loss, immune system disruptions, and low energy level.
How Much Should you Weigh? Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women. Use the tool in this link to calculate yours. A BMI greater than 25 is considered overweight. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm
So why is it so hard to lose weight? Although chronic dieting is at the root of why we are getting fatter and having such a hard time losing weight, the main reason we keep dieting and yet can’t lose weight or keep weight off is in large caused by “ingrained poor diet and activity habits”. Although there are other problems that can lead to obesity such as hypothyroidism, hormonal changes, high body fat composition — poor health habits are at the root of the problem. Lifestyle habits such as inactivity, skipping meals, eating too much, eating when you are not hungry, choosing the wrong foods, and poor meal planning become automatic and these daily automatic habits lead to obesity. As the years wear on and the poor habits are continued—your body continues to gain fat and lose muscle. As a result, metabolism slows. If habits aren’t changed the cycle continues and you keep getting fatter.
What is needed to permanently lose weight?
Changing lifestyle habits for good is the only real way. Since lifestyle habits are developed young and deeply entrenched by adulthood, it usually takes time to make permanent changes in habits. For habit change to be permanent, the process of change must be comfortable, gradual, and personally enjoyable for the individual.
The Permanent Weigh Down weight loss program developed by Teri Underwood, RD, MS, CD, founder of Sustainable Diets is a program that guides participants through the process of change in a comfortable, enjoyable, and healthy manner enabling you to make controlled lifestyle changes that lead to permanent change and weight loss. The program includes nutrition education, practical information, and habit change techniques developed by Teri, that have been proven successful.