Dr Anna Garrett and I will be offering a weight loss program (details listed elsewhere) this summer. It is an exciting time to be involved in such an endeavor in part because obesity has become so common with 40% of adults and 17% of teens suffering from it but also because so much is being learned about the science and psychology of weight control. As a physician I have seen first hand what a struggle achieving and maintaining weight loss can be. But as experts who run the National Weight Control Registry have shown, sustained weight loss is achievable: 10,000 registrants across the U.S. have lost at least 30 pounds and have kept it off a minimum of 5 years. One commonality among participants was an increase in exercise and a decrease in caloric intake to explain their success. No single diet such as low carbohydrate or low fat was cited but a significant factor involved was that these people tended to be motivated by better health goals rather than a slimmer waist as their primary objective.
Interestingly studies show about half of people lose weight on their own and half in structured weight loss programs. Researchers show the key to weight loss is a highly personalized plan rather than trendy diets. Learning what variables are most important for each person – be it psychological, logistical, or food – based may matter more than the particular diet. Experts have demonstrated it is more important to focus on how to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle than the structure of the diet.
Genetics may be the answer as to why weight loss can vary for many people on one diet plan. And the gut microbiome which can influence how the body metabolizes certain foods most likely contributes to this genetic variability between individuals. Importantly carrying certain genes may make one heavier but it will not prevent one from losing weight. We will offer but not require a genetic test, Gene SNP, as a part of our program. This test can provide insight into an individuals’ metabolic structure and efficiencies.
A study showed that people who internalize weight stigma have a harder time maintaining weight loss. Dr. Garrett trained in the BARE weight loss coaching program which teaches self-love and acceptance. Her approach is to look at the area of one’s life that need to be upgraded such as personal and work relationships and methods of relaxation and stress reduction in addition to one’s relationship with exercise and food. She stresses eating for fuel rather than comfort. Anna has also been trained as a TLS coach by Nutrametrix (an excellent nutraceutical company) which I feel stresses overall health to optimize weight loss. I recently attended a Nutrametrix seminar and am a firm believer in their overall philosophy, science, and products.
Our goal is to teach people how to achieve a healthier weight through personalized attention and individualized lifestyle changes. Although weight loss is never easy studies suggest anyone can reach a healthy weight – one just needs to find the route best suited to them and it is our goal to partner with people to achieve this.