Most commercial weight loss programs are not effective

Most commercial weight loss programs are not effective [via NYTimes]

The study comes from the Annals of Internal Medicine:

We found studies of, Health Management Resources, Take Off Pounds Sensibly, OPTIFAST, and Weight Watchers. Of 3 randomized, controlled trials of Weight Watchers, the largest reported a loss of 3.2% of initial weight at 2 years. One randomized trial and several case series of medically supervised very-low-calorie diet programs found that patients who completed treatment lost approximately 15% to 25% of initial weight. These programs were associated with high costs, high attrition rates, and a high probability of regaining 50% or more of lost weight in 1 to 2 years. Commercial interventions available over the Internet and organized self-help programs produced minimal weight loss.

I think for too long we’ve been focused on pounds and not on optimal health. It’s time to lay off the diets and look for those areas in a person’s life that are causing disruptions to their peace of mind, their emotional stability, and their interest in living a healthy life. I believe in many cases, weight loss naturally will follow. In some cases it won’t. But quality of life should be measured in ways other than just how heavy a person is!

There used to be the expression, “Fat ‘n happy.” To live a life of abundance should make us feel well fed, well cared for, and generous with our laughter and good cheer. Far better, I feel, for someone to be completely emotionally at peace with their body image—regardless of what that weighs—than to be constantly hating oneself each glance in the mirror or visit to the scale. I want people I love to live a long, wonderful life. But if that means they spend all their time dieting and self-abusing themselves, I think that is as nutty, destructive, and unhelpful as if I think that I am “no longer a Real Man because I’ve lost my hair.” It’s ridiculous!

“Even though I weigh MORE than I or anyone thinks is healthy, I DEEPLY AND COMPLETE ACCEPT WHO I AM RIGHT NOW.”

Start there. Then:

“Even though others look at me and judge me weak because of my weight, I CHOOSE TO FOCUS ONLY ON MY OWN HEALTH and VITALITY, no matter WHAT people say or look like.”

“Even though I’ve fallen into the trap of seeing myself as weak, I’d like to see some skinny runt carry around this much weight all day and keep smiling!!”

“Even though the skinny folks think they are better than I am, and sometimes I think so, too, I honor and respect my body for preparing me for survival during times of famine.”

Truly, it is my hope that we can all find comfort in how we are made, in all the different sizes and capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. And, ALSO that we will each go within and find our personal path to a thriving life. Often, that will mean more movement that brings us joy (such as dancing to great music). And, choosing food that we’ve learned makes us feel great over the long haul, rather than just for a few moments of “high” followed by a crash. This is my approach to “weight” and balance. It may conflict with standard medical advice and the diet companies, but when you look at how miserably poor they have done success-wise, don’t you agree it is time for a new approach? —