How to Evaluate Your Weight-Loss Program
Mar 03, 2014 09:22AM
● By David Rendelstein, D.C.
There is a classic scene in the TV seriesSeinfeld in which Jerry and George are desperately trying to work on their television script. The two hem and haw, looking for any excuse not to begin. After a couple of days with nothing accomplished — except for some big talk about what they intend to do — Jerry stares at the nearly blank page and, in his uniquely Seinfeldianway, concludes, “We need something here.”
For many of us, that is exactly what starting a weight-loss program feels like. We first ponder it for a while,then proclaim, sometimes for months, we’re going to start, until the day arrives when we realize, “We need something here.”
The something is always the sticking point,isn't it? We know exactly what it is we want: thinner, happier, healthier selves. It’s the how that’s at issue. The choices are endless: Yoga, Pilates, Herbalife, Jenny Craig, Slimfast, Atkins, MMA, Zumba, Weight Watchers, just to name a few.
We do “need something here”— and we need it fast. We know that obesity leads to conditions such as diabetes and heart disease that can ultimately kill us, butperhaps more than any other human affliction, obesity causes countless “mini-deaths.” Guilt, shame, scorn, pity, grief:Obesity brings with it the entire spectrum of human suffering. A weight-loss vehicle is precisely what’s needed, but as anyone who has ever broken down while on a family vacation can tell you, not all vehicles are created equal. Here, then, are tools to evaluate your weight-loss program so that you can choose the one which will, at long last, get you to your destination.
1. Is your program a weight-loss program or a fat-loss program?
This is a very important distinction and indicative of the tragic oversimplification of the subject at hand. The definition of weight is “the gravitational force exerted by an object on another object” – in this case, the earth. For our purposes, weight is not the major issue; body fat is. We want to be lean — without extra fat hanging from places where it has no business. Nobody dreams of walking on a beach and hearing “Wow, he is exerting significantly less gravitational force upon the sand than last summer.”
Lean muscle tissue weighs three times as much as fat. It is also metabolically active, meaning it burns calories at rest, is healthier, and much sexier. A program that does not distinguish between weight loss and fat loss is likely to result in a greater proportional loss of muscle and water weight. Those losses have a negative effect on your metabolism, energy level, and long-term success.If your regimen is not tracking body fat percentage, lean muscle mass, and water levels, it is likely not a fat-loss program.
2. Does your program involve cleansing and detoxification of the cells?
It is no exaggeration to say that in the modern industrialized world, we are under a constant chemical assault. There are more than 82,000 chemicals registered with the federal government. They are in the air we breathe, the food we eat, the products we use to clean our homes, and those we use to cleanse ourselves. The average American has 700 toxic metals and chemical residues stored in his or her body. The body quarantines these toxins in fat because they will do much less harm there than they would if released into the bloodstream. So, in the presence of toxins, our bodies are incentivized to hold on to fat!
3. Does your program address hormone imbalance?
If the earlier mentioned toxins don’t scare you, there is a special class of chemicals that can wreak havoc on all of our bodily systems and hurl us straight into the gnashing teeth of obesity. They are called hormone (or endocrine) disruptors, and they do precisely what their name suggests:They mess with our hormones.
Hormones are the chemical messengers that, along with the nervous system, keep our bodies running as intended. Fat loss is, first and foremost, a hormonal event.A program that does not address hormonal balance as one of itsprimary goals may actually ignore the main mechanism of fat burning and encourage the ingestion of foods (and other products) laden with hormone disruptors.
4. Does your program make you healthier?
If we were designing the Ideal Weight Loss Program (IWLP), most of us would agree that its primary goal should be achieving optimal health overall. While this would seem to be a given, it’s not: It’spossible to be so myopically focused on weight loss that we sacrifice health in the process. Think of all of the desperate things human beings do to drop a few pounds: ingesting dangerous amphetamines, undergoing liposuction, submitting to lap band surgery, binging and purging,receiving injections, and so on. None of these have normalizing, rebalancing, and revitalizing of the body as their main objective.
All things being equal, energy out exceeding energy in equals weight loss. Unfortunately, all things are not equal; economic and environmental factors have made sure of that. The IWLP would address all the causes of excess body fat — and make our bodies healthier and minds sharper in the process. Surely, this is the something we all need here.
Dr. David Rendelstein is a licensed chiropractor and the president of Thintech Weight Loss and Nutrition, distributor of the Nutrimost Ultimate Fat Loss System. Connect at 908- 376-6062 or visitThintechweightloss.com.