Almost half of all patients I see in the clinic are referred for weight loss. Many had lost weight before—a lot of weight! Unfortunately most regained all the weight and worse, added new weight. How frustrating is that? I have my own beliefs on why people gain: a sluggish metabolism from being sedentary or eating too few calories from crash dieting, skipping meals and then eating one monster meal, dining out one too many days, or eating to fill emotional hunger (stress, boredom, sadness) which causes an endless appetite because this can’t be solved with food. There’s also a strong connection of an altered metabolism with poor sleep and chronic mental stress.
I’ve learned that losing weight and keeping it off is much more complex than simply trying to eat 1500 calories a day and exercising for an hour five days a week. Sure that may initially pull some weight off, but hormonal and metabolic changes make it challenging to keep the weight off because a fat body fights to stay fat. There’s also a daily battle to resist all the invites to eat eat eat from television, bogus restaurant portions, BJ’s-sized snacks, family, coworkers, spouses. The New York Times article “The Fat Trap” touches on this topic.
Not all hope is lost though as I do see long-term weight loss, particularly in those who focus first on eating a nutritionally balanced high-fiber diet with reasonable portions and regular meal times, and making exercise second nature. Next, they accept that they must change their lifestyle that had caused the weight gain and cannot return to old habits. They lose weight but are not stuck on a specific number to lose (which causes frustration and setbacks). Most importantly they learn how to love the foods that will help them, and they find physical activity that makes them feel great—more energy, more strength, better sleep, happier moods and less cravings!
Below are nourishing recipes that can help curb cravings, along with articles that address weight issues.