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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Weight Loss: Why "Quick" Methods Just Don't Work

Recently, the Blue Cross Blue Shield posted an article about the pull of Meridia from the shelves. The article discusses how the drug was deemed dangerous and how that leaves only one major diet drug on the market (and it's effectiveness is dubious at best). The article quotes the president of the Obesity Society, an advocate and research group, as saying that the drug's pull is frustrating. It also cites this as being a "step back" in the fight against the obesity epidemic.

But a huge part of the obesity epidemic is being cause by the sort of attitudes that tell us we can take a pill to solve obesity, just like we can take ibuprofen for a headache or benadryl for our allergies. Life doesn't work that way, the world doesn't work that way, and our bodies don't work that way. Losing weight on the national level is not about finding the miracle cure because there is no miracle cure. The obesity epidemic is a complex, difficult issue that has been created by a number of factors. This complexity means, in short, that there is no simple solution. There can't be.

But as a country, we shouldn't want one. Why?

Well, frankly, because part of the problem is the level of toxicity and poison in our bodies. Another huge issue is the quality of our food - that is, how many nutrients an apple from the supermarket has, and how many nutrients is would have had say...sixty years ago. Our bodies are trying to derive the necessary vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, and etc from foods that have been processed within an inch of their lives, and then thrown under the bus and processed some more. We are dealing with meat and milk pumped full of hormones and vegetables covered in pesticides...not to mention genetically modified food. Do we really need another chemical to top off the sundae?

Let me quote the end of the article... "Several experts said that the solution will probably come from developing a cocktail of drugs, similar to how cancer and AIDS are treated."

Even better. More chemicals, more unnatural substances in our bodies, and how long will it take the experts before they get this right? And that's not to mention the fact that, while cancer and AIDS require very aggressive chemical treatments, obesity does not. With a few exceptions, most of us who are overweight are so because we eat too many calories. Most of these calories comes from unhealthy foods, compounding the problem. There's a direct treatment for obesity, and it's a lifestyle change. Adding another chemical into the mix might cause untold side affects, and it wont help anyone regain their health.

Essentially, it's the same problem that exists with any fad diet, pill, or miracle plan; losing weight is a matter of cutting calories. If you would like to lose weight quickly, work out and build lean muscle. But in order to make these things more permanent...you have to change your lifestyle, and that can't be put into a pill or bottle.

Don't buy into the hype. Losing weight is work, and in order to retain your muscle and health, you shouldn't be losing more than 1.5-2 pounds per week, unless your doctor says otherwise.

Changing your lifestyle, eating more healthfully, exercising...it will help to calm your stress, regulate your physiology, and ease your mind. Weight loss for the overweight or obese is a pleasant side affect of a healthy lifestyle, but your health and wellness should come first and foremost. 

The Calm Cook

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