Many people struggle with weight at some point in their lives, and when they do they may become frustrated and desperate.
ABC News recently reported some staggering statistics: Americans spend $20 billion on weight loss per year, we have an estimated 108 million dieters and 85 percent of them are female. Weight loss is a lucrative business and one can get lost in the mire of fad diets and hype.
As someone who has experienced my own weight issues — even writing a book on the subject — I continue to look for trusted avenues for weight loss, without gimmicks.
Dr. David Chengelis, an Oakland County resident and one of the top bariatric/laparoscopic surgeons in Michigan, is board certified at Beaumont Health System. I had the pleasure of interviewing Chengelis on my radio show, where he expressed frustration with the obesity epidemic in the United States and how little was being done medically and culturally.
“Over a third of Americans are clinically obese and even a larger percentage are children that are morbidly obese,” Chengelis says. “Health problems from obesity stress not just an individual’s life and family but society, as well. Not everyone is a candidate for bariatric surgery, but certainly everyone can benefit from weight loss information that is sound and professional.”
Studies have shown that once the body mass index (BMI) is over 40, sustained weight loss through diet and exercise is not enough. With weight loss and metabolism, it’s never one size fits all — individualized programs and exercise are key.
Orangetheory, a new workout concept, has taken off in Birmingham, where an Orangetheory studio opened at 633 S. Adams Road last year. Hailed by some as the best one-hour workout in the country, it was brought to Michigan by co-owner Chad Smith.
OTF, as it is called, is a dynamic group-personal training session using heart rate-based treadmill intervals, indoor rowing for increased power and the concept of weight-training blocks. Clients can burn up to 900 calories during each workout and 1,200 calories post workout. My friends are addicted.
On the holistic front, the popular Paleo Diet — which emphasizes protein and eliminates many carbohydrates — frightens me, because diets that overindulge in one area while excluding food groups in another throw the body out of balance. As a doctor of natural health, I attribute the popular fat-free fad of the 1990s to metabolic imbalances I see in my office in women over 40.
Paleo is a ketogenic diet, a derivative of high-protein fads such as Atkins. You will lose weight, but such a diet should last no more than 14 days, because it puts tremendous stress on your liver and kidneys.
Dr. Gabriel Cousins M.D., in his book “Conscious Eating,” describes excess protein consumption as causing excessive inflammation and exacerbating auto-immune diseases.
Longterm problems associated with this are inflammation and aggravation of allergies and auto-immune disorders. Too much immunoglobulin E (antibodies) is produced in response to excess protein. Not to mention endocrine disorders, premature aging from insufficient estrogen from depleted fat stores, migraines and other health issues.
Instead of demonizing food groups, let’s focus on eating cleaner — fewer chemicals, additives and pesticides in our foods means better metabolism and overall health. The key to any weight loss program is balance.