The Difficulty of Weight Loss

9 02 2011

At some point in our lives every one of us has gone on a diet.  Some of us are just trying to lose that last 5 pounds that never seems to go away. Others of us have much more weight to lose and are dieting not because we want to look better but because we want to be healthier.  In fact, according to the CDC around 60% of Americans are either overweight or obese.  With that shocking statistic it is no wonder we spend tens of billions of dollars annually on diets and weight loss programs.  Unfortunately, from personal experience, most people fail to reach their weight loss goals. If you do happen to reach your goal, it is likely that you will gain some or all of the weight back once the diet or program ends. 

I think there are two main reasons why so many of us, myself included, fail to achieve our weight loss goals.  First, most diet and weight loss programs lay out a specific plan for you to follow, but they typically do not educate us on what we should be eating or why it is important to eat those things.  So once the program is done we have no idea how to continue on our own. The main reason we fail however, is because losing or just maintaining weight requires a lot of work.  There are tons of excuses we use to justify eating that big fat greasy burger or to skip that workout.  “I’m too tired”, “I’ve had a long day at work”,  “I’ll workout twice as long tomorrow”, “I can’t afford to eat healthy” and “I don’t have the time to cook” are all excuses I have heard and I must admit have used myself.  Once we remove all the excuses what we are actually left with is that we are not yet ready to make our health a priority in our life.  Once we admit this to ourselves we will then be ready to put in the work that is required for us to succeed in reaching our goals. 

To help you get started, I want to share a few tips that may help you reach your goal.  First, it is much easier to add something to your diet then to take something away.  If your water intake is not where it should be, make an effort to drink more water.  After you get used to that addition to your diet add something else that you are lacking.  You may find that as you start to add more and more healthy things to your diet you may also unwittingly start to reduce or remove those unhealthy things from your diet.  Second make small goals.  All to often we get ambitious and set very lofty goals which are difficult to achieve.  When we fail to achieve these goals we get discouraged and when we get discouraged we quit.  Start out by setting very small goals and as you start to hit these goals then you can begin to become more ambitious.  Basically don’t set yourself up for failure from the get go.  Third, find simple ways to add physical activity to your day.  If your used to taking an elevator take the stairs instead.  Park a little further from your office and walk. Instead of emailing the coworker 3 doors down with a question, get up and walk to his office and ask him the question in person.  With a little creativity and a little effort we can find many different ways to add in a little bit of physical activity to our day.  Lastly, I think it is extremely important to reward yourself for hitting your goals.  A little positive re-enforcement can go a long way.  Hopefully, all of us will be able to reach our goals and become healthier individuals.


Organic Food

7 02 2011

You cannot go to a grocery store without seeing products labeled as organic.  Organic foods are very popular because they are healthier.  Organic foods can contain 50% more vitamins, minerals and other nutrients than non organic food.  Also, organic foods are free of pesticides and other chemicals which can have an adverse effect on our health.  An added benefit of organic foods is that it is that the farming of these products is much better for our environment.  The absence of pesticides helps keep the soil healthy, conserves water and also helps reduce climate change.  In the end, organic food is not only better for our own health but it is also better for the health of our an environment.  A WIN WIN.

The problem with organic foods however, is that they tend to be much more expensive than non organic foods.  The absence of pesticides can increase the number of insects and other organisms that feed on the crop thus lowering the yield and that is what makes organic foods cost more money to purchase.  It is this added cost that keeps many people from buying organic, especially during these tough economic times.

Even on a budget there is a way to add organic foods into your diet.  All you need to remember if you are on a budget is that all organic foods are not the same.  Let me explain this by providing a couple of examples.  Fruit like apples, peaches and plums have very thin skin so pesticides are very likely to be absorbed through the skin and into the flesh of the fruit.  On the other hand fruit such as oranges, bananas and avocados have much thicker skin which protects their flesh from much of the pesticides.  So even if you are on a budget you can add in organic foods by prioritizing which organic foods will give you the most bang for your buck.

Hello World!

4 02 2011

Starting a blog is something I have been meaning to do for quite some time.  Unfortunately, I have been busy and have been putting it off.  My lovely wife has been after me lately to get it up and running so thanks to her here it is!  Thanks Jolene for keeping my feet to the fire.  I love you so much.

The reason for this blog is because I feel that my first and most important job as a doctor is to educate people.  It is my goal to educate people about health so that they can feel empowered to live a long, healthy and satisfying life.