May 16 2016

Weight loss

jillian-michaels-yellingThere has been a lot of press lately about the impossibility of long term weight loss. The NY Times reported a study of past participants of The Biggest Loser and decided that it is not possible to lose weight and maintain it.

That is simply not true.

Studies have shown that weight loss is not only possible, it is sustainable. The only thing that is not sustainable is living like you are a contestant on the Biggest Loser.

Other, more reputable sources, have proven that weight loss and maintaining weight loss can be achieved, with some persistence.

 One study followed 3,000 people, who lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for 10 years. There were three common factors for losing weight and keeping it off. The people that were physically active, weighed themselves regularly and watched portion sizes maintained their weight loss.

Another study looked at 65,000 overweight and obese people from 2005-2010.  80% of those that lost a significant amount of weight during the first year kept the weight off the second year.  90% of participants that continued in the program maintained their weight loss. This program provided support, encouraged activity and exercise, as well as healthy eating.

Personally, I have watched many clients lose up to 100 pounds and maintain their weight loss.  Common factors that worked for all successful losers include, eating more vegetables, reducing processed foods, exercising regularly, having support and keeping track of their body weight.

Perhaps we could assume from these results that the common ingredients for successful weight loss include, regular physical activity, keeping track of your body weight, eating whole foods, watching portion sizes and having support. Perhaps not entertainment, but practical and proven methods for success.

But, back to the Biggest Loser.

This isn’t real, this is “entertainment” if you like that sort of thing. Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, a Canadian obesity specialist says it is the most god-awful dangerous thing to happen to weight management in history.”

Dr. Ed Tyson an American eating disorder physician has said “it’s miraculous that no one has died yet”

Fitness “expert” Jillian Michaels is an actress who made millions of dollars out of bullying people for entertainment by saying things like The only way you’re coming off this damn treadmill is if you die on it!” 


Not inspiring, not professional, not sustainable, not a weight loss program.

The Biggest Loser is not a realistic study in successful weight loss.  But, it does remind us one thing. Diets don’t work. Lifestyle changes need to be made for the rest of your life. Exercise and activity are important for weight maintenance. This doesn’t make for good tv or great headlines.  As Dr. David Ludwig, Director of the New Balance Foundation of Obesity Research, says “it shouldn’t be interpreted to mean we are doomed to battle our biology or remain fat. It means we need to explore other approaches.”

Change your mind, change your health,



Feb 4 2015

Keep the weight off


You have probably heard how hard it is to maintain weight loss, how ineffective most weight loss methods are when it comes to long term success. Well, if you are trying to maintain weight loss through constant deprivation, yes that is going to be very difficult. Anyone who has successfully lost weight by changing their habits this new study should not be so surprising. The big surprise in the study is that is was done on women.

This is great news. Why? Because by the time a woman has reached the age of 45 they have been on 61 diets, lasting on average 15 days and often resulting in gaining more weight than when they started, but that’s the bad news.

This new study proves that women can lose weight and keep it off if they start an exercise program that includes weight training. Weight training improved their success, their walking economy and how much they moved after weight loss. The women reported that the weight training helped them move more and they reported that moving felt easier.

Researcher and professor Dr Gary Hunter says, It seems clear that exercise is very important if you wish to keep the weight off.


Change your mind, change your health,


Jun 23 2014

Magic weight loss cure for every size!!!!


You might have heard that celebrity physician, Dr. Mehmet Oz was recently reprimanded for his weight loss advice.

“Dr. Oz is basically promoting fairy dust and what I mean by that, he spends some time in the show sending legitimate messages about health and how to preserve your health to his large audience, but he spends too much time touting fads, touting unproven remedies,” said Arthur Caplan, founding director of the division of medical ethics at New York University.

On June 17th, Dr Oz was called to the U.S. Senate’s Consumer Protection Panel where he was interviewed about his questionable weight loss advice.

Dr. Oz responded by saying

“If the only message I gave was to eat less and move more, which is the most important thing people need to do, we wouldn’t be very effectively tackling this complex challenge.”

Really? Telling people to be more active, sit less, exercise more, choose smaller portions and healthier food options isn’t effective? And this

“I would rather have a conversation on my stage than in back alleys.”

Sorry Dr. Oz, but where I come from this isn’t what people are talking about in back alleys. This is what people talk about over coffee, at parties with their friends, and at the health food store that sells this nonsense.

Dr. Oz has also been quoted as saying the following

“You may think magic is make-believe, but this little bean has scientists saying they’ve found the magic weight loss cure for every body type. It’s green coffee extract” 

“I’ve got the number one miracle in a bottle to burn your fat. It’s raspberry ketone,”

  “Garcinia cambogia: It may be the simple solution you’ve been looking for to bust your body fat for good.

There is a big problem with this, one that the U.S Senate has recognized, doctors shouldn’t be telling fairy tales and recommending unproven remedies like modern day witch doctors. There are enough people doing that without legitimate professionals selling the fantasy of a quick fix. Sometimes what they are “selling” isn’t a quick fix, but no fix, like  the recent story by CBC “health” reporter Kelly Crowe on how long  term weight loss isn’t possible .  This is beyond damaging and disheartening. According to many health experts, like Obesity Medicine Specialist, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff,  it is also not true,  and I mean it is really not true, but more people are reading her story than this one. And if people are following Dr. Oz’s advice they probably think that weight loss really is impossible.

The health and fitness industry seems to have more than it’s fair share of imposters and get rich quick schemes. I have written about the mixed messages that people receive from all types of health and fitness “experts” before in Liar, Liar and how we can succumb to the constant promotion of the easy way or the hard way  when there is a better way.

Looking after your health shouldn’t be so complicated. Thanks to the U.S. Senate it just got a little easier.

Change your mind, change your health,




Apr 29 2013

Virtually as good as reality

Trying to make changes, think you might want to drop a few pounds, but can’t commit to going to a weight loss program? Weight loss programs that are delivered “virtually” have a few advantages according to a new study done at The University of Kansas Medical Cente.

Debra Sullivan, lead investigator, states  “Although we found weight loss was significantly greater for face-to-face compared to virtual reality, weight maintenance was significantly better for virtual reality.”

Another study performed at the University of Florida showed that telephone contact was just as effective for weight loss as face to face meetings. Many other studies have proven that diet, exercise and behavior changes together can produce significant weight loss and that long term programs with follow-up sessions can improve weight maintenance.

What does this mean for you?

1. If you want to make healthy changes, choose strategies that work with your life.

2. To increase long term success, choose a program that includes follow up with health professionals.

3. It is easier to stick to it and is less expensive to use virtual techniques.

Change your mind, change your life,


Nov 5 2012

Keep the Weight off for life

Most diet programs deliver exactly what they advertise – weight loss. Most programs do not provide maintenance programs (that would be bad for business) or encourage individuals to start practicing healthy living skills.

In 2011 the diet industry in the U.S. was worth over 60.9 billion dollars. There are 75 million dieters in the U.S. alone! 80%  are currently try lose weight without support. These dieters are jumping from fad diet to fad diet with little long term success.  Most dieters make 4 weight loss attempts – per year – leading to an unhealthy yoyo effect and these dieters lose 5-10% of their weight, but tend to regain more weight than their starting pre-diet weight.

Stanford researchers decided to try a different approach. Give the women an 8 week trial period to experiment with weight maintenance skills and practice without any pressure to lose the pounds. Then they went on a weight loss program with other women that had not had 8 weeks of practice. They all averaged a 17 pound weight loss in 20 weeks and one year later the women who were in the maintenance first program had only regained an average of 3 pounds.

What does this mean for you?

  1. If you are trying to lose weight, keep trying and start planning about what lifestyle changes you can live with, forever.
  2. Choose a weight loss program that incorporates real food and real life solutions to your challenges.
  3. Think long term and have a reason to keep the weight off and stay healthy, make it personal and make it important to you.

Change your health,