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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Only Two Components to Weight Loss

Ruth Ayers sent an e-mail and said the following:

"I'm fresh from weigh-in, and I lost only half a pound last week. I was very disappointed after all my hard work last week. The record is in my food diary, and it shows that after I spent a year losing thirty pounds by September 2010, I haven't lost any weight since. The half pound makes a full pound total weight loss for 2011. This is very discouraging. Does anyone in your group have any suggestions that might help?"

I said I’d put her question on my “Don’t You Dare Call It a Diet” blog and ask others. I know it’s difficult for some to comment directly to the blog, so if you have tips for Ruth (and all of us), send me an e-mail at or

Meanwhile, here’s what I said to her:

You’ve lost a pound this year, and half a pound in the last week, yet your note says “I haven’t lost any weight since (September 2010).” A pound is a pound, and it counts, big time, in the weight-loss game. Give yourself credit for the half pound last week and the pound this year. Embrace it. You did it! It also means you haven’t gained back any of the thirty pounds you lost last year, which is vital. Our bodies have a way of demanding that they return to our former fat state, after we lose weight. Statistics are against us. The majority of people who lose weight, even with bariatric surgery, regain the weight they lose. With that information in mind, celebrate that you haven’t gained; you’ve still lost weight.

The next thing to do is to learn more about hormonal balance. I’ll be adding more of that information to my blog as I learn more. My brilliant cousin, Dr. Scott Isaacs, specializes in weight loss through hormonal balance (so much of it has to do with our food choices), and he has a blog called “Outsmarting Your Hungry Hormones.” Check it out and sign up for updates at

Now for what not to do. Don’t starve yourself. Eat properly, conservatively, yet often, in small meals. Nutritionist Mary Strugar notes, "The role of appetite is key to weight loss—a detrimental cycle of food restriction that causes hunger pangs may lead directly to overeating.

Also add a little more exercise to everything you do. If you have stairs at home, walk up and down them a little more often than you normally do. If you walk your dog, walk a little farther than you usually do. If you work out regularly, add a little more aerobic exercise to your workout. If you don’t work out regularly, find ways to do so.

For me, I make one meal a day--either lunch or dinner--a salad. I add a handful of protein to each salad, too--some leftover poultry, pork, fish, egg, or even ground beef.

The two components to losing weight are food intake and calorie output. It’s that simple. Eat right (and most of us already know what’s right) and exercise. Why, though, is it so easy to say and so hard to do? For that I have no answer.

Also, in case you missed the comment by Ginger Collins, here it is:

"When I told my doctor about my seemingly insatiable appetite, she told me to cut the chemicals, and I'd see a difference. I quit drinking diet soda (even the stuff sweetened with Splenda) and cut all canned foods containing preservatives. Now, if I can't pronounce the ingredient, I won't eat it. I really do feel a difference. I'm not constantly craving, and I've even lost a few pounds."

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