for better health, for enhanced personal appearance and to feel better physically and psychologically. In spite of these important motivational factors, intelligent people who are successful in most areas of their life may be unsuccessful in controlling their weight.
Some have struggled with weight problems from childhood on; for others the problem did not arise until their teen years or adulthood. Most people who have consulted me for weight loss have made many efforts to lose weight on their own, or by getting into some kind of diet program. Usually they have tried many different kinds of diets and have participated in many different diet programs. They usually start each program with great enthusiasm and have some initial success in losing weight. Eventually they go off the diet and gain back all the weight they lost plus a few extra pounds. They wind up with nothing to show for their money and efforts except the unhealthy effects of cyclical weight change and a greater sense of personal failure.
This cycle of weight loss and weight gain is common for three reasons:
(1) Some rapid weight loss diet programs put your body into a starvation mode which causes it to become more efficient at storing fat when you stop dieting. (2) Most diets create a psychological rebound effect because you feel deprived of certain tastes and favorite foods while on the diet and this feeling of deprivation leads to a burst of uncontrollable overindulgence when you go off the diet. (3) Diet programs do not take into account individual differences between people. They have everyone follow a certain "program" without addressing the different eating patterns, personalities, and motivational factors for each individual.
Most people who have weight problems are very knowledgeable about calories and dietary matters. The problem is not a lack of information, nor is it a lack of character strength. The failure of conventional diet programs is due to the fact that diets tend to create a time-limited, temporary change in behavior. The person learns to follow a particular diet successfully for a limited period of time, but eventually falls back into old faulty eating habits. Assuming that your weight gain is not due to a thyroid deficiency or other health problem, being overweight is a psychological, motivational and behavioral problem, involving deeply entrenched habit patterns and impulse control problems.
In my own practice:
I have found that it is productive to address the individual psychological and motivational factors which affect each person in a way that is unique to their life style and personality in order to establish a sound foundation for a permanent change in habitual eating habits. I usually use three to four visits, which are structured in a way that allows us to identify clearly and specifically the nature of the person's motivation to lose weight and the obstacles which stand in the way. I teach my patients to use a form of self observation and evaluation which pinpoints the specific behavioral changes which they need to get in control of their pattern of eating. It is not sufficient to know what you are supposed to be eating, it is necessary to make some changes in the structure of your eating behavior, eating environment and thinking in order to succeed in establishing effective weight control.
The published results of recent long term studies of weight control
at Stanford University's Prevention Research Center, the Harvard School of Public Health and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center of Louisiana State University are consistent with the approach I have developed based on the study of the results of previous research as well as my experience with patients in my own practice. These findings are summarized briefly in a February 26, 2009 Los Angeles Times front page article entitled "Weight Loss Boils Down to Calories." It refers to an online publication of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The findings indicate that conventional diets are not very successful in the long term. They result in an average weight loss of 13 pounds after 6 months, but a disappointing average loss of only 9 pounds after two years of dieting. The use of popular programs that recommend different, and contradictory proportions of fat, protein and carbohydrate in the diet was found to result in no advantage for any one of these programs. ("The winner is...not low carb, not low fat, not high protein...") The only significant finding was that people lost weight when they reduced their total caloric intake. The conclusion is that the prospect for permanent weight loss depends upon the effective establishment of long term changes in eating habits that succeed in reducing total caloric intake on a regular, on-going basis.
What I can offer you:
For information about Dr. Beitner's private practice, background, training and
experience, click on : Marvin S.
Beitner, Ph.D. You may see comments by
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Beitner's Blog Locations: If you live in Long Beach,
Lakewood, Los Alamitos, Cerritos, Cypress, Signal Hill, Rolling Hills or
Palos Verdes, you are within a 20 minute drive of my Los Angeles County
Office at 5199 E. Pacific Coast Hwy,
Long Beach, California (562) 498-0777. If you live in Huntington Beach,
Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Anaheim, Villa Park, Garden Grove, Santa Ana,
Westminster, Costa Mesa or Fountain Valley you are within a 20 minute drive of
my Orange County office at 11770 Warner Ave, Fountain Valley,
California, (714) 966-6634 or (949) 644-4641.
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