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Dr. Abedin’s Step 1

Do you need help with weight loss?

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Background. Over the years I have tried many, many methods to affect lifestyle change. A few years ago, I even resorted to drug therapy with appetite suppressents. To my surprise only 2 of 60 patients lost any weight at all, and even those two patients regained all of their weight once the medications were discontinued. My current method is the only thing that has given me results. I lost 15 pounds a few years ago in a few months, and have been able to maintain it for years. Most diets are just temporary.They give you short term results, but over the years most people regain their weight. It was not really a life style change.

The problem starts with our childhood feeding patterns. Most infant between 0-6 months are ravenous. They are growing 2 pounds a month. At that rate they would be 100 pounds in 4 years, 200 pounds at 8 years, and 300 pounds at 12 years! This is why just about 6-9 months their growth rate slows way down, and with this change their appetite goes down as well. This usually causes great axienty in the parents who now feel a strong need to feed their babies extra calories. Unfortunately as the infants are already fine and are not really hungry, the parents wind up choosing very processed, sweet foods to stimulate eating. The other concern is that most infants of that age group have very few teeth, so the diet becomes very processed carbohydrates that are very sweet in nature. Once established in quick to consume sweet carbohydrates, this pattern continues throughout childhood and into adulthood.

As with children, adults in today's society are too busy and make no time to eat. This leads to the cycle of eating sweet highly processed meals twice a day. As we are quite hungry going into these meals, the right side of our brain takes over and we eat far more than we know we need. The left (logical) side of our brain may know better, but the hunger center of the right side takes over. We consume far more than 60-75% of of our daily needs in each of those two meals. Not only do we go into those meals hungry, we choose highly processed foods that are unable to satisfy our stomachs. As they require little or no gastric digestion, it takes a large quanitity of breads, pasta, and rice to make us content. This really leads to a pattern of poor nutrition that just get's worse with time.

Step 1: Snack!

It is very important to eat regularly to prevent binging. Is it a good idea to go into a grocery store hungry? Most of us aviod this as we know that when we do, we do a lot of impulse buying of things that we will regret eating later. So, make a point never to go into a meal hungry. Snack on healthy foods between meals. As a general rule, if it contains fiber or pulp and makes you chew it is going to be a good snack. Apples, pears, baby carrots, celery are all great snacks. All fruits and nuts are good, but you have to watch out for the popcorn effect. Nuts and grapes in moderation are good snacks, but there is the temptation to finsh far more than is necessary, by taking too many handfuls.

Take a few weeks to really make this a lifestyle change. Put a fruit bowl on your family room table or desk at work. The empty fruit bowl will remind you to fill it up and keep going. Buy a new purse large enough to accomadate an apple. If you drive a lot, put a cooler in your car and keep it well stocked. Put a recurring appointment in your webrowser or PDA to snack mid morning and midafternoon. Remember this is a lifestyle change, so change is very, very important. You want to do something fundamentally different in your life that will help you maintain this habit for life.

Warning, please do not proceed to step 2 until you have made an absolute habit out of snacking, otherwise the changes will not be permanent. Step 2.

Copyright Tareq Abedin, MD 2007

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Recommended Links:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases:
Appendicitis, Constipation, Diarrhea, Diabetes, Diverticulosis, Gallstones, Gastroesophageal Reflux, Heartburn, Hemorrhoids, Irritable Bowel, Kidney Disease, Lactose Intolerance, Nutrition, Obesity, Pancreatitis, or Ulcers
American Dietetic Association
American Heart Association

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