Weight Control Program

Obesity, like love, is a many splendored thing. There are many roads which lead to “over weight”, but the main highways are over-eating and under exercising!

The first question you must ask yourself is, “How did I become overweight? Was it heredity, social or psychological reasons­–or just too much of a good thing?”

To answer this question you need to be honest with yourself; you must be aware of the ways you “use” food. Do you eat to appease an honest signal from your stomach, or is eating your device for negotiating life? Do you sometimes cushion life’s blows with and ice cream cone? Is chocolate cake a substitute for a satisfying relationship? If the answer is “yes”, you are not alone. Ours is a culture which centers around food, and yet demands that all bodies remain slender and graceful forever.

Take our holidays, for instance… can you imagine Thanksgiving without the cornucopia of  turkey, pie and sweet yams? And what about other social occasions? Meeting a friend in a restaurant, taking a business associate out for a drink, or celebrating an anniversary.

Every social occasion or celebration leads to food in one way or the other. The truth is that food bolsters our morale and at the same time it fuels our bodies. The natural pleasure you derive from a tasty meal can become linked in your mind to your ability to cope, satisfying a need when you are struggling for comfort or feel emotionally down.

So here you have the first cause of obesity – the dependence of food on an emotional level, as a universal remedy.

Then there is “creeping obesity” which is perhaps a major cause of weight gain. Its not that we make a virtue of chocolate mousse, but that we are not paying attention to the basic law of biology: the supply must not exceed the demand! The calories spent must equal the calories taken in. If we consume less than we burn, we lose weight; if we eat more food then we need, we add extra pounds. The pitfall is that our basal metabolic rate decreases as we get older. We do what we have always done and watch with surprise our ever-expanding waistline. “I have always been slim, “ we protest in vain, “I can’t understand why I’m gaining weight!”

It’s really quite simple. As we age, our metabolic rate slows. If we don’t eat less, or become more physically active while we maintain our regular eating pattern, we gain weight. Metabolic laws have their own logic… if you add a mere 50 calories a day (half of a doughnut) you will gain five pounds a year, which translates into 25 pounds in just five years. Mother nature stores unburned calories the way a squirrel stores nuts. Not changing our eating or exercising habits as we age allows added pounds to creep up silently and gradually.

But certainly you can do something to correct your weight gain. Learn to do with less, and be as satisfied as you were when you ate more. Reset your body processes with a systematic program of activities. Twelve minutes of swimming is worth two pieces of toast. Have the toast the day you swim and skip the toast the day you do nothing. Everything is a trade-off. The energy equation works with relentless consistency. What you take in as calories from food will either be expended as energy or stored as fat.

A third culprit in the game of weight management results in weight gain known in medical terms as “reactive obesity”. Weight gain at times can be an expression of a deep depression or physical reaction to a great loss. A husband dies, a son moves away, a spouse runs off with another, a mother ignores her daughter. All are perfectly good reasons for a change in eating patterns to cope with stress.

Which one fits your profile? Give it some thought; analyze your problem. How much did you gain? When did you first become overweight? Were you a chubby child? Did it happen after a major event in your life?

Stop and think. Diagnose the symptoms. Where your parents overweight? Is your spouse heavier than you? Have you successfully lost weight in the past only to regain it back time and time again? What is your attitude towards physical activity? Do you enjoy being physically active in a sport or exercise, or do you think of physical activity as a medicine you must force yourself to take in order to stay healthy, slim and fit.

What is your concept of your body image? Can you assess your body volume accurately? What are your perceptions about the way the world “sees” you? How do you see yourself? Do the 2 images correspond? Can you be objective about how you actually appear versus how you think you appear?

These are just some of the factors that help influence both your weight gain and your outlook for a slimmer future. Your attitude towards yourself makes a marked difference in the way you will lose weight. You must learn to love, respect and believe in yourself now matter what your body weight.

From studies of overweight persons, we know that the shorter the time period between your weight gain and your decision to shed the extra weight you have gained, the greater your chance of achieving your normal weight. If you suffer from a “yo-yo” syndrome, losing and gaining weight in rapid succession – or if you have been overweight since childhood, your chances of attaining normal weight may not be as easy to achieve but it can be done! Make and effort and you will surprise yourself!

Is there a simple recipe for losing weight? No. But if one were to examine the evidence, three elements seem to be involved in every successful weight loss: Motivation, Knowledge and Discipline.

FAQ's about weight management
Stress FAQ