Q: I’m 100 pounds overweight and desperate to get into shape, but I read that there’s really no chance that someone like me can take it off and keep it off. I feel like giving up! Can you help me? – Janie W., Lincoln, Nebraska
A: Bravo! You might be discouraged, but you’re still fighting to be healthy; otherwise, you wouldn’t have written to us. And we’re glad you did, because the recent rash of news reports delivering that gloomy message is infuriating!
True, in the recently reported U.K. study of health records of 1,283 men and 2,245 women, researchers determined that an obese person’s chance of achieving a normal body weight was 1 in 210 for men and 1 in 124 for women. But that’s badly misleading! If you have the right information, inspiration and support (clearly, those folks did not), YOU can lose weight and keep it off. Here are several proven ways to do it. (Remember, it took a while to put it on, and it takes a while to take it off, safely.)
Enlist support, and once you lose weight, keep the support going. It protects against regaining the weight.
-Lifestyle coaching keeps you on the right path. Check out info at MyClevelandClinic.com (there’s a quiz, “What’s Your Eating Style,” plus ways to improve your eating habits) and search online for “free weight-loss apps.”
-Check out “YOU on a Diet” and “This is Your Do-Over” for more ways to lose and keep weight off.
-Overeaters Anonymous offers all the help that 12-step programs can provide as you try to change your relationship to food.
Establish new habits.
-Keep a food diary; then you’ll really know what you’re eating.
-Find a workout buddy; it’s the No. 1 way to make sure you stick with your routine! Then check out the interval walking program at sharecare.com. A new study in JAMA Oncology suggests that postmenopausal women who get 300 minutes a week of moderate or vigorous exercise can lose a substantial amount of body fat and significantly improve their hip-to-waist ratio.
-Talk to your doctor about bariatric surgery. One metastudy of more than 160,000 people found that those who had gastric bypass saw their body mass index plummet by 12 to 17 points – from a BMI of 35, for example, to 23, a normal, healthy weight. After surgery, you still need to pay attention to what you eat and continue working to maintain weight loss, so don’t think it is an easy way out!
© 2015 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.