Do you have a new year resolution to lose weight in 2021?
If you are already worried about diet failure then this article is for you, and you are not alone.
The UK weight loss industry is said to be worth around £2 billion. This is an unimaginable amount of money which is unfortunately a temptation for exploitation. The weight loss field is littered with an incredible collection of diet solutions, from potentially lethal substances such as DNP, to total nonsense claims for products in mail order catalogues.
A plethora of diet success stories hit the media every year, tempting individuals to the next celebrity endorsed diet plan and jostle for our attention.
Even the legitimate pharmaceutical industry has regularly needed to remove their weight loss medications due to poor safety/benefit performances. Worse still are the attacks by competitors who use marketing and political influence to attempt to sully the reputation of truly safe and effective dieting approaches.
We all understand the “New year, New you” slogan. The start of each year, after the excesses of the festive period, is usually followed by contemplation, paying the credit card and planning to be getting heathier.
Possibly, in 2021 it seems more important than ever to think about excessive weight. The COVID pandemic is making the point in bold flashing neon. Excessive weight is thankfully no longer being perceived as just about beauty. It is finally apparent to all that excess weight can lead to serious health consequences.
Traditionally the new year resolution for weight loss dissipates quickly, so unfortunately the subsequent stories of diet failure and abandoned weight loss efforts each New Year come as no surprise.
Inevitably, as we assess whether it is worth trying AGAIN to lose weight, it is tempting to listen to the gloom and doom newspaper reports such as "diets fail up to 95 percent of the time—meaning that 95 percent of those participating in a diet regain as much as two-thirds of the weight they “lost” within a year". (Jane Brody 1992 NY Times)
There are actually 2 distinct issues when assessing diet success:
- Will weight really be lost on the current diet
- If weight is lost, will it stay lost?
Unfortunately, many will heed these dieting scare stories, dismissing their potential new year resolution to lose weight as a waste of time. Poor weight losses in the past, often using diets that eulogise the need to eat less and exercise more, cloud the public from seeing the well documented benefits of losing excess weight. Achieving real weight loss by just eating less food is more difficult than diet adverts will have you believe. But real weight loss is possible.
Weight loss offers undoubtably huge medical benefit, so this survey of more than 2,000 UK adults, conducted by retail analysts Mintel, who uncovered that almost half (48%) of Brits have tried to lose weight in the last year (2015) offers a beacon of positivity.
It is evident therefore, that of the over 40 million UK adults are overweight, many really do want to lose weight.
However, there is little to protect overweight people from individuals or companies competing for some of this bounty by attacking the successful competition claiming they are harmful, just to keep or win their own market share. Worse still are those companies using pseudo-science to make a quick buck, potentially really putting a dieter’s health at risk. No wonder there is so much dieting failure.
With so many people carrying excess weight, to the tune of two thirds of the UK population, and suffering from the many weight-related co-morbidities how can we locate a successful diet in 2021?
There is a proven current need to lose weight and reduce obesity levels. COVID has shown that it is not a cosmetic issue.
How to measure if a diet fails
The obvious measure is a simple failure to really lose weight. Complicating this, however, is the recognition that many popular diet programmes simply promote a release of water, only in the first week, yet then erroneously claim 7 pounds lost per week. There is no fat reduction in that first week and after water loss there will be almost no further weight loss. Regaining that water is not difficult and happens almost immediately.
A big question is, should the definition of diet failure be a diet that “fails” up to 95 percent of the time, because a dieter is seen to regain some weight in a year time-period? According to the statement in the NY Times referred to previously, the answer is yes.
Their definition of dieting failure is simply however, medical ignorance.
In other words, should some weight regain define diet failure at all?
This is curious when the main reason for substantial weight loss is medical benefit.
Irrespective of the media focus on body image, weight loss benefits our health in a big way.
It is widely recognised that MEDICAL benefit occurs when more than 5% of initial body weight is lost. Yes, just 5%!!
A 5% weight loss may seem an insignificant amount, but for very heavy people it can be a substantial amount of weight.
Five percent loss, from a starting weight of 20 stone is a one stone loss - contributing potentially life-saving medical benefit. For example, the patient’s type 2 diabetes is likely to be put into remission. Blood pressure may have been normalised preventing a stroke or heart attack. Even with some weight regain over time, this is NOT a failure.
So why are current dieting strategies not showing results?
Traditional dieting methods, more often than not, result in negligible weight losses at best. There is much published data about slimming clubs and even interventions by healthcare professionals demonstrating around 3% weight loss on average. This is far less than the minimum 5% required for medical benefit.
For our 20 stone individual, a 3% weight loss is far from satisfactory. A weight loss of 8.4 pounds from an initial weight of 280 pounds would not likely even be noticed.
With such poor expected losses, these methods are inadequate for turning the tide on the obesity epidemic.
There is a way forward, but It is critical to understand that losing substantial weight is akin to treating any common addiction.
The notion that a smoker has succeeded or failed in their attempt to go smoke-free after any time-period is disingenuous. It is well understood that stopping smoking, alcohol etc is a life-long battle and as a result multiple attempts to “quit” across a long period of time is deemed appropriate. Under these conditions, failures are instead called “relapses”. Those afflicted by significant excess weight have a similar biological challenge and need to be afforded the same allowances. Relapses are not diet failures and the dieter is not lazy, although the diets they are following may be failures.
It needs to be considered that our primitive drive to eat is one of the most powerful biological instincts. It is one not easily overcome. If it was not so powerful primitive people could not have survived. It must have taken much drive to challenge a sabre tooth tiger.
Designed to cope with these recognised addictive instincts, weight management by Lipotrim uses the only effective method for dealing with other addictions – abstinence. Whilst totally stopping smoking or alcohol is possible, our essential requirement for about 50 nutrients makes it impossible to remain healthy without them. By design therefore, the Lipotrim formula meals provide only the essential nutrients in the lowest calorie levels consistent with their provision. This results in a maximum safe rate of weight loss and with compliance, aims to reduce the addictive neural mechanisms that promote diet failure.
Rapid weight loss with the Lipotrim diet, offered through pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, allows for predictable weight losses for the dieter of around a stone a month.
This rapidity, combined with the abstinence from conventional foods, assists with long-term diet compliance.
Average weight losses of around 10% of initial weight is at least as impressive as the data for professed gold standard bariatric surgery (not all bariatrics are as effective).
By properly recognising and utilising the expertise of the pharmacist, we are turning the tide against obesity and the medical consequences of overweight.
Diet failure could be a term destined for the history books along with the ancient notion that weight management is synonymous with New Year Resolution failures.