Updated: Jun 12, 2019
Over the last 10 years I have come across hundreds of overweight and obese clients seeking help. Many are at their wits end. Most have already tried to lose weight umpteen times. And some are looking for a quick fix. This is not a comprehensive article by any chance. Here, I merely highlight a few relevant issues besieging obesity and its management.
According to the World Health organisation more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight of whom 650 million could be classified as obese. Across the globe obesity has tripled since 1975 and at least 2.8 million people are dying annually as a result. Its a large problem growing bigger by the day — both literally and figuratively!
Why is this a growing problem?
Obesity is multifactorial — meaning that there are many socio-economic and environmental factors that accompany excess calorie intake and inactivity of a person. Most weight loss programs and governmental initiatives generally dish out the oft repeated song and dance sequence of ‘eat less, move more’ or some variant of it. This is in fact part of the problem.
Systems Level Thinking
Whether as a public health initiative or as a personal health endeavour there is a dire need to apply systems level thinking in order to address obesity effectively. Systems level thinking encourages us to look at obesity as a result of the environment that a person lives and works in. It also encourages people to look within to ascertain whether their ‘internal milieu’ of relationships, personality and purpose are working for or against them. It basically encourages a wholistic examination of the problem which is often the first step in identifying the most appropriate mechanisms to address the problem.
Kicking obesity in the butt
Its easier than you think. That is, once you have identified the causes. But its still easier than you think. Now I can see many hands coming up saying — of course, all you need to do is to eat less and shift your butt off the couch.
I am sure shifting that butt off the proverbial couch may in fact be a good idea. But not for the reason you want to do it though. Sedentary behaviour and endless TV shows (with butts on couches) are an independent risk factor for early death.
But to lose weight the first thing you’ve got to realize is that you can never ‘out run’ an unhealthy diet. To kick obesity in the butt you’ve got to change your thinking first.
Ok. This is not just an anecdote. Its a case study too. But first let me ask you a question. By ‘you’ I mean not just the obese or overweight readers of this post, but also you weight loss gurus and doctors out there. How many days would you have to starve or nearly starve to lose 20% of your body weight within 9 months? Ok, maybe you don’t starve your clients but just do calorie restriction — so how many calories would need to be restricted to lose 20% of your body weight? Or how many keto diets should you do ? How many miles should you run and how many gym memberships will you need?
After all this can you be sure that your clients weight will stay off? And that they will no longer yo-yo?
Let me come to a story where none of this applied. She did ZERO calorie counting. Yes, not once did she count her calories. She ate real wholesome food in real time and still lost weight. She did some resistance exercises for muscle strengthening and walked whenever she could. And that’s about it. She first lost 9kgs over a 5 week period. Then a few months later dropped the remaining 10% of her body weight over a 10 week block. The whole weight loss occurring within a nine month time frame. That loss of a whopping 20% of her initial body weight was due to no magic pill. She was a client of mine who was very good at powering her mind to power her life and life choices.
Mind over matter
Mind matters! Big time! The human mind is the most powerful tool ever designed in the universe. Our mind and our environment work in conjunction all the time. They are the two sides of the flippin coin!
For all my clients mind work comes first. Get the mindset right and half the jobs done. The other half is optimizing the environment and making it easier to make good choices. Once these two are underway the right diet comes next.
Its not what you eat but what you don’t eat that keeps you from losing weight healthily. The old concept of food being the enemy needs to be thrown out full and square. Food is never the enemy. Food is in fact your best friend. The right food nourishes and flourishes in your body. Proper mind work helps you begin to appreciate the beauty in food and how wonderful it is for keeping you healthy. Instead of fearing food you begin to look forward to it. The right food begins to feed not only you but also the tiny tiny millions of bacteria growing in your gut. Your gut is your best friend and gut training is second only to mind training for effective and healthy weight loss which stays off.
The complete weight loss industry needs to be rewritten. Because it is creating consumers that will forever remain consumers. Empowerment 0%. Dependency 100%.
I wanted to create enabled and empowered learners who use their own power to change the direction of their life and health. Those who are willing to use their mind and their intelligence to choose the simplest and most effective ways to lose weight and keep it off. Who become their own enablers for a lifetime of health and wellbeing.
The Partnered Restorative Programme for Obesity
The PRP-Weight loss plan is the most advanced program for weight-loss and obesity reversal. It caters for the most challenging weight loss scenarios — yo-yoing, plateau phase, pre-surgery, post-bariatric surgery, emotional eating etc etc.
Its Key Features include the following
1. Mind Training
2. Gut Training
3. Personalized Nutrition
4. Healthy movement
5. Environment Optimization
7. Empowerment & Ownership of the programme
8. Regular feedback
This whole systems approach to healthier and sustained weight loss is the need of the hour to improve the morbidity and mortality associated with obesity.