Dr. Vash recalls the best dieting methods and shares why people are gaining weight.
Many patients come to me asking me for a formula which will guarantee success, a secret formula, what have I learned over the years and I try to educate them to say that there’s no one magical formula. Every diet will work and every diet probably will fail not because there’s something inherently bad about their diet but because people go back to their old eating behaviors, their old coping mechanisms.
One of the most frequent stumbling blocks is the fact that people think that they have to eat every two or three hours or they have to snack during the day to keep their metabolism up. I find that that’s an error. I don’t think that’s accurate. I try to tell the patients, your job to lose weight is to stay away from food. If you are not thinking about food you are not going to be finding food and eating food.
So I try to have them take three good protein enhanced rich meals throughout the day and try to minimize the snacking. The snacks today have far too many calories. They are too loaded with fats, too loaded with carbohydrates, too loaded with salt and they are almost guaranteed to make you want to eat more snacks. So by cutting back your snacks you have a better handle of limiting your caloric intake and affecting weight loss.
Stop your snacking and don’t eat after dinner, no matter what time you have dinner – 7 o’clock, 8 o’clock, 10 o’clock, when you get up from the table that’s the last time you are going to eat until breakfast, and by that simple fact you’ll probably reduce 50% of your excess calorie intake, and the reason is most people are somewhat aware of what they eat at meals, but they have very little comprehension of how much food they take in during snacks or when they are watching TV or having some other activity or when they are using emotional eating instead of a structured eating program.
You get a call from a boyfriend that’s giving you problems, you tend to eat. You have a problem with your boss you tend to eat. You get something from the IRS or a bill collector you tend to eat. Food is there to help take away the stress and when you are eating because you are stressed you forget how many calories you have eaten and that’s a major problem in how people have come to gain their weight.
About Dr. Peter Vash, M.D., M.P.H.:
Dr. Vash is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Center for Health Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is a Board Certified Internist specializing in Endocrinology and Metabolism, with an emphasis in obesity and eating disorders.