Why I can not lose weight?

This is a question I hear all the time in the exam room at my family practice. I hear theories espoused by patients reading on Web MD or a general Google search. I think it’s a glandular problem, can you check my thyroid please? Finally, “could you give me some diet pills? I just need a push and I’ll be fine” is often the plea I hear. People feel like there’s some secret out there that no one is telling them. If you need proof, just check out the diet weight loss industry, it’s over 40 billion dollars a year.

Does it sound familiar to you? If so, keep reading because I need to dispel some myths. First of all, I do believe in a genetic predisposition to obesity. I am living proof of that. Do you feel like you can just look at that chocolate cake and put on 10 pounds? So you have a genetic profile that inclines you towards obesity. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be obese!

Next is the skinny person who can eat whatever she wants, my wife, and not gain a pound. They eat sweets, fried foods and fats and gain weight; hell no. The difference is twofold; the main factor is metabolism.

Your metabolism is much like the thermostat in your house. If you have a high metabolism you tend to be skinny, a slow metabolism and weight is a major problem. Have you noticed that the skinny person with the fast metabolism never sits still? They are always running around doing something. When they sit down to watch a TV show, they tend to fall asleep. There is no easy way to measure your metabolism.

The next factor is activity and exercise. This is the number of calories you burn as you go about your daily activity. You could wear a pedometer around to get a good idea of ‚Äč‚Äčthis calorie expenditure. The good news is that you don’t have to because all of that is irrelevant.

If you’ve had your lab tests done and there’s no deficiency preventing you from losing weight, then pay close attention. There are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat. So if you want to lose a pound a week, you have to not eat or burn 500 calories a day. You’ll have to buy a calorie book or Google everything you eat to see where you can cut those calories. Exercise is fine, but you would have to walk 5-10 miles depending on your pace to burn those 500 calories.

Sounds too confusing? From my experience, most people feel that it is too much effort to follow these steps. If that is your case, keep reading. I have more information for you in the box in my bio below.

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