The causes of frustration and failure in weight management
are many. One important cause of failure is setting unrealistic goals.
Fraudulent advertising suggests that you can lose large amounts of weight
quickly with little or no effort. Even if you are realistic and doubt these
claims, the idea of fast and easy weight loss tends to stick.
I discovered that most people believed that weight loss can
be quick and easy. Patients would come to my office in a panic saying: My
daughter is getting married. I have to lose 40 pounds in a month!” The truth is
that important, lasting weight loss happens slowly over months to years. To try
to lose 40 pounds for the wedding, my patient would have to eat no food and do
hard physical work every day for a month; she might lose 25 pounds. Of course,
this is not a realistic weight loss plan. If you are within 50 pounds of your
ideal weight, it should be possible to approach your ideal weight losing about 8
pounds per month. If you are seriously overweight (more than 100 pounds over
your ideal weight) you may not achieve an “ideal” body weight. But you should
lose some weight.
It may be possible for an overweight person to remain
overweight but convert to a healthy lifestyle and become healthy as a
heavier-than-average person. The goal of achieving an “ideal” body is needs to
replaced with a more realistic goal of lower body weight, better diet and daily
exercise. Overweight people who adopt a healthy lifestyle and lose some weight
reduce their risk of disease.
The goal, therefore, is never to lose a lot of weight
quickly, but to lose some weight by changing eating habits that lead to
excessive weight gain. To get started on your new path, you can estimate how
much you think you are overweight and plan to reduce your extra fat stores by a
percentage, 20% for example. Regardless of how much you weigh, you need to
change your food intake forever and exercise everyday.
A realistic plan has to allow for slow weight loss and
cannot be a crash diet that leads to rapid weight loss, followed by rapid weight
gain. A realistic rate of permanent weight loss is negotiable. The range is 4 to
10 pounds per month. The rate of weight loss usually slows as you approach your
goal. There are many measures of improved health and weight loss is only one
The Alpha Nutrition Program
The first experience of the Alpha Nutrition Program is to retreat to a simple
set of foods or to take a food holiday. Successful weight management is an
expression of health. Symptoms are an expression of dysfunction and must
be resolved early in the stages of diet revision. Basic foods are cooked
vegetables, rice, some fruit, poultry and fish. No one gets fat eating rice,
vegetables and fruit. You can use a complete meal replacement formula, Alpha
ENF, and/or basic foods to clear symptoms and cravings. If you are diabetic, you
use Alpha DMX instead of Alpha ENF.
Most people with weight issues do not feel well and many are developing or
already have related diseases such as arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes
and atherosclerosis. We start with the assumption that the foods that disturb
weight regulation are also creating illness at some level. The illness may
be low-grade and may be ignored for a number of years. Or, the illness may be
obvious, but is not clearly connected with the food supply. Illness and weight
gain go together just as renewed good health goes together with weight loss.
The program can be thought of as a series of transformations that progress
from the simple to the more complex. The phase 1 food list is relatively simple
and the program advances a positive image. There are foods that are desirable to
eat and these are suggested along with meal plans and recipes. You can question
the wisdom behind the food selection policy and complain that many of your
favorite foods are missing, but that is just the point. The foods that have been
omitted are not discussed very much in the program manual, but the effect is
dramatic. The absent foods mean that many health problems that you have been
having because of these foods are also absent.
We believe that dairy and bakery products, for example, often trigger food
cravings and compulsive eating. Think about the foods you crave and over-eat.
Do the ingredients include dairy products and wheat (flour)? We believe
that these staple foods often cause symptoms such as aching, fatigue, bloating,
constipation and diarrhea. If you want to gain weight and feel miserable, the
best bet would be to eat high-caloric foods that make you tired, dopey,
irritable and trigger compulsive eating. We are convinced that delayed patterns
food allergy (you cannot diagnose with skin tests) are important problems both
in causing illness but also in causing the appetite control system to
malfunction. With delayed pattern food allergy, you get cravings and compulsive
eating, instead of normal appetite regulation.
Even people who are relatively well and deny symptoms will realize that they
have food-related symptoms after they experience the clearing effect of Phase 1
and then react to foods as they "fall off the wagon". You will be on a new
path and can expect quite different results from the new diet you are creating.
The trick is to make the food switch completely, voluntarily, and with
gratitude. You can complain about missing foods, inconvenience, and losing
pleasures but do not believe your complaints. These complaints and excuses you
make for not changing are part of your problem. You do want a different result
for the foods you eat and you do want the benefits of change to continue for the
rest of your life.