Weight Loss That Stays Lost

America's weight problems are now so well-known they're even fair game for jokes at the Oscars. "Americans really know how to fill up a seat," jibes Ellen DeGeneres, host of the 2007 Academy Awards.

The statistics are alarming. Sixty-five percent of Americans - 130 million in 2001 - are overweight. Fifteen percent of American children are overweight (up from four percent only 20 years ago). Healthcare costs related to overweight Americans has ballooned to $117 billion (that's billion) in 2003. And the numbers keep going up. The scales don't lie.

And yet, diet and weight-loss books fill our nation's bookstores. Low-carb diets. High-protein diets. The cabbage soup diet. The grapefruit diet. The raw foods diet. Most people we know have tried one or more of these. The new diet works for a while, then we can't take the deprivation any longer and break the diet. Then, horrifyingly, all the weight we lost comes right back, and we're right back where we started. Or possibly even a few pounds heavier.
The very good news is that a real, long-lasting solution exists. The basics of this healthy approach to long-term weight loss have been known for decades. This solution is not a diet. It doesn't have a catchy name. There are, though, a few "magic" secrets to this food plan that works.

  • "Secret" Number 1 - eat six small meals throughout each day, separated by 2.5 to 3 hours
  • "Secret" Number 2 - combine protein and carbohydrates in each meal
  • "Secret" Number 3 - drink plenty of water (eight to ten glasses) throughout the day
  • "Secret" Number 4 - eat two portions of vegetables each day
  • "Secret" Number 5 - take one day off each week (a "free" day) and eat whatever you want, whenever you want

Why combine protein and carbohydrate at each meal? This critical combination feeds our muscles by providing the amino acids (from protein) necessary to build and maintain muscle tissue, and the carbohydrate needed to shuttle the amino acids into the cells. If the carbs aren't there the protein doesn't get used. There's also a human performance benefit - eating balanced meals enables better cognitive/mental function. So we're not only getting healthier on this food plan, we're getting smarter!1

Why eat six times a day? Studies have shown this approach results in a faster metabolic rate, a lower percentage of body fat, and reduced "bad" cholesterol levels, all while maintaining lean muscle mass.2,3 Each meal contains approximately 300 calories (proteins and carbohydrates in each meal are in "portion" sizes). That's it! This sensible, easy approach to food allows you to eat everything - there are no restrictions. And, on your free day you can indulge, or not, letting your natural instincts guide you.

1Fischer K, et al: "Carbohydrate to protein ratio in food and cognitive performance in the morning." Physiol Behav 75(3):411-423, 2002
2Jenkins JD, et al: "Nibbling vs. gorging: metabolic advantages of increased meal frequency." NEJM 321(14):929-934, 1989
3Verboeket WP, et al: "Influence of feeding frequency on nutrient utilization in man: consequences for energy metabolism." Eur J Clin Nutr 43(3):161-169, 1991

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"I struggled with back pain for 4 years prior to seeking help for my Scoliosis. I decided after visiting Dr. Breidenbach that it was worth the financial commitment and time dedication to go through the CLEAR scoliosis treatment. My pain throughout the 4 years was more of an extreme discomfort and occasional immobilization from immense pain spikes. My biggest problems occurred when I was on my feet for long periods of time, sitting for too long, and any type of consecutive lifting. It was emotionally draining because no matter what stretches, exercises or methods I tried, nothing seemed to work.
My pain level now, after completing the 4 month treatment program and continuing my at-home protocol, is extremely low and very manageable. The only time I experience discomfort is after very long days on my feet, which still only results in minor soreness. I am so much happier and less stressed about everyday activities, and can do so much more than before. My Cobb angle also improved from 13.8 degrees down to 4 degrees (71% improvement).
I would suggest the CLEAR scoliosis Center of La Crosse to anyone that experiences pain and dysfunction with scoliosis. The whole staff was extremely kind and supportive, while also maintaining a high level of professionalism. I am so happy to have a normal life without the constant annoyance and discomfort of pain from scoliosis.

Megan