Why are commercial diet programs so successful in America today? At the risk of sounding a bit cynical here, I believe it is related to one simple factor: repeat business. The plain fact is, Americans are confronted everyday with sugar and unhealthy fats in abundant supply. We most likely hold the record for more “drive through” restaurants than any country on earth. But blaming our fast food industry isn’t really fair when you consider all the soda’s, ‘energy drinks’, and pre-packaged convenience foods we consume every year in our quest to “save time”. Let’s face it… We want it quick, we want it convenient, and we want it to taste great too.
Inside this instant gratification society, it’s no wonder when our jeans don’t button as easy as they once did, we’d want a quick fix to get back into them comfortably. So the market supplies a plethora of fast and easy weight loss systems; some even claiming you can have your cake and eat it too for Pete’s sake! Really? Billions of dollars are spent every year by hard working Americans who are looking to gain control of their health, or at the very least, their waist line.
Doctors across this country repeatedly advise their overweight and obese clients to lose weight in their quest for health. One medical statistic recognized by the general population who do visit a physician regularly is: “My doctor says if I lose 10% of my body weight, I won’t need blood pressure meds anymore.” Yet losing the 10% and keeping it off becomes very elusive for most Americans leaving them back at the drawing board again. More and more are considering surgery to re-size their stomach, thus leading to fullness and eventual subsequent weight loss. But is this a good idea? And if the lifestyle isn’t addressed, won’t we eventually stretch our stomachs back to extra large again anyway?
It is alarming to most in the medical community to realize the vast number of Americans willing to undergo surgery to combat obesity. What has happened here? And moreover, are we so inflexible and hopeless in our fixed lifestyle that surgery, once considered as a last resort, is now the only way to lose weight? As a nurse and someone in the community who is committed to decreasing health risks through lifestyle, I certainly hope not!
Like our mothers told us when we were children, “It’s time to take your medicine!” No one wants to but what if we did indeed take our medicine? At Svelte Medical Weight Management, we are not committed to lying to you that you can lose weight while enjoying your old unhealthy lifestyle. No, it’s all about lifestyle and it is time to face the music. So the first step is acknowledging the simple fact that we aren’t getting away with anything by being victims of an empty calorie, high carbohydrate, fat filled diet.
The good news is that we know how metabolism works, we have the tools to empower people to make that lifestyle change, and we have hundreds of clients who have maintained their Svelte figures to prove it. It’s all about our transitional step. Transition is the second step of the Svelte program where clients have achieved their healthy goal weight and are ready to transition off the rapid weight loss phase and make that all important lifestyle transformation. It’s exciting because most people don’t realize when they are heavy how amazing they will feel at their goal weight. They often make the mistake of thinking they will be on a diet forever and for some people, past thoughts start playing in their heads: “I can’t keep the weight off… it always comes back!” The fear is valid, but it is not real! Instead of choosing self-defeating thoughts like this, we encourage our clients to keep this in mind: A cinder block weighs 24 pounds. Wow! Just how many were you carrying around before you came to Svelte? You don’t want to go back there, you can most certainly maintain this weight, and we will teach you how. More importantly, we will be there for you when you go into step three of Svelte, the maintenance phase.
How does transition work? It begins with building on what our clients learned in step one (the rapid weight loss phase) about their metabolism and how food drives it. Most people who come to us, even our diabetic clients, have very little knowledge of how foods we eat impact our insulin levels which drive hunger. So the initial teaching is what we call “Svelte Savvy”. We warn our clients not be taken in by temptation of the American default diet. New habits have been created in our first step of rapid weight loss and plenty of old habits broken. It’s time to build on that and truly empower our clients to take charge of their health and lifestyle.
The transitional step includes introducing wonderful new food which our clients absolutely deserve and enjoy after working hard to reach their goal weight. But at the same time, it is important our clients are prepared at home, on the go, and at the restaurant table. Therefore we do a lot of training on eating foods in the right amount, order, and combination. For instance, it is critical to avoid high sugar foods early in the day or when you are really hungry. The idea “eat dessert first” is truly not a good idea because the insulin surge that accompanies that is not worth it. Our clients learn what foods are smart to reach for when they are hungry and they understand the impact insulin has on their appetite.
One of the other Svelte signature tools in transition is the journal. Many struggling with obesity simply have daily eating habits that are unhealthy. The Svelte transitional journal is a tool that empowers our clients to ‘catch’ these habits in action and replace them with new healthy habits that keep them at their goal weight. We have them look at their snacking habits, their “default diet” during the week, and any possible triggers that lead them to overeat. Eating is sometimes a very comforting habit especially during times of stress or depression. Because Svelte is a medical weight management system with physicians on staff, we are uniquely qualified to manage people experiencing the myriad of issues that lead to over eating and obesity.
Knowledge is power and at Svelte Medical Weight Management, we are committed to teaching our clients how to stay Svelte. Whenever I meet a client who is starting our rapid weight loss program for the second time, I can’t help but ask them if they did step two; transition.. Most of the time, they tell me no. Then I get to encourage them that transition is the most important step; “If you go through the transition phase, you won’t have to re-start the rapid weight loss phase.” It’s that simple and we’ve got clients who have maintained Svelte for years to prove it.
Susie Bragg has been a Registered Nurse since 1989, and specialized in both pediatric critical care and home health nursing before she and her husband - Dr. Richard Bragg - started their own medical practice in 1998. Susie is a breast cancer survivor who developed a keen interest in nutrition as way to live healthier. To schedule an appointment, call (407) 395-4836.