Lifestyle changes are necessary to defeat obesity

Can you live your way thin?

Americans are desperate to find a way to lose weight. Whether it is because the doctor tells us to or because we just want to improve our appearance, Americans will spend billions this year on pills, diets, food supplements, videos, and even fat camps. Some have found success, but many, perhaps most, have found frustration and failure as their weight goes up and down, or they simply lose no weight at all.

According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, 30 percent of U.S. adults 20 years of age and older—more than 60 million people—are obese. And it’s a number that is growing every year despite people spending more than $30 billion dollars a year fighting it.

Being overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, results from “an imbalance involving excessive calorie consumption and/or inadequate physical activity.” In other words, as experts have told us for years, we need to eat less and exercise more. But we have apparently always hoped there would be more to it than that. And so the marketplace has filled with products designed to shortcut weight loss.

The Federal Trade Commission has taken hundreds of products and companies to court in the last several decades trying to protect Americans from outlandish and sometimes dangerous claims. A “Super-Formula pill” for instance, claimed several years ago that it would block fat absorption, curb appetite, and speed metabolism, blasting “up to 49 pounds off you in only 29 days!” The FTC froze the company’s assets, and they were quickly out of business. But where one claim disappears, another appears.

“There is no quick-fix when it comes to losing weight permanently,” says Stavros Mastrogiannis, a certified lifestyle and weight management consultant. “There is more misinformation in the weight-loss field than any other,” he claims. The outlandish claims for quick weight loss will not work, or at least will not last, according to Stavros. “If we want to win the war against over-weight, obesity and all the diseases that come with it, we need to tackle the problem from the root, which is our lifestyle habits.”

Stavros, a 12-year veteran in the weight-loss field, studied most of the dieting advice, research and products offered over the years and applied what he learned to his clients. “As my approach evolved,” he says, “more and more of my clients began to see results.” His conclusion was that losing weight requires a permanent change in lifestyle. You must incorporate into your lifestyle four major ingredients. They include some form of resistance training, some form of aerobics, proper nutrition, and most importantly, consistency

Stravros has compiled what he has learned about changing lifestyles in his book, Live Your Way Thin. In it, he gives readers the tools needed for making permanent changes in their day-to-day lifestyle. His approach is the only one on the market that includes all the four ingredients necessary for successful and permanent weight loss.

From the Jan. 4-10, 2006, issue

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