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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Intensive Behavioral Modification Can Lead To Huge Weight Loss In A Year

The latest study result making the bloggy rounds amongst fatfighting types:

Dr. James Anderson, a weight loss researcher, led a nine-year study of patients who have lost 100 or more pounds. Such weight loss can be achieved by following an intensive behavioral program. This method is significantly safer than undergoing bariatric surgery to achieve similar weight loss results.

...63 men and 55 women were part of a nine-year study led by Dr. James Anderson, head of the UK College of Medicine Metabolic Research Group. The average beginning weight of study participants was 353 pounds. The average weight loss was 134 pounds in 44 weeks.

"Many severely obese persons, needing to lose more than 100 pounds, become frustrated and turn to surgery," Anderson said. "This study shows that one in four persons who participate in an intensive weight loss program for 12 weeks can go on to lose over 100 pounds. This program has much lower risks than surgery and can lead to similar long-term weight loss."

--from 100 Pound Weight Loss Possible With Behavioral Changes

I would note this, however, about the above snippets from the article: While only 1 in 4 in this study went on to lose that huge number, it's easier for gastric-bypass and even lap banders to lose 100 pounds in a year. The surgery gives you the satiety that dieting and exercise cannot. And it, obviously also carries the health benefits--even life extension--that losing a lot of weight of offers.

The difference: There is a risk of complications (infections, emboli, etc) and mortality (1 in 200 patients) with bariatric surgery. The risk would be eliminated by using simply diet and exercise and behavioral modification.

So, while the study gives hope to some willing and able to afford 12 weeks of intensive behavioral modification--which I'm guessing doesn't come cheaply--and with strict calorie restriction--which is tough any way you cut it-- that's hardly the most hurrah of results. Hey, if only 25% succeeded at the top weight loss, that means 75% didn't achieve these morbidly obese folks didn't get great results within a year. (And we don't know specifically what results they did get and what percentages got what results. How many went most of the way? Part of the way? Total bust?)

But for now, let's focus on the POSITIVE: Some succeeded at this stunning achievement.

And some hope is better than NO hope for those not willing to or unable to undergo surgery. Right?

Since I don't have all the stats, I'm assuming all the participants lost some weight. Maybe they all lost significant amounts. Certainly, the 12-week treatment benefitted most of the participants, as this excerpt from the above article shows:

The positive results went beyond lower digits on the scale. The weight loss was accompanied by improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes, sleep apnea and other ails. Sixty-six percent of the participants on medications for high blood lipids, high blood pressure, diabetes or degenerative joint disease were able to discontinue those medications, saving an average of $100 a month and netting a priceless return in health.

Hard to argue with 66% getting off their meds. That's a great outcome.

The study should continue to follow these folks, just to see if the behavioral modification holds up. That is, will these people gain back some, most, all, or more than the weight they lost in the years to come. It's not just losing that's success. In fact, that's only part of the journey. Real success is KEEPING IT OFF, which people tend to do quite well when they've had bariatric surgery.

Main point: It's not just about the calories, it's about the calories and CHANGING HABITS and WAYS OF THINKING about food and eating, and it's about gaining the habit of exercise. Which, clearly, means I have much work to do. And it's also on the focusing on that study fact: One-quarter of 118 people--ie. almost 30 people--lost a huge, huge, huge amount of weight in LESS than a year. In 44 weeks. Roughly 10 months.

In ten months, it will be June 25th. It's possible you could be at your goal weight or 130+ pounds lighter by JUNE 25th.

That's the possibility that this study opens up for all the morbidly obese out there. And even more hope for the plain, old, ordinary overweight.

By this time next year, you could be where you want to be. Or near to it. And you could be off medications for many of the obesity-related ailments. And you could look really hot in that new outfit. And you could go up and down stairs without huffing and puffing.

It's possible. There's hope. (My word for the year.)

Note: Another study released showed the benefits of bariatric surgery, which, like this study, would correlate to losing lots and lots of weight. The main thing--losing weight extends life and improves health and quality of life.


Prof. Dr. Mohamed Elhashemy said...

Losing up to 220 Pounds

All extremely obese people know that losing 100 pounds is extremely difficult and a boring task. It may be easy to lose 30 – 40 pounds by aggressive diets but since the journey is very long and the patient is very fatty he gets dyspnoea and stops completely all of a sudden.

Dr. James Anderson and his colleagues did a very logic, smart, and humanitarian study. One of the drawbacks of their intensive behavioral program is that it depends on caloric counting (1000 – 1200 daily) which is boring. Another, the patients used protein shakes and liquid diets which is not convenient as a lifestyle. I believe that solid natural foods give more satiety effect.

During the last three years, I studied the effects of training the memory collecting data center - the hippocampus - by visual, auditory, and psychological cues on performing lifestyle changes in obese patients. These cues included eating frequent daily micro meals (which is named "Luqaimat" in Arabic language); hence, I named it: Luqaimat Training Technique "LTT".

In this study out of 345 obese patients, 313 continued the diet and all lost an average of 71.5 pounds after the first year and 88.5 pounds by the end of one and a half years (3 of my patients lost over 220.5 pounds in one and a half years). These results represents 91% success rate compared to 25% success rate in Dr. Anderson's research. That indicates that hippocampul neuroplasticity by LTT may be more effective since it leads to substantially greater success rate, and to a long-lasting effect, while in Dr. Anderson's cases the 100 pound loss rebounded to 66 pound.

I am planning to publish these breakthrough results on my website (under establishment) within a short period. The website will include before-and-after photos of some of the biggest losers. Some facts of my innovated Luqaimat diet can be found as opinions/comments on several recent diet researches at prominent medical websites under the title: Luqaimat Diet.

Once Upon A Dieter said...

Thank you for that information, Dr. Elhashemy. I hope your website is up soon, because I certainly would like to see the results and the particulars.

Mir--Princess Dieter