FREEHOLD, N.J., Oct. 2, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Time and again, Rebecca Cipriano, MD, MS, founder of Pop Weight Loss, LLC, gets asked the same question by her clients, "Why can't I lose weight?" According to Dr. Cipriano, a board-certified Ob/Gyn with a master's degree in clinical nutrition, the answer isn't always a simple one as there are many reasons why a person is not making progress. After helping thousands of clients lose weight - and keep it off -- Dr. Cipriano has identified a list of four common things that every person should lose before beginning his or her weight loss journey. Dr. Cipriano, author of Pop: Burst the Diet Bubble and Finally Lose Weight, says these weight loss culprits can easily stop people from getting the results they want -- and could also be the reasons why the weight stays on.
1) LOSE: Your current "diet plan." "So many times, clients tell me they feel they have tried every well-known diet out there, but they're simply not losing any weight - or they quickly gain back any pounds they may have lost and more," Dr. Cipriano explains. "The problem with many of the big-name diets is they are exactly just that - a 'diet' -- and not a way of life.
"It's unrealistic to expect people to count points, weigh and measure foods, eat prepackaged, processed meals and/or replace them with shakes, etc., for the rest of their lives," Dr. Cipriano continues. "Nobody should have live under such restrictive measures in order to stay healthy. It's simply setting people up for failure. Many weight loss fads are structured with a 'one size fits all' mentality and are temporary fixes. The takeaway I want people to understand is that they didn't fail at dieting - the diet failed them."
GAIN: A weight loss strategy. "You cannot sustain the idea of constantly being on a diet, which is why I don't use that word," Dr. Cipriano states. "People tend to immediately associate it with feelings of starvation, deprivation and misery. Unfortunately, it's because that's all they've ever known when attempting to lose weight. When someone doesn't have a clear plan of what they need to do and how they need to do it, they often don't even know how to get started.
"I can't stress enough that the only way to lose weight is with no gimmicks, no prepackaged foods and no calorie-counting," Dr. Cipriano explains. "A successful weight management strategy takes into account all aspects of a person's nutritional needs, weight, behavior, lifestyle and overall health concerns, and makes eating a healthy - and enjoyable - way of life. It's really not complicated, but if the focus is continually on the scale, and the plan doesn't offer an individualized fitness and nutritional approach, then it won't have real and lasting results. It needs to be something you can do today, tomorrow, next year and so forth. Over time, making healthy choices should become second nature."
2) LOSE: "Grab-and-go" junk food. "I'm amazed at how many clients who tell me they eat just about every meal on-the-go, or will graze all day on high-sugary foods, and worse yet, skip meals entirely," Dr. Cipriano says. "Either way, it will result in being stuck in a vicious cycle of unhealthy weight gain. Without establishing some kind of structured meal times, it contributes greatly to whether or not a person stays on track with healthy eating, or goes off course entirely.
"When you don't have a meal plan in place, it's far too easy to resort to, 'Let's order take-out,' or 'I'll just get a pizza delivered,'" Dr. Cipriano continues. "But reaching for junk food is not the solution - it's the problem. The only thing fast about 'fast food' is that it is the quickest way to gain a lot of weight."
In fact, according to a recent survey by CouponCodes4u, the average person in the U.S. spends more than $900 a year on take-out food. Of the respondents who admitted they preferred take-out food to home-cooked meals, 72 percent admitted they were overweight.
GAIN: "Ready-to-go" healthy meals. Dr. Cipriano stresses that the principles of eating healthy can be achieved even with a busy lifestyle and that the solution lies with planning ahead so that you're prepared for those last-minute curve balls.
"My patients come from all different ages, medical conditions and backgrounds, each brining their own set of unique challenges," Dr. Cipriano explains. "Whether or not a person is working, has children, is a student, or has a job with unconventional hours, with a little preparation, successful meal planning can be done.
"People tend to reach for the pre-packaged foods or order off-the-menu because they think they have no other quick options when they're in a hurry," Dr. Cipriano says. "The way to combat this type of sabotage is by having several healthy meal choices on-hand by planning to cook, prepare and pre-portion your meals and snacks ahead of time.
"As a wife, mom and doctor, I can easily relate to feeling the demands of a busy lifestyle all too well," Dr. Cipriano states. "When I first started in private practice, I frequently went all day without eating, and then waited until 9 or 10 p.m. to eat dinner. Add to that the 50 lbs. I gained when I had my daughter, and I had to learn first-hand how hard weight loss can be when eating healthy was no longer a priority in my life.
"Feeling frustrated, I put into practice my nutritional knowledge and developed an organized plan," Dr. Cipriano continues. "I have clients who are working moms like me, high-level executives who travel a lot, or are vegetarians, have food allergies and other serious medical conditions, or need their meals to be kosher, etc. Whatever their situation may be, they are all relieved to discover there are quick, healthy and inexpensive recipes that can be made ahead of time to fit their needs. (Check out Dr. Cipriano's Five Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes from the Pop Weight Loss program, complete with a downloadable shopping list.)
"The most important thing is to make exercise and eating healthy the same priority as your family, your job, or anything else that matters to you," Dr. Cipriano advises. "Once you make that commitment, it needs to become a nonnegotiable habit just like brushing your teeth. Soon, it will become part of your everyday life and not something you have to even think about."
3) LOSE: Pre-conceived notions about diet and exercise. "There is so much misinformation in the media and in advertising about diet and exercise, it's no wonder we're facing an obesity epidemic and weight-related medical conditions of epic proportions," Dr. Cipriano says. "It feels like each day, we are being inundated with the next fad diet and/or new rigorous exercise plan, which creates nothing but confusion about what is healthy and what is not."
According to Dr. Cipriano, the weight loss industry is counting on this lack of knowledge to continue to make it a billion-dollar business.
"For example, you may be tempted to try a diet that lays out an entire eating regime for the next six weeks, but what happens when those six weeks are over?" Dr. Cipriano asks. "When that time frame is over, many of these plans fail to give you the lifelong tools you need to eat healthy on your own," Dr. Cipriano stresses. "What happens next is that people have no idea how to transition to real food when going off these diets because they're not given any kind of nutritional information to make healthy choices. It literally feeds the notion of mindless eating, rather than replacing it with mindful eating."
GAIN: Education about nutrition and fitness. "Simply put, if you want to gain control over your weight, it starts with learning the why, when and how to feed your body -- and not just blindly following a fad diet that yields nothing but temporary results," Dr. Cipriano explains. "No one wants to follow a diet that is too strict and/or requires you to eat foods that aren't appealing. Every day, I meet with clients who've tried eating just salads, eliminated carbs, only consumed raw foods, and many who 'drank' their caloric intake, etc. In fact, a well-known 'medically-supervised' liquid diet was recently found to be downright dangerous by offering a mere 500 calories per day. It's no wonder that any weight people may have lost ended up right back on - and more. It is a physically and emotionally draining cycle.
"By the time my clients walk through my door, they are desperate for a long-term solution, especially if they are facing serious weight-related medical condition such diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, etc.," Dr. Cipriano says. "I want to stress that losing weight will reverse most medical problems, as this is a concept that helped me personally achieve my weight loss goals. We have to teach others to focus on food choices for the health and benefit of our bodies and not just comfort and pleasure. Traditional medicine tells patients they need to lose weight, but doesn't give them a clue on how to actually do it.
"I love the 'a-ha!' moment when people realize in order to lose weight you don't have to be an elite athlete and workout 2-3 hours a day, 7 days a week; you don't have to eat 'rabbit food'; you don't need to buy hard-to-find ingredients and be a world-class chef to prepare healthy meals," Dr. Cipriano states. "It begins with demystifying weight loss by empowering yourself with knowledge.
"It takes gradual changes in order to form new habits as it doesn't happen overnight," Dr. Cipriano cautions. "It can be almost impossible for someone who has eaten poorly for years to just suddenly change out of the blue if there's no guidance along the way.
"For instance, here at Pop Weight Loss, we use a one-on-one approach to teach people how to enjoy and prepare their favorite foods and flavors, but in a healthier way," Dr. Cipriano says. "We teach them how imperative it is to incorporate exercise into their lives so they can successfully maintain weight loss. The goal is to make yourself an informed person regarding your eating and exercise habits. After helping patients achieve a combined weight loss of 50,000 lbs. since 2008, I've seen first-hand how the more you learn, the more weight you lose, and the more successful you'll be."
4) LOSE: The "I can't" syndrome. "When it comes to healthy eating and exercise, I've heard more excuses than I could have ever imagined," Dr. Cipriano says. "They say things such as, 'I can't lose weight because I'm just not disciplined enough,' or 'I can't exercise because I don't have the time,' etc. Many of my patients feel that they are somehow different, and despite being successful in other aspects of their lives, they feel that they cannot get control of their weight. This simply is not true. It's never too late to begin, and once you uncover a strategy that works for you, it will become something that's automatic."
GAIN: The "I will" mantra. "I work with patients all the time in changing their language and inner dialogue," Dr. Cipriano explains. "We teach them to eliminate phrases such as, 'good food' versus 'bad food,' or 'I cheated on my diet,' as these only serve to fuel feelings of guilt, shame and inadequacy. Making excuses will never get you the results you want; it will only make you feel like a failure.
"Everyone stumbles along the way, which is why it's important to silence your inner saboteur who says, 'I've tried everything in the past and failed, so why would this time be any different?'" Dr. Cipriano says. "You must change your thinking to be receptive to a new weight loss plan and know that you are in the driver's seat. Let go of the idea you are either on or off a diet. One meal, one day, one week, one month does not matter. Staying on the path to health long-term is the only thing that matters."
In her book, Dr. Cipriano recommends using the following "I will" messages regarding your weight to help you stay focused on your health:
- I will think about what I am going to eat prior to eating.
- I will be conscious of not overeating.
- I will avoid junk food and prepackaged food as much as possible.
- I will control my eating one day at a time and develop a new relationship with food.
- I will make exercise a habit.
- I will take pride in controlling my weight.
Lastly, Dr. Cipriano emphasizes that proper nutrition, as supported by regular exercise and a handful of other healthy living habits, is the catalyst for all positive change in your life.
"The important thing to remember is that once you make a mind-body connection, you will experience real and lasting changes that nourish your life in which excess weight (and the health problems it causes) are no longer an issue," Dr. Cipriano says.
Learn more about Dr. Rebecca Cipriano and Pop Weight Loss by visiting www.popweightloss.com.
Rebecca Cipriano, MD, MS, is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and holds a master's degree in clinical nutrition. Dr. Cipriano has been in private practice for more than 15 years and is the co-founder of one of the most popular OB/GYN groups (Healthy Woman) in New Jersey. Guided by her passion to help patients live a healthy life on all levels, in 2008, she founded Pop Weight Loss (formerly "A Better You"), which has helped thousands of people lose a combined total weight of more than 50,000 pounds. Pop Weight Loss, a nationally franchised program, offers medically supervised, one-on-one nutrition counseling with the goal of teaching people how to lose weight -- and keep it off for life. Dr. Cipriano and her father, Kenneth Herman, EdD, a clinical psychologist, are the authors of Pop: Burst the Diet Bubble and Finally Lose Weight, which gives a step-by-step plan for beating the battle of the bulge once and for all.
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Source:Pop Weight Loss, LLC