Anyone who has dieted knows the ins and outs of weight loss – it’s a matter of counting calories and burning off more calories than you eat. And unless you are green and photosynthesize, it’s really that simple. However, I believe that the reason most diets ultimately fail is because of the deprivation they cause. No one likes to be denied anything they like. And the longer you deny yourself that pepperoni pizza, the more internally discontent you become. And we all know that leads to binging. Oh, how good that forbidden food tastes. But that binge often begins a slide towards even more weight gain. And that’s the yo-yo syndrome so commonly seen when dieting.
How to avoid the feeling of deprivation? I advise my patients to go ahead and indulge – that’s right…go off your diet one meal a week. Don’t go crazy now and eat that whole pizza, but allow yourself to have that off-limits food once a week. You’ll look forward to it all week and you won’t develop that internal feeling of anger that results from the self-induced punishment. Yes, it will take you longer to reach your goal. But remember, it’s not a race to a healthy weight. Sustained healthy eating and gradual, but long-term weight loss will help you keep those pounds off.
Why does a plastic surgeon care about weight loss? Patients who are closer to their ideal body weights at the time of surgery have a lower complication rate from surgery and have a better cosmetic result – from any procedure. And the byproduct of your weight loss? A longer, healthier life.