All food is made up of three primary building blocks: Fats, proteins and carbohydrates. When it comes to obesity, the past thirty years have seen doctors advising patients that they truly are what they eat and that eating large amounts of dietary fat is the root cause of their weight problem. Through tremendous marketing and public awareness campaigns, doctors, our governments and the food industry have recommended that we should reduce the amount of fat in our diets. These campaigns were hugely successful as over the course of the past 30 years, there has been a significant reduction in the average amount of dietary fat that North Americans consume. Unfortunately, during that same time, obesity rates have more than doubled. Clearly, the "You Are What Eat", notion with regards to dietary fat may well have been a gross over simplification. Though fats, and more specifically trans fats, clearly have health risks some fats are essential and may even reduce blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. Regardless of whether or not fat is bad, it is certain that by itself reducing dietary fat does not do much to reduce our waistlines. Unfortunately, the past 30 years of low-fat messaging may well have turned consumers to replace them with highly processed carbohydrates, and their lesser impact on fullness may well be playing a part in growing rates of obesity.
Another driver of weight gain is the notion that we must wait until we're hungry to eat. Intuitively, that makes sense to many, but let me ask you, have you ever gone to the supermarket hungry? What happened? Chances are you bought different foods and in larger portions than had you gone not hungry. Sit down to eat hungry, and again you're shopping, just on a smaller scale, whereby now you're shopping from your plate, your fridge, your cupboards, your freezer or from a menu.
The physiology of hunger is powerful, and once you've got a physiological drive to eat, you're either going to give in, or you'll fight it, but feel bitter about the "diet" you're on.
If there were one "right" way to eat to lose weight, the world would be slim, and while there are certainly many different ways to lose, hunger must be well managed, where hunger's not just the growling in your stomach, but also at times, the growling in your brains - cravings, compulsions, stress eating, emotional eating, etc.
At the Bariatric Medical Institute we approach each person as an individual and we know that there is no single diet that suits everyone. It is for precisely this reason that each of our clients will receive individual counselling with a registered dietitian. Our dietitians will analyze your current eating habits and identify your problem areas. You will be taught not only about simple and complex carbohydrates, but also about fat and protein and how some fat is not only not dangerous, but essential, and how protein can help make you feel fuller longer. You will be taught about the calorie content of different foods and will be amazed to find out that decreasing your daily caloric intake is not only easy, but that it does not have to lead to hunger. You will learn how to read food labels like a professional, about glycemic index and glycemic load, and you will learn how to pick the right meals at your local restaurants. By the end of our program, you will understand more than the average physician about your nutritional requirements, the physical makeup of food, and how different foods affect hunger differently. You will have learned how to eat healthy, a skill which when combined with regular physical activity and not smoking, is thought to be able to prevent more than 80% of heart disease, 70% of strokes, 70% of colon cancer and 90% of diabetes.