Most people who are overweight or obese have tried numerous times to lose weight. I’ve tried the Atkins Diet. I’ve tried the Vinegar Diet. I’ve tried that suppress your appetite. I’ve tried the diet pills that expand in your stomach. I’ve tried the diet pills that bind with fat and prevent its digestion. In college, I even took the diet pills that sped up your metabolism and that were eventually linked to heart failure. I was looking for a quick fix rather than a permanent change.
The word “diet” often comes with an implied “temporary” or “alternative” connotation. Whether you’re “going on a diet” to lose 5 or 10 pounds, or you’re having the “diet” version of your favorite food or beverage, the lingering assumption there is that once you’ve reached your goal, you’ll revert back to your old ways. When people ask about my weight loss program, I avoid calling it a “diet.”
The UAMS program that I’m on does include some temporary measures — meal replacements. More important than that, however, are the permanent changes that the program brings about. We learn how to identify behaviors that lead us to eat for reasons other than hunger, and we acquire skills and techniques to change those behaviors. We learn the importance of regular exercise for good health, and we develop habits that will serve us well going forward. We learn how to evaluate food for its nutritive qualities, and we leave the program with the tools to make better choices. I’ve already written about the maintenance program that’s available to help with keeping the weight off.
The UAMS program is so much more than a “diet.”