Question: I have always been told, and read in many books, that a safe amount of weight loss would be 1-2 pounds a week. I know in your book, Eat to Live, you mentioned that many people lose a pound a day at first. I am about 9 days into your 6 week plan and so far I have lost about 8 pounds, so I am very happy about that. I hope it will continue because I have a lot to lose, and I know your main goal is to get people healthy (which is my goal in doing this too), so can you calm my fears about the weight loss being so fast?
Answer: I just had a patient in my office who lost 50 pounds in two months. She went from 377 to 324. The point is that she or I did not control the amount of weight she lost, her body did it on its own, just from eating healthy for the first time in her life, and with eating as much as she desired. Crash dieting has a bad reputation, because people maintain a diet that is unhealthy and that they can’t sustain long-term and it has a dismal track record for maintaining long-term weight loss. My approach is the opposite of a unbalanced crash diet, like a pink drink or semi-fast. For example, this individual lost lots of weight fast, but she lost the weight in the context of a healthy diet with all the nutrients she needs for superior health. She is educated so she knows healthy eating is a lifetime commitment. Would the advocates of slow weight loss recommend I tell this person to eat more candy bars and Ring Dings to slow it down? The bottom line is that when you eat in a healthy manner, your body does what is best. You cannot lose weight or heal too fast. You cannot save a person's life too quickly. We must remove life-threatening habits and eating patterns fully if we want to make sure someone does not die needlessly. How many of those compromised portion control diets like Weight Watchers have people drop dead of heart attacks or strokes continuing to eat the death-causing American diet, but just a little less of it. Let them remove their risks gradually. For me, I want to assure people they are eating in an ideal way to maximally protect themselves from a medical tragedy. In summary, I do not advocate fast or slow weight loss, rather I advocate eating in the healthiest manner possible. When you do that, your body will naturally move to a healthier weight, at the speed it chooses, not some predetermined rate set by someone’s opinion.