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Finally Wise Up to the Weight Loss Industry! Excerpts from the new e-book, just released by Drs. Frank Aieta and Diane Hayden

August 31, 2016

It’s FINALLY happening! We are realizing that consistent and maintained weight loss comes from making lifestyle changes that incorporate eating healthy, prepared whole foods and being active with moderate exercise and moving our body daily. Gone are the days when we thought we could just exercise off the pint of Ben and Jerry’s or the six slices of pizza we just ate. Gone are the days of eating prepackaged foods from some fad diet in order to lose weight and then gain it all back six months later. We are finally wise-ing up to the weight loss industry!

A 2015 Fortune article by John Kell, states, “Consumers are eating more fresh food and exercising more. That’s great news for the country—but not for the weight-loss industry. 77% of Americans are actively trying to eat healthier, but only 19% say they’re on a diet. Market leader Weight Watchers has reported sales declines for two consecutive years and revenues have also shriveled at Jenny Craig and meal provider Medifast. Another meal provider, Nutrisystem, whose revenues were soaring, has seen sales tumble 21% compared to four years ago. The trend is also casting a chill on the low-calorie stalwarts in the frozen food aisle. Sales of Weight Watchers dinners dropped by 17% from 2009 and 2014, while those for Healthy Choice line thinned by 11% during that period. Lean Cuisine revenues have shrunk by about a quarter over five years.”

Making temporary changes in eating habits or eating prepackaged foods from weight loss programs will facilitate weight loss. However, when you reach your goals or go off the weight loss program, research shows you may be more likely to return to old eating habits and gain the weight back (and possibly more). To have permanent weight loss, you must make permanent changes in food choices, eating habits, and physical activity. But how do we do this? And is it so much a factor of just making the right choices – or is it linked to something deeper in our conscious or our subconscious? If it was so easy to just eat healthy and exercise, wouldn’t we all be thin and fit? I think sustained weight loss is less related to knowing what to do – but more closely tied to knowing WHY we’re doing it. And that comes down to understanding and controlling your thoughts and mindset.

Some people say we have over 60,000 thoughts per day. In fact, there is substantial research that shows that our negative thoughts can even harm our body. Is it really possible to improve your health simply by how or what you think, you ask? Intuitively, we’ve all known this to be true, but now research is showing this to be the case through studies in the fields of psychoneuroimmunology and positive thinking. Researchers are finding that what we think about and the emotions related to these thoughts are critical in whether or not we develop diseases or live a long, healthy life.

Your mind is constantly talking to you and most of the time it doesn’t have good things to say. If you spend a day or even a few hours just listening to the thoughts inside your head as if it were someone else talking to you, you’ll realize that you just might be living with a maniac. One minute your thoughts are saying one thing and the next they’ve either changed the subject or are contradicting what they just got through saying. “I want to be healthy and fit.” “That Salted Carmel ice cream cone would taste so good right now.” “I really want to lose weight.” “I want the ice cream, I’ll exercise more tomorrow.” How do we live like this? Because most of the time we aren’t even aware of the internal chatter and the effect it has on us. Most of the time we identify with this voice as if it were truly ourselves.

But it’s not. There is something deeper inside that is what we’re truly made of that goes beyond the voice in our head. Some call it consciousness or awareness. If you can find that place and tap into it, I believe that is where you’ll find your true desires. The problem is that most of us never or rarely tap into it. We have to be persistent and take the time to practice getting past it. We do this through meditation, quiet time or silent retreats.

With all this research and knowledge available to help us change our thinking, you’d expect it would be a piece of cake. We have all the information we need to think positive, be happy and live the life of our dreams. Yet why is it so elusive? Let’s go back to the weight loss example. As an exercise physiologist, I’ve spent half my life trying to educate people on how to improve their fitness level and change their bodies. I’ve taught them the right kind of exercise to do…how often, how long and how intense. I’ve taught them the right way to eat…portion size, macronutrient makeup, caloric content, meals per day, recipes, shopping lists, eating clean, not starving yourself, eating what you want on occasion…the list goes on and on. Walk down the weight loss section at your local bookstore, search the terms “weight loss” online, and you’ll find multitudes of books and information all promoting the latest diet craze. The education is endless, but the success rate is low. While most people will lose weight, the percentage of people that keep that weight off permanently is slim to none. Sad…but true. I finally realized that making a change in your life has nothing to do with how much knowledge you have about how to make that change. In the end, there is only one thing that matters.

If you think you can make a change; that is the only way you’ll make it. It starts with a thought.

If our thoughts are typically working against us, how do we break that pattern? Can we simply just wake up one day and start having positive thoughts all day? For most, it’s probably not that easy. At least for me, it wasn’t. My journey began by reading as many books as I could get my hands on relating to positive thinking, manifestation, neurophysiology and spirituality. A few that I would insist on reading are: Eckhert Tolle, “Power of Now”; Michael Singer, “The Untethered Soul”; and Lynn Grabhorn, “Wake Up Your Life is Waiting.”

What these books taught me was that before you can change you must recognize the power of your thoughts and emotions. You must understand how the mind works in creating positive and negative thoughts. The idea hit me that there must be some step that comes before a thought which is where the change must occur in order to shift your thinking. Think of this scenario…you awake after a peaceful night’s sleep and you feel calm, happy and at peace. You feel this way until you have your first thought. So, what is the space that has allowed the peaceful feelings before your thoughts created the negative feelings? If any of you have meditated, you know that you are able to create this quiet, tranquil state. You know that there is another part of you beyond your thoughts and emotions. I believe tapping into this source is the key to changing your thoughts.

I sat down with Mary Gello, a participant in our Weight Loss Puzzle Solved 8-week program which is an adjunct to our ebook, “The Weight Loss Puzzle, Finally Solved,” to discuss how changing her thoughts and mindset was the key for her to finally solving her weight loss struggles.

Mary: The most important thing this 8-week program has done for me is that it really changed my mindset. I was always questioning what diet I should try, how much exercise I should do and after failing at so many attempts, I finally put a stake in the ground and realized it’s a lifestyle change. I was always doing some fad diet for 6 months and then going back to old habits and gaining the weight back. I finally realized…I wasn’t going to find some miraculous diet or exercise program. For me it’s all about the mind.

DH: What was it about this program that you knew was going to be different from any other program you’ve tried?

Mary: The group support was a tremendous help; unlike anything I’ve seen in other programs. To know that you’re not alone, that you’re struggling with the same issues as others and hearing their stories, struggles and victories pushes you forward. It makes me feel good and gives me accountability to help and support others and knowing you’re a part of a group effort rather than doing it by yourself. To know someone’s in your corner if you have a question – I’ve loved the access to you and Aimee and Dr. Frank and the ability to go on the Facebook page and get an answer immediately.

All my friends (and myself) who have done packaged food programs, have all gained the weight back. Also, it was very discouraging to be judged by how much weight you lost each week. In other programs, if you gain one pound in a week it’s looked at as a failure. In this program, we learned that sometimes we plateau and don’t lose weight for a few weeks, and sometimes we may even gain a few pounds, but that shouldn’t be seen as failing. Sometimes it’s our body just adjusting to the new weight loss and we just need to keep doing what we’re doing.

DH: How would you describe the program to others?

Mary: It’s a lifestyle and a process. The diet (I don’t even like to call it that, because it’s really just a healthy eating plan) is really doable, nothing that’s fad or temporary. For exercise, I’ve always been a “do more” person. Even though I intuitively knew that didn’t work, I learned from you that sometimes we need to step back and not exercise so much. Your body responds so much better this way than exercising 7 days a week.

But probably the most important aspect is the education about changing your whole mindset. Most programs don’t deal with that at all – how important it is, what’s going on in our heads that’s stopping us from reaching our goal.

DH: What was the best thing that happened to you as a result of doing this program…besides losing the weight!?

Mary: I feel like I already knew what I needed to do to lose weight… but more importantly, doing this program helped me find the confidence to DO IT! Understanding the role my mindset plays and the strategies I’ve learned in dealing with negative self-talk helps me realize I’m not a failure if I make a few mistakes – I know what I have to do, and how to tweak things if I need to make adjustments in my eating or exercise. I don’t feel like I fail anymore because I know this is a process. It’s made me more confident to know that I can maintain this for my whole life.

Submitted by Dr. Diane Hayden. This is just a sample of what this book has in store for its readers. There are also chapters on weight loss and the proper lab tests to ask for before implementing a diet plan and how to interpret the results. The reader will also be guided towards which diet is truly the best for them as well as choosing the ideal dietary supplements and exercise plan. There is also an entire chapter dedicated to providing the reader with healthy recipes and meal options. The true premise of this book is for the reader to finally take their health back into their own hands by arming them with the complete knowledge to do so.

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