Trial and Error

I have been a doctor for 37.5 years and here is one of the major things I have learned: There are many differences in responses to various interventions and treatments that people exhibit. For example, there are some people that categorically will state: This antibiotic (Zithromax for example) never works for me. Despite the fact that specific antibiotics cover specific types of organisms, it should not be the case that a specific antibiotic would fail, but lo and behold, the patient will usually prove his/her admonition.

Let’s turn to the weight control arena. I am often asked by a new patient entering the program: “Am I able to eat____?” That “blank” could be filled in with protein bars, a glass of wine a night, oatmeal in the morning because eggs are despised and lots of other goods/drinks. My answer to people is that the “usual” situation calls for people following our dietary plan to achieve maximal results. Variations off the plan will result in the slowing of the weight loss.

However, everyone is different, meaning that some people can drink alcohol nightly and still lose weight. Others may find that 1-2 drinks a week derail their efforts. Some people need to hit the gym 4-5 times a week despite following the dietary plan whereas others solely need to follow the dietary plan and do not require exercise to lose weight.

Similar to any “experiment” when a scientist is trying to evaluate an intervention, it is wise to only change one variable at a time. So, if you want to see whether eating nuts interferes with weight control (for most people nuts are not good for weight control) only change that one variable. By keeping everything the same (dietary plan phase and exercise patterns), if the nut usage is the only “difference” that week, then see what transpires on the scale. The same holds true for anything else you are considering adding/subtracting from your diet/exercise pattern. Only changing one variable at a time will allow you to pinpoint the effects of that one variable.

Because everyone is a bit different, “trial and error” (or “trial and success”) is sometimes needed to see exactly what you “can” and “cannot” eat/drink during your long term weight control efforts.

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Dr. Robert Posner One of the world’s leading medical weight loss researchers, Robert Posner, MD, operates his state-of-the-art weight loss clinic, Serotonin Plus, in the heart of Burke, Virginia, in the suburban Washington area.

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