ANALYSIS: Facts About Obesity Survey

The best weight loss program is one that benefits you for life. A healthy diet plan you enjoy, including consistent, sensible physical activity with as few intrusions into your life as possible. Think about it. How many of your past diets failed for no other reason than the lifestyle changes you had to make to accommodate the diet? And not necessarily the diet itself.

The purpose of this group of questions was to identify the best weight loss program my clients had tried. What they preferred. What they wouldn't tolerate. What worked for them and what didn't. I wanted to see their opinions on the most popular diets available and the best weight loss program.

5. Have you ever lost weight successfully with free weight loss plans?
  • yes (8%)
  • no (61%)
  • never tired it (31%)

Just because a diet plan is free does not mean it's a healthy diet plan. However, my clients success with free weight loss plans speaks volumes. One of my clients called a free Internet diet plan she used a "traffic builder." Meaning its primary value was drawing traffic to the web site for the purpose of selling advertising -- not helping visitors lose weight.

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Almost seven out of ten people (69%) tried a free diet plan. 8% said they had success. You be the judge.

From my experience I know this fact to be absolute certainty. Fee motivation plays a huge role in weight loss success. Not the more you pay the more you lose fee motivation. But your commitment to the program is in proportion to what you pay. I've tested this and there is no doubt that dollars make dieters serious. This is unfortunate but a valid reason why the best weight loss plan is not necessarily one of the free weight loss plans.

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6. Have you ever had success losing weight with low carb diet plans?
  • yes (14%)
  • no (38%)
  • never tried it (48%)

I don't believe it! 48% have never tried a low carb diet? The participants were not lying or attempting to mislead. I do believe many tried low carb diets and did not realize it. A low carb diet can be a high protein diet. I think the question may have confused some. 14% of the participants claimed success while 38% said it failed.

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I think the question begs the answer to exactly what is a low carb diet? Most people think a low carb diet is a high protein diet. A low carb diet is any diet that reduces carbohydrates from the usual recommendation of 50-65% of our calories to below 40%. Atkins, South Beach, Sugar Busters, Zone are popular examples of low carb diets. Their approaches vary, but essentially they reduce or eliminate high carb foods like sugars, white flour, white rice and potatoes. I personally have never spoken to anyone who reached and maintained ideal weight that gave credit to a low carbohydrate diet. Maybe that's because nobody really knows what a low carbohydrate diet really is.

Low this, high that, when will we ever learn? You don't have to eat like a goat to reach your ideal weight and live a naturally thin life.

12. Have you ever used hypnosis for weight loss?
  • yes (13%)
  • no (87%)
13. How many crash diets have you been on in the last three years?
  • 0-1 (33%)
  • 2-3 (27%)
  • 4-5 (21%)
  • 5 or more (19%)
24. Have you ever used acupuncture or acupressure to lose weight?
  • yes (1%)
  • no (99%)
28. Has fasting for weight loss ever helped you achieve your ideal weight?
  • yes (0%)
  • no (22%)
  • never tried it (78%)

The above weight loss methods are referred to as fringe or desperation methods by mainstream weight loss businesses. These numbers are a resounding rejection of these techniques by my survey participants. Maybe these approaches would score better with a younger survey sample. My survey people did not consider hypnosis, fasting, acupuncture or weight loss clinics viable alternatives to dieting.

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I offered hypnosis, biofeedback, counseling among other interventions in my clinics. NONE were as effective as a trip to the grocery store where I taught clients how to plan, purchase and prepare fast, good and simple meals that dramatically reduced calories while improving taste. Hypnosis never delivered the results a daily 30 minute walk delivered. Biofeedback fell short of a healthy diet plan designed around your own personal preferred foods. Hocus pocus, voodoo and witchcraft. It's called instant gratification and it fails miserably for lasting weight loss.

There's a catch-22 here. More people will not use these methods until they become more popular. How can they become popular when no one uses them? Compare these scores with people who have used other diets and my point becomes clear. Survey participants preferred traditional diets to unfamiliar methods.

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14. Have you ever had any weight loss success with a high protein diet plan?
  • yes (29%)
  • no (29%)
  • never tried it (42%)
27. Have you been successful losing weight with low fat diet plans?
  • yes (24%)
  • no (29%)
  • never tried it (47%)

Compare the scores on these two questions and you have a mirror image of one another. High protein and low fat diet plans are not a big reach for a lot of people which explains their popularity and user success. I also believe the NEVER TRIED IT numbers on both questions are extremely high because many participants could not identify past diets as high protein or low fat. Keep in mind the 29% who claimed success with a high protein diet and the 24% who claimed success with the low fat diet filled out this survey because they had regained weight and sought my assistance in helping them find a real solution.

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I admit a good high protein or low fat diet delivers better than average results. However, both fail because people can't eat that way for life. Weight is eventually regained as with most diets. There is a big difference between a real healthy diet plan like Foolproof Weight Loss Solution and a temporary, eat this not that, crave and cave diet.

The best weight loss program does not encourage regaining weight by outlawing or prohibiting large areas of your normal diet. Studies suggest the larger your list of "can't have" foods, the less likely you are to lose weight. Both high protein and low fat diet plans have a long list of foods most people miss and crave after a few short weeks of forced abstinence.

22. How many of these diets have you used: Weight Watchers, Diet Center, NutriSystem, Jenny Craig?
  • 1-2 (18%)
  • 3-4 (38%)
  • all of the above plus more (6%)
  • none (38%)

An opinion poll of America's most popular and beloved diets reveals that 62% of my clients had used one or more of the listed weight loss programs. 6% said they had used every diet listed. These diets have become so popular only 38% of my participants had NOT tried any. Is the popularity of these programs due to celebrity endorsements and heavy advertising schedules or do they really work?

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If you have ever said "Nothing works for me" when referring to numerous failed diets -- I know you suffer from Diet Disease.

I believe as many as 25-35% of overweight people get that way by chronic dieting. Diet Disease is an obsessive pursuit of dieting to lose weight. As opposed to a sensible pursuit of permanent weight loss and living thin naturally. Which do you think would be the best weight loss program?

A Forbes magazine article quoted a government review that said, "Two thirds (66%) of American dieters regained all the weight they had lost within one year and 97% had regained it all back within 5 years!" This is conclusive evidence -- we lose weight dieting and fail miserably to keep it off. Which is the nature of dieting. When diets end, regain begins. FACT. You don't regain lost weight on the BEST diet program. You live thin naturally and keep it off for life!

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26. How often do you visit weight loss blogs or weight loss web sites?
  • once per week (20%)
  • twice per week (18%)
  • more than 1 times per month (15%)
  • less than twice per month (46%)

My biggest complaint about using the Internet often is the more you use it the more exposed you are to misinformation and duplicating others' mistakes. I have seen weight loss programs offered by formerly overweight people who had success with one specific diet. Because it worked for them in their circumstance, they incorrectly assume it will work for many people in varied circumstances.

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Beware of the person who offers these services. They may be an expert in losing weight with that one approach but how do they maintain their weight loss? Find an expert or program that encourages living thin naturally instead of promoting another Cinderella crave and cave or starve and sweat diet. The Internet allows me to demonstrate my knowledge about permanent weight loss and living thin naturally. It gives me the opportunity to offer you my book and weight loss services far below what I charged when I was employing a full staff of professional counselors and paying uptown rent for office space. I consider the Internet a good thing provided the time spent does not interfere with your physical activities.

30. Have you ever lost weight successfully on a vegan diet plan?
  • yes (4%)
  • no (11%)
  • never tried one (85%)

My survey participants did not get fat on raw fruit and vegetables. To offer it as a solution may make sense to some but I think it's insane. My survey participants would not be a good group for vegan diet recruiters. My clients prefer burgers, barbecue, cheesey Mexican plates and good old meat and taters. Most overweight people cringe at the thought of any diet. But a vegan diet strikes terror into their hearts.

For the average diet-worn overweight person to switch to a vegan diet plan means BIG food change. Meat, dairy and animal products are forbidden. But that's not all. Being a vegan requires monumental lifestyle changes on top of the major diet changes. That's why a resounding 85% of my survey participants never attempted the vegan approach. Of those who did try it, 4% claimed success while almost three times that amount (11%) said the diet failed. How can a vegan diet plan be considered a best weight loss program when those who supposedly would benefit most are so reluctant to even try it?

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When I was a young and inexperienced weight loss consultant, a friend of mine challenged me. A nutritionist and staunch proponent of a vegan diet, she said if I followed a strict vegan diet plan for 30 days I would never go back. Well, she was right about many things. My energy levels reached an all time high. I don't think there has ever been a time in my life that I felt as healthy or young. My mental sharpness has never been as good before or since. I'm not kidding. Physically I felt better than I have ever felt.

One big problem. I thought about barbecue ribs, burgers and Italian Beef sandwiches every minute of everyday. It was maddening. My friend said, "You're just craving protein." Then recommended humus, tofu and strange beans I've never heard of. Well, Sandra, you were wrong! I wasn't craving protein, I was craving barbecue, burgers and beef. My preferences. What I enjoy eating. Habits I've developed my entire life. And that laid back carnivore comfort zone appeals to me more than the veganized hyper energized bunny. A good vegan diet plan is healthy. It's also boring. An experience I will not soon repeat.

Overweight people would rather crawl over broken glass for a daily colonoscopy than submit to such a radical departure from what they are accustomed to. And rightly so if my experience with a vegan diet is the norm.

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45. What type of diet and method of weight loss do you believe would work best for you?
  • portion reduction of current diet (49%)
  • low calorie diet (2%)
  • high protein diet (28%)
  • low carbohydrate diet (21%)

I have suggested every type of diet imaginable until my clients clued me into what really worked. I discovered the science of portion size reduction while discussing specifics with a group of successful weight losers. Three had kept their weight off for more than three years. They were emphatic about the ease of weight loss when using the portion reduction system. Polar opposite to the all or nothing diet makeovers.

This group more or less said, "Barbara, shut up and listen." I did and have been a proponent of portion reduction weight loss ever since. In my experience it is significantly more effective because of it's ease. Doesn't require a diet change. Creates no negative emotions. Plus, no on knows you're on a diet because you're eating the food you have always eaten. Most importantly, you can reach and maintain your ideal weight in a reasonable time. Most people don't even notice the reduction in portions. It truly is non-intrusive. It's what I recommend in my book and course because it works. It's simple and easy to do. And those are the real components of the best weight loss program. The less dieting grief you suffer, the more weight you lose.

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If you normally eat 2500 calories a day and reduce portions of food and sweetened drinks a measly 10%, you lose 26 pounds in one year if you don't replace those calories. Not fast enough? Reduce portions 25%. A 25% portion reduction is like giving a friend a bite of your candy bar instead of eating the whole thing. I've seen the results with my own eyes. Portion reduction is an extremely important component of any healthy diet plan. It beats dieting like a rented mule. No contest.

49% of the participants choose portion reduction because after a history of failed diets it made sense. Plus, I believe more and more weight losers are discovering the freedom and ease of portion reduction weight loss and recognize it as one of the best weight loss programs. I recommend it. For more information see the Portion Perversions section on this site.

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