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Lose weight with Dr. Phil

by Archives December 3, 2003

Philip McGraw says he wants to start a movement in America, and it isn’t about weight loss, fad diets, diet pills, fat reducers or running triathlons, or your mom’s mega-meal, the corner’s big gulp soft drink, super-sized burgers, movie popcorn or the two for one Pointe Pizza on your speed dial; it is about stepping up and taking responsibility for your own life, being comfortable in your own skin, working on the internal and external barriers to weight control, and teaching people how to set up a no-fail environment.

McGraw, known as the host of the popular straight-shooting, down-home aphorism talking Dr. Phil show, took his first step into the weight loss industry last year when he released The Ultimate Weight Solution: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom.

The Ultimate Weight Solution is a sensible and practical guide to lasting weight management, filled with honest and straightforward advice on lasting weight loss. His approach to healthy eating is based on a High-Response Cost, High-Yield nutrition principle. High cost foods are foods that require a great deal of effort to prepare and eat. The output required to eat these foods is high but the calorie payoff is low.

“The Ultimate Weight Solution will help you do just that-change yourself, change the way you think about food, change the way you think about your health,” says Dr. Phil.

McGraw, who has worked with overweight people over the years, including many members of his family, knows it won’t be easy to start this movement. About 65 per cent of Americans are either overweight or obese.

On the Larry King Show last month, Dr. Phil described obesity in America as devastating and crippling. “It’s spiraling out of control,” he told Larry King. “If this was contagious, they’d quarantine this country.”

His nationally syndicated television show, Dr. Phil, has been making headlines and breaking records since its September 2002 launch – when it hit the highest ratings of any new syndicated show since the launch of The Oprah Winfrey Show 16 years prior. People magazine named Dr. Phil one of the “Most Intriguing People of 2002,” while Barbara Walters included Dr. Phil in her 2002 “Ten Most Fascinating People” special.

The reality of Dr. Phil’s advice to all his guests is that people must focus on the reality of their lifestyle and accept this reality as part of the fundamental change that will lead them to success- get real, get smart and get going.

“I really feel Dr. Phil has hit the nail on the head,” says Albert Moon from Ottawa.

Moon, who has been fighting the bulge ever since he was 14, has lost 18 pounds since he read the book in October. “He is asking the question ‘why are you so fat?’ I don’t think that people are extremely overweight by accident. I watched the first show of his series on the Weight Solution and I cried.”

Last summer Dr. Phil invited people to send in their tapes and letters explaining why he should pick them to be one of thirteen participants for the ultimate weight loss challenge. He brought finalists to attend his first show in October and played 13 tapes of the people he selected.

“When the cameras panned through the audience, I could see the moments of recognition in another’s story, the pain, the disgust, and plenty of tears,” says Moon.

By no means is Canada exempt from North America’s burgeoning waistlines. Medical experts say obesity in Canada is rapidly reaching epidemic proportions and that millions of aging Baby Boomers and their children are at risk of developing fatal diseases because they are too fat.

Statistics Canada estimates slightly under half of all Canadians (47.4 per cent) are either overweight or obese. If we break the data down, 32.5 per cent of us are overweight and 14.9 per cent are obese. Also alarming are figures that show obesity among Canadian children age seven to 12 soared during the 90’s, rising to 23 per cent from 15 per cent.

One of the 13 challengers is 22-year-old college student Sarah, from Tempe, Arizona, who has always been heavy, and is tired of being the “big girl.” Though her friends see her as a strong, fashionable woman who cracks jokes, she says she’s “dying inside.” In the past year, she’s gained 40 pounds. She is only 22, but Sarah, who confessed on the show that she eats fast food every day, says she has already “lost [her] spirit.” She didn’t go to her prom and was once unable to fit on a roller coaster at an amusement park.

According to Dr. Phil, it isn’t food but something else blocking Sarah from reducing her weight, something she medicates with fast food.

Calling something what it really is can be a powerful truth-telling weapon.

In the Weight Loss Challenge, it is not food that is the culprit, but the truth behind it-workaholic moms, childhood abuse, rape, depression and so on.

Something is working; weight loss challenge team one has loss a total of 212 pounds, and team two has loss a total of 214 pounds. Stay tuned!

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