Two new diet drugs recently recieved FDA approval, Belviq and Quenesta. Being that 60% of the U.S. population are overweight or obese, it stands to reason there are a few people pretty happy about this. But what many fail to realize is that obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers are LIFESTYLE diseases, meaning they are largely caused by the way people choose to live their lives. They are asymptom of an underlying problem. All of these diseases are preventable to a large degree and we have the research to back that up. People who exercise and eat healthfully, get less heart disease and diabetes. They don’t gain weight as easily, and tend to be happier. Those who don’t smoke, have lower blood pressure, less heart and lung disease and fewer cancers. So another pill, be it diet, blood pressure lowering or cholesterol erasing, is nothing more than a bandaid for the choice to sit instead of walk, eat something green instead of white, and feel tired and depressed rather than engaged and relaxed. I know people are tired of hearing ‘just exercise and eat healthy’, but it’s hard to make a healthy body without that mantra. Don’t think you have time to lose weight, eat healthy or exercise? My advice? Start slow: eat a real breakfast for a change, try a packaged salad at lunch or committ to cooking dinner two times this week. Start with what is easiest for you and take the first step to transforming your life into one you actually want to live. The alternative is a bandaid approach, masking symptoms, or forcing a metabolic pathway to conform at the risk of damaging other parts like your liver or your memory. These diet drugs may see like the best thing since Phen-phen, but they aren’t without risk and only boast a 10% of your body weight success rate. Not too good if you have a lot of weight to lose. Meaning diet pill or not, at some point you’ll have to d0-it-yourself for permanent results.
Author: Linda Illingworth, RDN CSSD
Linda Illingworth is a widely recognized nutrition expert, Board Certified Sports Dietitian, specializing in weight loss, diets for heart disease and cancer prevention, gastrointestinal disorders, and diabetes. Utilizing her belief that “food is your best medicine”, Linda is masterful at designing personal nutrition plans that can prevent many health problems and increase longevity. Linda is the founder of Nutrition Muse, providing nutrition programs to individuals and corporations, works as the Registered Dietitian at Lifewellness Institute, and is the past Nutrition Director at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa. She maintains memberships with Dietitians in Functional Medicine of the American Academy of Nutrition, the American Society for Nutrition, and the California Dietetic Association. In addition, she is a featured expert at National University’s Integrative Medicine Health Review, works in partnership with the USDA as part of the Nutrition Communicators Network, represents Kids Eat Right with the American Dietetic Association, and provides peer review for Natural Standard, an international integrative medicine database. She attended California State University, Long Beach graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and then completed an internship at St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee, a world-renowned pioneer in cardiac and cancer care. Linda has been seen on Los Angeles ABC news and in print media, such as the Los Angeles Times, Time, Inc., Well+Good NYC, Fitness, Spa, Malibu, Elite Traveler, C and Angeleno Magazines.