Features — 22 March 2017 — by Dr. Pam Reyes

Hello everyone. Two weeks ago, we spoke about some dynamics of obesity and managing our weight, compatible with our body type. To recap, in that discussion, we spoke about some of the causes of obesity and weight gain. We spoke about the interaction between one’s culture, environment, exercise habits, and eating styles. We also addressed one’s genetic, biochemical and physiological “set point,” that may contribute to weight management. Finally, we spoke briefly about some cases of obesity that are due to an imbalance of the hormone, insulin. This bring us up to date and since this is a large and protracted topic, today in Part 2 as a follow-up on this topic, we will not overburden ourselves with details, but rather, we will hit some of the essential points, at a personal level, where we can all easily relate to them in our daily lives. So, let’s get started.


Fallacies and truths are usually accurate 99 percent of the time. There is always the exception to the rule. So, before you enter into a weight-control program, please be aware of some of the truths and fallacies regarding obesity and weight management, such as:

Fallacy # 1: Fad diets can successfully make you lose weight and keep the weight off.

Fallacy # 2: Physicians or weight clinics can successfully make you lose weight and keep the weight off.

Fallacy # 3: Counting calories is a good way to help you lose weight and keep the weight off.

Fallacy # 4: The cause of your weight problem is overeating and/or lack of exercise alone.

Truth # 1: If obese, you have a lifetime disease (but it can be controlled and/or remedied).

Truth # 2: You cannot eat what others eat (i.e., your friends, etc.) and stay thin.

Truth # 3: Anyone can lose weight and stay slim (and healthy) provided the causes of their weight gain is determined, addressed, and corrected.

Truth # 4: You cannot lose weight and keep it off by strictly following any special diet or by taking a weight-loss pill, or solely by following an exercise program. To succeed you must address all of the contributing factors causing your, obesity.


Low-calorie diets and exercise have been the typical solution to losing weight. There must be thousands of fad diets and a multimillion-dollar industry dedicated to just weight control. Unfortunately, most dieters usually regain lost weight. This is what, we, in Naturopathic Medicine call the “yo-yo syndrome.” It is a repetitive cycle of losing weight and regaining it back. You can find yourself in a depressing never-ending cycle. Some people lose confidence and faith in self after a lifetime of a yo-yo syndrome.

Naturopathic Medicine addresses something called: “Energy Input versus Energy Output.” What this means is that when greater quantities of energy (in the form of food)—energy input, is consumed than the energy expended (in the form of physical activity or exercise)—energy output, your body weight will increase. For each 9.3 calories excess energy entering your body (by way of food), 1 gram of fat is stored. Therefore, those of you who do not have a hormonal, biochemical, genetic, or physiological imbalance (that you, with the help of your doctor would have to address and map out a plan to correct those imbalances), one of the normal ways to maintain a healthy body weight, compatible with your body type, is that you must equal what you consume in caloric intake with the amount of energy or activity you generate.

Please remember this for those of you who want an immediate fix, meaning a rapid weight loss in a short period of time: dieting leads to the emaciation of muscle cells, bloating of fat cells, and fatigue. The more rapid your weight loss, you stand the risk of muscle loss. The higher your muscle loss, the higher will be your risk of heart complications from muscle loss.


Various drugs have been utilized for decreasing the degree of one’s hunger in the treatment of obesity. One such treatment of these medications is amphetamine (or amphetamine derivatives). Amphetamine directly controls hunger by suppressing your appetite (it inhibits the feeding center in your brain). The danger in using this drug is because it overexcites the central nervous system, making a person nervous and elevating their blood pressure.

One other severe example of weight-loss dieting is a low-calorie diet (VCLD) or liquid protein diet, which supplies 400 to 800 calories per day. Like many other restrictive diets, this liquid diet reduces metabolic rate, but only temporarily solves your weight-loss issue. This may later pose some health risks, like cold intolerance, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, stomach upset and muscle cramping—even under the guidance of a doctor. You could also wind up binging after a VCLD diet. If you do, your heart, pancreas, or gallbladder may be affected.

Looks like this is all the time (and space) in the Amandala we have today on this topic. Therefore, it looks like we’ll have to continue into a Part 3 on this subject matter. Remember, where there is life, there will always be hope for a better, healthier tomorrow. Food is an intricate and tightly woven part of the fabric of life, social activities and great memories. We use food to celebrate each other, to celebrate social events and special occasions like weddings, bar & bat mitzvahs, the end of Ramadan, birthdays, Easter, Christmas, romance, and to celebrate the gift of life itself. So never give up on food and your weight management. God loves you. There are wonderful reasons He brought you into this world. Let us celebrate that. Until next week, let’s share good vibes, good food, and good health with each other. Peace.

Dr. Pam Reyes is Chairwoman of Caribbean Educational Media, a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, dispersing information on health, educational & legal issues, and exploring the information & communication highway of the present and future, via the media of the Internet, print journalism, nonprofit public radio & television, and nonprofit public participation.

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