Weight Loss is hopeless?

Last night, I read the most disturbing article I have ever read on Weight Loss.

I am used to stats that are against people being successful, and I am also used to seeing transformation shots of people that my eyes can barely believe because of their success. I am exposed to it all… or so I thought.

But no. Last night, I read an article that blew my head gasket. Maybe this is normal, maybe these kinds of things are written often; but if they are, I have never seen them.

The article basically said: “If you are trying to lose weight, we have proof you’re doomed.”

Here is an excerpt below, but you can read the full article here.

“The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, shows the odds of a clinically obese person achieving normal weight without surgical interventions are just 1 in 210 for men and 1 in 124 for women in a given year. Among the most morbidly obese, the chances were even worse.

People in the study were somewhat more successful at managing enough weight loss to improve their health, defined as dropping at least 5 percent of body weight. But they often did not maintain the lower weight.

The study was based on analysis of more than 278,000 people from the UK’s Clinical Practice Research database, tracked between 2004 and 2014, and it highlights the difficulty obese people face in trying to achieve sustained weight loss through diet and exercise alone.”

So, 1 in 210 men and 1 in 124 women were able to achieve “normal weight without surgical interventions” in a year. The article goes on to say that, right around 50% for both men and women were able to achieve 5% weight loss at some time or another in the decade long study.

That sounds rough; like, pretty close to the idea that it will never be me. The article then says most failed to keep the weight off. And the study was over 200,000+ people. So… there is no hope?


See, buried in the article, 8 paragraphs in, is this statement:  “This study could not determine whether any weight loss was intentional or due to illness, or what kind of diet and exercise plan, if any, the patients used.”

The TRUTH of the study is that they don’t know if these people cared to lose weight. They don’t know if they had a plan or if they exercised. They don’t know if they logged food or used portion control or anything else!

All they proved is that people without a plan or focused motivation didn’t do very well.

Well, it’s hard to find Pittsburgh when driving from Los Angeles without a map. Obviously, we know its North East, so we can try just driving; but maps make that kind of thing SO much easier. This kind of study “proving” that weight loss is impossible is like me taking a photograph of an open field once a year for ten years in Kentucky and saying that it’s impossible to “control weeds.”

So I have two questions for you: Do you have a plan? Does that plan include God?

See, I believe that having a plan is essential. Knowing what you need to do daily to conquer your goals is absolutely important, and it gives you a sense of solidarity that you know what you need to do.

You know you need that workout. You know you need that meal. You know you need that water and that sleep and everything else. You know you need it.

The other thing you need is hope. That article would have you believe that there is no hope. And I want you to know that’s foolishness. There is hope. There is victory. There is triumph. In my humble view, hope dwells with God. Cling to him, pray, read your bible, read your daily devotions, talk to your pastor, get in the community of God’s people at a local church, and join our “becoming healthy together” Facebook group. Build your healthy life; not on some diet plan you got, but on Christ and know that God is with you always.

But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

1 Corinthians 15:57-58

I want to challenge you to get healthy for the Lord. Know that it will be a struggle, but nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.