For a long time physiology has been the lead science in combating obesity. To achieve weight loss, diets like Low Carb Diets, Glycemic Index Diet and even Very Low Calories Diets (VLCD) are designed to primarily effect physiological results.This includes control of glucose assimilation and reduced calories intake.
Another major and complementing physiological effect sort after is increased weight loss expenditure. Particularly, physical activities and thermogenic agents that target to increase fat metabolism. Both are used to increase calorie expenditure.
Indeed the combination of weight loss diets and exercise regimes designed for weight loss have proven to be superior than either technique alone. But with years of physiology, permanent weight loss is still elusive, many have given up along the way and for the persistent it is a yoyo journey.
Deeper insight into causes of obesity could as well be pointing to a new weight loss science to compliment physiology. As opposed to physiology which is the study of the science of life, psychology is the study of mind, behavior and attitudes. With the redefinition of obesity by World Health Orgnaisation (WHO) as a multi factorial disease; attitude, state of mind and behavioral studies have been making inroads to try and find a lasting solution for the obesity epidemic.
Studies are showing that only 60% of weight lost is maintained in one year. Even in cases of extreme intervention like weight loss surgery, you are easily back to where you came from in about five years.
The most promising solution yet to long term weight loss is change in lifestyle. This then has created quite some room for psychology in dieting.
Already studies that include behavioral treatments have shown promising results. Compared to diets, exercise programs as well as diet-exercise programs, inclusion of a behavioral treatment results to improvement to any of these techniques. This has a simple explanation.
As much as weights loss involves calories reduction, weight maintenance requires a zero-calories balance. With diet and exercising techniques, introduction of negative calories balance or calories reduction has been achieved. But the zero calorie balance to maintain weight has not. This is because particular lifestyle habits need to be changed.
If one is going to go into a weight loss program, lose some weight, then go right back to the same lifestyle that got them overweight in the first place; it does not require a lot of imagination to project that it is just a matter of time before they are back to where they started.
Enter a new problem, how do we effect change of lifestyle?
A lifestyle is a collection of habits. Habits are based on frequent practice of particular decisions. The science of decisions, habits and behaviors is a challenge way off the abilities of physiology, the science of life system.
Already weight loss programs merging both psychological and physiological tactics are in use. One such diet would be a Dr Phil Diet by the celebrity motivational speaker Dr Phil McGraw. With the entry of psychology we look forward to tools, tactics ad techniques to help individual change their lifestyle to result to permanent weight loss.