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Karl Popper (1902 - 1994; regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century)

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    Monday, February 15, 2016

    CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    ​To Lose Weight Clean The Kitchen

    Years ago a population study showed that obese people have more cluttered homes. You can imagine many reasons for that. You might think it’s a character or personality thing. You might think, spending more time eating, the overweight people have less time to clean. It could be a genetic thing–who knows? But here is a controlled study on the matter.

    In the study a hundred randomly chosen subjects were invited into a clean kitchen or a cluttered kitchen to write a report. In both kitchens there was an equal amount of snack food they were invited to eat. In the cluttered kitchen the study subjects, fat or lean, ate twice as much snack food as in the clean kitchen.

    The report written by the subjects had nothing to do with the study; it was just an excuse to get them into the kitchen. The subjects were not even told the true purpose of the study. They had no idea it was about food or clutter, or that there were two kitchens.

    I conclude that if you are trying to lose weight, it is a good idea to keep the kitchen neat.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Feb 15, 2016 10:49 am | [0] comments

    Friday, January 15, 2016

    ​What I Wish I Had Said

    The other day a nurse working at a weight loss clinic called me on behalf of the doctors running her clinic to find out what I do that makes me so successful with the group I am so successful with, i.e. motivated smart people mostly women with a BMI of 25-35. This group constitutes the majority of the people coming to my clinic. Of course my view is that the people with a BMI of 25-30 don’t need help at all, since that group has the longest lifespan, lowest mortality, NOT the skinny people (Flegal 2005). My other view is that we should not be using BMI, but instead some measure involving abdominal girth, waist-hip ratio or body fat percentage.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Jan 15, 2016 12:17 pm | [0] comments

    Wednesday, December 23, 2015

    NON-CELIAC GLUTEN SENSITIVITY

    FODMAPs

    If you have abdominal bloating and discomfort after eating, you may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. This syndrome has only recently been described. It will soon be renamed for it has nothing to do with gluten.

    When you eat too much carbs and sweets, you may start to grow the wrong type of bacteria in your colon. The bacteria may even extend up into the small intestine where bacteria do not normally grow. The bacteria cause the wall of the bowel to become leaky, leading to bloating, discomfort and alternating constipation & diarrhea–I am sure about all that–and perhaps to arthritis, "brain fog" and depression. I am not as sure about the latter claim. Google "leaky gut syndrome". 


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Dec 23, 2015 12:41 pm | [0] comments

    Wednesday, December 02, 2015

    OPINION

    ​Train Your Dog

    Everyone of you has a dog, and that dog is you. You have to train your dog. One of my patients complained that she could not lose weight because of poor sleep. She would lie awake for hours in the middle of the night, then get up and get something to eat figuring that "she was awake anyway."

    But I pointed out that she was not eating because she was awake, but rather staying awake so she could eat. Picture her as a dog, I said. Stay awake, girl. Stay awake... stay awake... good girl. Now you can have a treat.

    When she looked at the problem in this way and stopped putting treats in the refrigerator, she returned to sleeping through the night.

    You can think of many ways in which you train yourself to do things you don’t want to do. Take control. Especially parents. You can’t train your kids if you make no effort to train yourself.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Dec 02, 2015 12:28 pm | [0] comments

    Wednesday, November 11, 2015

    OPINION

    ​Health and Wellness

    While I was growing up and even when I was in medical school, the word "healthy" meant simply ‘not sick’. It was the opposite of "sick". Now and unfortunately, the word has evolved to mean a zen-like state of wellness. Another funny new word–wellness. The reason this is all bad is that it gets people to think badly about themselves, to worry, reducing the quality of life and spoiling the fun. For no benefit to the person. The idea only makes money for doctors, drug & insurance companies and lawyers.

    The mutation of the word "healthy" began with the idea that real disease could be prevented by doing the right exercise, taking the right vitamins and supplements and getting an annual check-up at the doctor. All this began in the sixties on the basis of no studies at all. Please don’t think American doctors have anything to do with science; they are interested only in money.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Nov 11, 2015 10:14 am | [0] comments

    Thursday, September 10, 2015

    WOMEN

    Why I Love Women

    I love women for four out of five reasons. First they are VERBAL. They use language, keep eye contact and read body language well. As a writer, I appreciate that. Women inherit this ability from cave women. Men inherit only the ability to give and take orders and exchange facts; they struggle to come up with anything else to say.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Sep 10, 2015 10:04 am | [0] comments

    Tuesday, May 12, 2015

    VITAMIN D & TESTOSTERONE SUPPLEMENTS

    ​Binding Proteins Matter

    Many overweight patients take vitamin D or testosterone supplements prescribed by their primary care doctor. Few patients need it. Here is what is going on.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Tue, May 12, 2015 1:36 pm | [0] comments

    Friday, April 17, 2015

    ​Your diet has little to do with what happens to you

    I get a lot of letters like the one that began with . . . 

    "I moved to MA from MD last Fall, and I believe that I need your help. I am a physical therapist, and I am keenly aware of the importance and positive impact of proper diet and consistent exercise."

    People really believe that by acquiring special "knowledge" and regulating how they eat and exercise, they can change their fate. They so much want to believe this that they skip the crucial step of looking for real evidence for the position. If they did, they would find none.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 12:15 pm | [0] comments

    Thursday, April 09, 2015

    SCAM PRODUCT

    ​Phentramine Is A Scam

    Yesterday I saw a 49 year old mildly overweight woman for the first visit whose blood pressure was 170/117 with a pulse of 77. She said she had no history of high blood pressure, saw her primary care doctor annually and took no medicines. I asked about coffee and caffeine. She thought better of herself and admitted she had been taking "Phentramine" which she had obtained in a local GNC type store. She took two pills twice a day. 

    Children, children. Phentramine is a swindle taking advantage of the fact that you can’t spell. I thought it was available only on line. I was alarmed to learn you can buy it off the shelf. 


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Apr 09, 2015 1:19 pm | [0] comments

    Friday, November 28, 2014

    FAT LANGUAGE

    Fat Language

    Patients speak a language I don’t understand. They would have an easier time losing weight if they used moderate, adult language. For instance, fat people never say, “I am hungry.” They usually say, “I am starving.” Why say such a thing? In point of fact they aren’t starving. But see,if you believe you are starving, well then you must eat right now and you can eat a lot. 

    Instead of saying “I’d like that”, they say I crave it. I must have it, have to have it. But adults don’t crave things unless they are drug addicts. Children crave things. Children have to have it. Fat speech is childish speech. Adults can delay gratification, show restraint, divert focus. All it takes is a little practice.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Nov 28, 2014 5:12 pm | [1] comments

    Friday, October 03, 2014

    WHAT TO EAT

    ​You Don’t Have To Be A Biochemist

    You don’t have to be a biochemist to know how to eat! Most foods contain about the same things–most foods come from cells. You can live eating nothing but meat. Cavemen came close to doing that. The Masai in Africa do so even now. Provided you occasionally eat liver (for certain vitamins), you can live on meat. You can live on starch, too. A billion people do it, because it’s all they can get. You can live on vegetables. There’s protein even in broccoli.

    Americans think they are biochemists. On my desk there is a block labeled “meat & cheese” and a block labeled “starch”. I use them in explaining the harm done by combining large portions of each. (Basically starch drives insulin very high allowing extra calories from meat to come in.) When asked about this part of my demonstration, many patients swear I told them to avoid combining protein and starch. I said no such thing. The block was clearly labeled “meat & cheese”, not protein. My material is meant to be understood word for word as written.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Oct 03, 2014 3:45 pm | [0] comments

    Tuesday, September 02, 2014

    WEIGHT LOSS ADVICE

    ​Bureaucratic Versus Radical Change

    The most frustrating thing in my practice is the tendency of patients to make bureaucratic changes rather than radical changes.  The bureaucratic process is the process by which government agencies change, i.e. making a small change and waiting to see if the change makes a positive difference. If so, they make another small change and wait. This process is very safe–especially for the bureaucrats–and also very slow. The social need usually outruns the response.

    In the office I present compelling evidence why exercise, low-fat diet and calorie-counting do not work and the only effective means to lose weight is the Ten Orders. Too often patients respond bureaucratically, with a half-hearted effort to do some of the Orders, never bothering to learn the rest. And they hedge their bet by continuing to exercise, restrict fat and count calories. Result? They lose only 2 or 4 lbs between visits, and sometimes gain.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Tue, Sep 02, 2014 10:33 am | [0] comments

    Monday, July 07, 2014

    WEIGHT LOSS LESSONS

    ​CHANGE ORDER #8

    Heretofore Order #8 of the Ten Doctor’s Orders has been “Moderation in all things”. I was never satisfied with that order. It was a place-holder so that I would have ten orders like Moses. But it was useless as a teaching tool since women already knew it and American men, having learned excess, violence and winning as children, can’t learn moderation & compromise as adults. 

    Besides that, there are things in which you should not be moderate, such as devotion to the truth. And cases where compromise is inappropriate. Cutting the dose of statin drugs in half is inappropriate; they should be stopped altogether. 

    So last week I changed Order #8 to “Eat more slowly”.  I noticed that when food arrives at the table, Americans pick up their fork and do not set it down again until the food is all eaten. By contrast, French people set their fork down while talking or listening intently. They don’t talk with mouths full.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Jul 07, 2014 12:56 pm | [0] comments

    DR. ANCHORS WEIGHT LOSS LESSONS

    Dr. Anchors’ 10 Weight Loss Lessons

    Here are my 10 Weight Loss Lessons that I give to all of my patients.

    1. ​Eat less food.
    2. Use small DARK plates.
    3. Follow Dr. Anchors' Food Pyramid.
    4. Don't balance meals.
    5. Drink more water.
    6. Weigh yourself every morning.
    7. Eat some breakfast, a slow lunch, and a smaller supper.
    8. Eat more slowly.
    9. Stop snacking.
    10. Eat with friends or family.

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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Jul 07, 2014 12:50 pm | [0] comments

    Sunday, June 01, 2014

    EXCUSES vs REASONS

    ​The Difference Between Excuses And Reasons

    On the occasions when patients return having gained weight back, many feel compelled to offer an explanation. It’s always an excuse, seldom a reason. It is worthwhile to know the difference.

    The hallmarks of an excuse is that it is stereotyped, unoriginal and irrational. The most common excuse is, “I ran out of medicine”.  I won’t even comment on this canard. The best thing people get in my office is the Ten Doctor’s Orders. When people learn them, they never need me again. The pills are like Dumbo’s feather.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sun, Jun 01, 2014 12:40 pm | [0] comments

    Friday, May 23, 2014

    GETTING IT WRONG

    Most of What You Know is Wrong

    Most new patients assume they already know about fat and weight loss; their only concern is to score more diet pills. As long as they remain in that frame of mind, they won’t learn what I teach. So I try to open their minds by saying...


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, May 23, 2014 6:06 pm | [0] comments

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    ​The Highest Value

    What is men’s greatest value? What do they value above all else? The answer is independence, i.e. the fact or the illusion that they control something external to themselves. Men will give up everything else to preserve this. When a wife or a government steps on their sense of control, men bite back.

    What is women’s number #1 value? Connectedness–to family, friends, teachers, place and tradition. Women will give up everything to keep these connections. If a husband steps on his wife’s sense of connection to friends or family, he is in trouble.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 2:13 pm | [0] comments

    Thursday, April 03, 2014

    SODA

    ​Why Soda And Colas Are So Bad

    Fat people drink a lot of soda. Soda meaning “sweetened carbonated beverage”. Sodas, diet or regular, raise insulin blocking weight loss. They acidify the blood leading to osteoporosis, dental problems and kidney stones


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Apr 03, 2014 12:44 pm | [0] comments

    Sunday, March 16, 2014

    EXERCISE & LONGEVITY

    An Exercise Paradox

    Most people and all doctors believe that physical exercise makes you live longer. There is no evidence for this idea. In longitudinal studies, people who exercise more tend to live longer, true, but in studies where long-lived people were interviewed, the long-lifers were no more likely to have exercised than anyone else. In fact, they were less likely to have exercised.

    This apparent paradox is a consequence of the healthy survivor effect, i.e. the people who were more healthy to begin with were the ones most likely to exercise.  Notice, that does not imply that the exercise itself made them more healthy.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sun, Mar 16, 2014 11:56 am | [0] comments

    Monday, February 03, 2014

    IDEAL BODY WEIGHT?

    ​No Such Thing As Ideal Body Weight

    Many patients on their first visit ask how much they should weigh? I answer, simply, “less”. 

    There is no such thing as ideal body weight. There is only an ideal body weight range, and it is surprisingly wide. After all, what does “ideal” mean? To me, reasonably, it can only mean the weight at which the patients are least likely to get sick, the weight at which they are most likely to live the longest. It’s a wide range. The body is not such a delicate flower–it is resilient.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Feb 03, 2014 3:51 pm | [0] comments

    Monday, December 23, 2013

    LOVE

    ​The Dialectic of Romantic Love

    As said before, I use stereotypes a lot in the office. It’s okay as long as (1) they are mostly true, (2) the use is helpful and (3) I am aware there are exceptions. I also use stereotypes in life. Here is one.

    (A) Most men fall in love inspirationally, in a flash, then later search for logical reasons for their choice. They fool themselves into believing it happens the other way around.

    (B) Most women choose mates logically, taking their time to do so, then later “find love”. They believe it happens the other way around. 

    This way of men and women is ideally suited to propagate the species.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Dec 23, 2013 1:15 pm | [0] comments

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

    ORTHOREXIA

    ​The Spread of Orthorexia

    In my social grouping almost all the women are on some sort of kooky diet. Gluten-free is a common one.  Raw diet, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, organic, you name it, but please don’t because some woman will start following it.  

    Some of them sincerely believe the diet will make them healthier. Evidence is neither sought nor appreciated. Faith is good enough. Others replace the focus on snacking with a food-focus that won’t make them fat–that’s at least rational.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 11:19 am | [0] comments

    Monday, December 09, 2013

    RACE

    ​A Christmas Message

    I have never done a Christmas message among my Messages of the Week, but this year I will do one. About race. What has that to do with obesity? Nothing. Since race does not exist, it has nothing to do with anything. There is no biological definition of race. It is an illusion that continues to shame the United States. 

    The French purposefully make no public recognition of race, don’t ask about it, don’t keep statistics. When recently a right-wing newspaper called Minister of Justice Mdm. Taboura a monkey, there were huge counter-demonstrations all across France. I was proud of the French for that.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Dec 09, 2013 1:29 pm | [0] comments

    Thursday, December 05, 2013

    ​Compromise Versus Moderation

    Recently I added two new orders to the Eight Doctor’s Orders to make ten. The first new order was “Eat some breakfast, a long lunch and a small supper”, i.e. move more of your food into the front part of the day when you have more self-control. We’re good with that one.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Dec 05, 2013 11:57 am | [0] comments

    Friday, November 22, 2013

    Thanksgiving

    Thanksgiving is the second strangest holiday of the year. (The first is Halloween) Both holidays are devoted to gluttony. Whatever they originally meant is lost on modern Americans. Make no mistake–they are now about eating.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 3:32 pm | [0] comments
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