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    Thursday, September 14, 2017

    MEAT

    You Should Eat Some Red Meat

    ​​Over the years I have noticed many fat vegetarian women. Like you, I would have thought vegetarians would be lean. I don’t know why I thought that. Pretty dumb really. The idea was a holdover from the days of thinking that calories matter. Fat has 9 calories/gram, carbs only 3.5. But of course you know now that calories have nothing to with getting fat. Insulin matters more. Read The Obesity Code by Jason Fung if you still don’t know this.

    Vegetarians might be lean if they were really eating mostly vegetables, but they aren’t. They are eating mostly grains. You can live like that, for a while–a billion people do–but you can’t be healthy doing it. Watch author Lierra Keith at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFm2QLLuh6I&sns=em. You can type all that in, or just google Lierra Keith and click on the video from PaleoHacks. Nothing you will ever read is as good as her book The Vegetarian Myth. Nothing you will ever hear is as well-expressed as her video.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 9:41 am | [0] comments

    Friday, August 18, 2017

    METABOLISM

    ​Reducing Intake Slows Metabolism

    I have been sick. I developed an electrical problem in the heart making the heart go too fast. Not a heart attack, but causing episodes of passing out. To ease the problem, I was put on a medicine called amiodarone. Great for the heart but sometimes toxic to the liver and lungs. And it made me nauseated–I couldn’t eat. Realizing I was going to lose weight, I did an experiment on myself;  I measured my pulse and body temperature daily.

    You see I had been telling people you can’t lose weight long-term just by eating less,  because if you reduce calories, over time the metabolism slows down. Amiodarone gave me a chance to check out my advice.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Aug 18, 2017 10:37 am | [0] comments

    Sunday, May 28, 2017

    STRESS

    ​Compromise and Lowering Stress

    I have read, but seen no scientific proof, that emotional stress itself can make people gain weight. The proposed mechanism is that stress makes the adrenal gland produce more cortisol. Cortisol causes the liver to release more glucose. Elevated glucose triggers insulin. High insulin causes  obesity.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sun, May 28, 2017 11:36 am | [0] comments

    Tuesday, May 09, 2017

    BREAD

    Dave’s Bread

    Late last year I changed order #3, which used to read “Eat less starch and sweets”. I was embarrassed about that order because I knew it can’t be right. In China and India, the two leanest nations, people eat lots of starch in the form of rice and potatoes. They just eat few sweets. So non-sweet carbs by themselves must be okay. 

    The thing to really avoid is (1) sugar and (2) sweeteners regardless of calories and (3) white bread, because these things vigorously drive up insulin without satisfying hunger. Fatness is not about calories, friends; it is about insulin. Read The Obesity Code by Jason Fung MD.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Tue, May 09, 2017 2:24 pm | [0] comments

    Tuesday, May 02, 2017

    DIETING

    ​Yo Yo Dieting

    Last week an article in the New England Journal of Medicine furnished evidence that yo yo dieting increases the chance of a heart attack or stroke. You should not believe this right away because the data were epidemiological, i.e. there was an association between yo yo dieting and heart attack, but association does not prove causation. It might have been for instance that yo yo dieters ate more sugar than no yos or did less exercise. The “dieters” may not have even been dieters at all; the study wasn’t even about yo yo dieting; the data were extracted from a study of Lipitor’s effect on heart disease. The authors merely remarked that people in the study whose weight varied a lot were more prone to heart attack. But weight can vary for many reasons other than dieting.

    Nevertheless, it is beyond doubt that each time you lose weight and regain, it is more difficult to lose weight the next time. Yo yoing leads to insulin resistance. 

    Sometimes patients, returning many times, complain that the phen-pro medicines aren’t working like they used to. Usually the problem is not the medicines; it’s yo yoing.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Tue, May 02, 2017 1:23 pm | [0] comments

    Thursday, April 13, 2017

    DON’T JUDGE PEOPLE

    ​Judge Not

    The books I’ve recently read have made me aware, again, how complex obesity is. My god, there are viruses that may make you fat, genes, bacteria, ethnicity, age, gender. Most of my patients lose some weight and keep it off, but there is variation. Some lose a lot, some lose a little, a few lose none. Some keep it off, some regain. Some are not following my Ten Orders, others are. Some ‘fess up, others lie. Some think they are not following the orders even when they really are. They assume that if they are not losing weight, THEY must be at fault. 

    They might be. They may not be. It may even be MY fault. It’s just all so darn complicated.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 12:12 pm | [0] comments

    Tuesday, February 21, 2017

    COFFEE

    Coffee

    ​While on phentermine, patients should not drink regular coffee. Phentermine is a stimulant and caffeine is a stimulant. Taken together, they increase the chance for nervousness, palpitations and poor sleep. Besides that, people tend to put a lot of sugar or sweetener in coffee, and we were trying to cut down on sugar. That’s was the main point these days.

    I don’t care about the caffeine in tea or chocolate. There is so much less caffeine in brewed tea. Interestingly there is just as much caffeine in an ounce of tea leaves as in an ounce of ground coffee beans; but you use so much less tea leaves to make a cup of tea than beans to make coffee.

    You may drink decaff coffee. Here are some things I have heard patients say.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 11:59 am | [0] comments

    Monday, January 16, 2017

    Beverages Are Food Too

    Many people who have trouble losing weight don’t think to count beverages when they total up the amount they consume each day. Losing weight is all about keeping the insulin level low between meals. Anything sweet, solid or liquid, drives insulin level up and prevents weight loss.

    You have to be aware of how many sweet drinks you take in.

    And how big. All our sodas and coffees are obscenely huge.

    Between meals you must find something to do to entertain your hands and your mouth, other than smoking, eating or drinking. Try reading a book or talking to a friend or playing a game.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Jan 16, 2017 8:32 am | [0] comments

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016

    WEIGHT LOSS TIPS

    ​French Fries Aren’t French

    Americans combine french fries with many things. For a dollar extra Dunkin Donuts will give you an order of fries with your donut! As far as losing weight, I don’t care if you eat fries as part of a meal, as long as you don’t eat a lot of them and you don’t eat fries as a snack. They strongly raise insulin; we are trying to keep insulin low between meals. 


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 3:14 pm | [0] comments

    Tuesday, April 19, 2016

    HEALTHY WEIGHT

    ​Lowering Standards

    In the office I often say, “Late last year I took an important step that tremendously improved my rate of success. I lowered my standards. I decided I am not trying to make women skinny anymore. There is no reason to do it. Men don’t want women to be skinny. GI Joe doesn’t want Barbie to look like this.”

    I show off a Barbie doll.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 9:16 am | [0] comments

    Saturday, April 16, 2016

    What Dogs Have Taught Me

    My sister is my main helper, taking the initial history on new patients, and she is a dog lover. When I get the chart, it always has information on the patient’s pets. I didn’t ask for this, but it has had a useful result–I have noticed that all the dogs and most of the cats of obese patients are themselves obese. This confirms that animals presented with an excess of food will overeat. I suppose we should not have expected the majority of people to be any different. 


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sat, Apr 16, 2016 10:30 am | [0] comments

    Thursday, April 07, 2016

    BMI

    ​BMI Should Not Be Used For Individuals

    Body mass index or BMI is the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in centimeters. To calculate BMI using pounds and inches, multiply the product by 703. The BMI was invented by Belgian statistician Adolphe Quatelet in the 19th century for use in population studies. He never intended it to be used for individual people, because it says nothing about body shape or composition.

    ​Before 1990 doctors and insurance companies used tables of weight versus height, one for men and another for women, based on simple actuarial statistics, to determine who was at risk. In 1998 the NIH went over to BMI in order to present info on both sexes in the same brightly colored diagrams. You saw then, too, the beautiful food pyramids that were also BS supreme. 


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Apr 07, 2016 10:06 am | [0] comments

    Thursday, March 24, 2016

    STRESS EATING

    ​The Most Common Cause Of Stress

    Hard to explain why stress is such a cause of obesity–when I am stressed, I lose my appetite–but among the people who fight obesity, stress is a major cause of snacking and overeating. So it is worthwhile to look at the causes of stress. Cognitive neuroscientists do.

    The major source of stress in most people is: being given responsibility without sufficient power.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Mar 24, 2016 4:32 pm | [0] comments

    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, 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Monday, October 28, 2013

    ALCOHOL

    ​Alcohol, Carbs and Obesity

    People often ask if they can drink alcohol while taking phen-pro. Yes. The medicines have nothing to do with alcohol. But you should drink moderately because you should do everything moderately. And they ask, does alcohol make you fat? No. Alcohol contributes to obesity only when combined with carbs, meaning starch or anything sweet.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Oct 28, 2013 9:36 am | [0] comments

    Thursday, September 26, 2013

    MEAL TIMING

    ​Timing of Meals

    ​A big reason why the French are leaner than we are is that the majority of them eat their largest meal in midday, from 12:20 to 2:30 PM. The meal is eaten slowly, with friends or other distractions. The French are not crazy workaholics.

    I am not saying by this that food eaten at night is more likely to be stored as fat. That myth was destroyed by a study in 1998, and should never be mentioned again. You can look at the globe and see that in the countries around the world where people eat late, i.e. the hot countries, people are the leanest.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Sep 26, 2013 10:03 am | [0] comments

    Wednesday, March 06, 2013

    ​My Situation

    ​My wife has pancreatic cancer diagnosed Mar. 3, 2012. By January 15, 2013 it had spread to her lungs and she is on heavy chemotherapy now. I have cut back to the point that I am in the office only three hours a day. Barry Mennen MD, my able student, is renting space in the office to see patients when I'm not here. In a pinch, he could cover me. He knows what I know and uses my methods.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Mar 06, 2013 11:15 am | [2] comments
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