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    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

    Sunday, February 24, 2013

    ​The Truth I Finally Tell People

    ​When I get very obese patients, I focus on getting them to stop drinking sodas (diet or plain), sports drinks, energy drinks, Vitamin Water, Crystal Lite or any other American swindle to sell sweetened water. People in the battleship class are doing everything wrong, but if you try to get them to change everything at once, they won't come back. The problem must be approached in easy stages.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sun, Feb 24, 2013 10:00 am | [0] comments

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    ALCOHOL and OBESITY

    Alcohol and Obesity

    ​Overconsumption of alcohol is a significant factor in U.S obesity. Bariatricians should learn to ask their patients about the topic, with appropriate seriousness & politeness, in a way likely to garner an honest answer.  I can explain how to do this--I may do so in the future--but honestly, the ability to talk to people should be the doctor's chief skill. If it isn't, they are in the wrong business.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 6:26 pm | [0] comments

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    ​Soda Madness

    ​Fat people drink a lot of soda. It is an amazing madness to want everything sweet. And cold, no less, in the middle of winter! On Christmas Eve I stood in a long line at the grocery store just before closing time. In front of me in the line stood a morbidly obese man and his morbidly obese child, in the store for the sole purpose of buying two liters of diet soda. Stupid.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sat, Jan 26, 2013 11:40 am | [0] comments

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    ​Obese Words

    ​Only two kinds of people ever say they are starving: starving people and fat people. Lean people say only that they are hungry. I offer this as an example of the way fat people sabotage their effort to lose weight by using the wrong words.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sun, Jan 13, 2013 9:03 am | [0] comments

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    ​The Signs On My Wall

    Patients arriving at my office expect to sit in the waiting room. They pick up a magazine or fire up their cell phone. It annoys me. Why don’t they look at the educational material on the walls? Why don’t they talk to other people? The old patients don’t know each other, but I know all of them and I know that many of them would become friends if they just talked to each other. Americans are some of the most unfriendly people in the world. Overworked, self-centered, distracted, impatient, isolated and lonely. And fat. There is a connection.

    I took steps. I threw out the magazines in the office and put up a sign telling patients to turn off their cell phones because they interfere with equipment next door. A lie, but how else could I get them to do it? I put up a sign saying, "This is not the waiting room! This is the room for talking to each other and reading the stuff on the walls."


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 6:13 pm | [0] comments

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012

    ​Getting The Right Focus

    ​When patients first come to the office, they are focused on pills, pounds and money. It is important to show them that I am not focused on pills, pounds or money. Those are all things, and truly, listen, things never make you happy, never satisfy very long. True, lasting happiness comes only from people and ideas. When people grasp this idea, they can lose weight.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Dec 26, 2012 10:05 am | [0] comments

    Friday, December 07, 2012

    SNACK ON A PLATE

    ​If You Must Snack, Snack On A Plate

    Since so many people follow my Mesages of the Week now, I have kicked up the length of the messages. But every now and then I like to toss in a short, practical message for the folks trying to lose weight. 

    Here is one. Eat snacks on plates.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Dec 07, 2012 10:13 am | [0] comments

    Saturday, December 01, 2012

    VEGETABLES

    What’s a Vegetable?

    ​You hear, "Eat your fruits and vegetables." Everyone thinks they know what that means, but I am sure you don’t. What do potatoes, peas, broccoli, squash and avocados have in common? Answer: nothing, other than being derived from plants. What is a fruit? Most answer that fruits come from trees. Well, but avocados come from a tree, too. Is corn a vegetable? No, it is a grain.

    Dictionaries stumble over the definitions and resort to lists of examples. The only definition of vegetable that makes sense is ‘the edible part of a plant’. What else would it be? My definition fits with the Latin root "vege" meaning ‘to grow’. So fruits are vegetables, and the saying "eat your fruits and vegetables" can be reduced to "eat your vegetables".


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sat, Dec 01, 2012 1:30 pm | [0] comments

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

    FRIENDS AND RELATIONSHIPS

    My Waiting Room Is Not For Waiting

    ​A sign in my waiting room says, "This is not the waiting room". It goes on to say, "This is the room for making friends, talking to neighbors, reading and looking at the information posters on the wall. Put away your cell phones and live a little."


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 12:25 pm | [0] comments

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

    WEIGHT LOSS TIPS

    Do Watch the Clock

    ​Many years ago when I was beginning to treat obesity, I gave advice that sounded reasonable but had not been tested. For example, I told patients to "eat when hungry and stop when full". Seems reasonable, right? but the advice was wrong. Following it, my patients gained weight. And I told patients not to follow the clock; if it’s lunch time and you’re not hungry, don’t eat lunch, I said. I thought that was a good idea, too, but it was a disaster. I should have known better–the idea is un-French. People reading this blog know the lifestyle of French women is ideal. I have given plenty of evidence. In particular, they don’t skip meals.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Nov 22, 2012 11:34 am | [0] comments

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    Why Counting Calories Never Works

    The old idea that is still true...

    Patients underestimate portion sizes and don’t count their snacks and beverages.

    BUT even when I fixed that problem in 2008 by teaching classes on calorie-counting to gifted students, still, no one lost weight. There must be other reasons for the failure.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sat, Nov 17, 2012 11:15 am | [0] comments

    Saturday, November 03, 2012

    DARK PLATES

    ​Use Dark-Colored Plates

    ​Order #2 of the Eight Doctor’s Orders, i.e. "use smaller, dark-colored plates", is particularly effective since it requires little effort and no willpower. I got the idea from a study I read in March. A message on my cell phone led me to an article in the Huffington Post, and from there I found the actual study. Unfortunately I have now lost the reference. If anyone knows it, I’d like to have it.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sat, Nov 03, 2012 7:36 pm | [0] comments

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    WEIGHT LOSS SUCESS

    My Patients Don’t Gain Weight Back

    ​I will share with you an e-mail from my patient P.T., but first I want to make a comment. I have been doing bariatrics for 17 years, but I have only gotten this good in the last year, after picking up lessons #2 and #4, i.e. use dark plates and don’t balance meals. The other lessons are important, too, but the addition of #2 and #4 completed the set. I just don’t fail anymore with young women, soldiers and kids. Other groups are a challenge, but I am doing better there too. And having lost weight, my patients don’t gain weight back.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 10:28 am | [0] comments

    Friday, October 05, 2012

    CARBS

    What Does “Carbs” Mean?

    ​People are confused about the meaning of words such as "carbs" and "metabolism". The confusion is exploited by advertisers, so let me explain. The word "carbs" was originally a shorthand for "carbohydrates", i.e. molecules containing only carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O). A pretty useless term since the definition included molecules that had nothing in common. What biochemists meant, in practice, by the term was sugars or chains of sugar as opposed to protein or fat.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Oct 05, 2012 9:35 am | [0] comments

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

    CAFFEINE

    Phentermine Users Should Reduce Caffeine

    ​I do not want my patients on phentermine to drink large cups of regular coffee. It is too much stimulation. A small cup would be okay, but since most Americans have no idea what "small" means–a major reason for their obesity–it is safest to tell them to avoid regular coffee, i.e. coffee with caffeine.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Thu, Sep 27, 2012 12:33 pm | [0] comments

    Monday, September 24, 2012

    ​Lessons or Doctor’s Orders

    Recently, in my office, I changed the Eight Lessons to the Eight Doctor’s Orders, because I was bothered by the number of people treating my lessons as guidelines or recommendations, instead of as express orders. Patients such as Katelyn whom I saw a month ago, losing over 40 lb in two months, ALL learned the Eight Lessons by heart, word for word, in order–not that the order matters. Such people take life seriously and get real results. Everyone else is just fooling around.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Sep 24, 2012 7:56 pm | [0] comments

    Friday, September 14, 2012

    NO SNACKING

    Doctor, What’s A Healthy Snack?

    ​Anyone who asks me this question after hearing or reading The First Visit Speech has missed the point. A major point of the speech is that I don’t want you snacking. Keep your insulin LOW between meals–in mid-morning, mid-afternoon and during sleep. Insulin is allowed to be high–not too high–only in the hour or two after each of the regular meals of the day.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Sep 14, 2012 10:18 am | [0] comments

    Wednesday, August 29, 2012

    ​The One Thing Men Sacrifice For

    ​My long experience with teaching people how to lose weight has given me some insight into people. I have identified the one thing most important to men. They will sacrifice everything for it. Independence. They will say stupid things in public, OVEREAT in front of everyone, make bad jokes and be (quietly) sorry for it later. Men turn down good offers, refuse good advice and fail to read instructions, ALL to show they are independent.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 10:13 am | [0] comments

    Monday, August 06, 2012

    NOISEY RESTAURANTS

    Noise In Restaurants Promotes Obesity

    ​Please read the following blog:

    http://tomfoodery.blogspot.com/2012/06/goddam-noisy-restaurants.html

    I endorse everything Tom wrote. I have carried a sound meter into American and European restaurants and notice a big difference. American restaurants with entrees under $30 are all, extremely (illegally) NOISY.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Aug 06, 2012 12:07 pm | [0] comments

    Monday, July 30, 2012

    WEIGHT MAINTENANCE

    ​My Patients Seldom Gain Weight Back

    ​My patients seldom gain weight back. I know, because every July I get my secretaries to randomly pull 100 charts of patients who were in my office for at least three visits and had not returned in over a year. We call the patients and have long conversations with them. We find that with few exceptions the patients kept the weight off or continued losing. When we do see an exception, it is almost always because of (1) a new major life-stress or (2) the patients never learned or forgot the Six Lessons. [As readers of this blog know, there are now Eight Lessons.]


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Jul 30, 2012 2:50 pm | [0] comments

    Sunday, July 29, 2012

    Wishful Thinking Versus Positive Thinking

    Eleanor Roosevelt said, "The besetting sin of America is wishful thinking," and boy, isn't that the truth? We think of wishful thinking as bad, and it certainly is. We think of positive thinking as good, but what's the difference? The most important difference is that positive thinking is about what we want to do ourselves, and wishful thinking is about what we want other people to do.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sun, Jul 29, 2012 12:57 pm | [0] comments

    Friday, July 27, 2012

    ​Increasing Protein/Reducing Curbs Works

    Several authors recently have misconstrued the meaning of Sacks FM et al: Comparison of weight-loss diets with different compositions of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. N Engl J Med 2009;360:859--. The authors said that the NEJM study shows there is no difference in weight loss between a high-protein diet and a high carbohydrate diet, implying that Atkins and the rest of us got it wrong.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Fri, Jul 27, 2012 10:06 am | [0] comments

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    REASON TO EAT

    ​The Only Three Reasons To Eat

    My daughter Rachel, a competition-dancer and motion-picture-animator, taught me that in good dancing and good animation, there is an illusion of continuous motion, but what we really see and remember is a series of poses. The brain does not easily remember smooth motion itself.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Mon, Jul 23, 2012 10:50 am | [0] comments

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

    Zen And The Art Of Losing Weight

    I re-read Eugen Herrigel's wonderful 1953 book Zen and the Art of Archery, an 80-page gem about learning Zen through the process of learning to shoot arrows accurately in a relaxed, mindless manner. At one point Eugen asked the Master why he watched him as he shot, but the Master did not look where the arrow went. The Master gave two answers.


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    Posted by Michael Anchors, MD, PhD on Sun, Jul 22, 2012 12:31 pm | [0] comments
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