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Can You Really Lose 15 Pounds in a Week?

A reader has written, “I see the tabloids in the supermarket that talk about ways I can lose 15 pounds in a week. Is this really possible? Isn’t it better if I try to lose just 5 pounds a week?”

(The author is a psychotherapist who lost 140 lbs. when he discovered Therapeutic Psychogenics,  and he’s kept it off for over 25 years. Read about his method of fast permanent weight loss and the clients who have used them by clicking on the menu above.)

Whoa! Let’s leave the supermarket tabloids to reporting about celebrities giving birth to aliens and come back to planet Earth and reality.

While my program is known for fast permanent weight loss, losing 15 pounds in a week is not possible for most people. I have seen it only with very obese people, and only in the first week of a weight loss regimen. After that, things slows down. Even 5 pounds a week, after the first week, is unrealistic. In the long term, with a healthy weight loss regimen, it’s more realistic to expect 1 to 3 pounds a week. However, speed of loss is not the most important thing. Making the loss permanent is.

If you are like most of us, you’ve been struggling with a weight problem for a long time. You’ve found that diets and exercise binges don’t solve the problem, even when they are sensible, never mind the crazy stuff.  If you’ve lost weight with those approaches, you’ve put it all back on and more.

If you really want to solve your weight problem for good, if you want to lose your excess weight and keep it off, it can be done, but you need to stop looking for unrealistically fast weight loss.

I lost 140 pounds in 18 months in 1983-1984 after 25 years of getting worse every year with diets and exercise schemes. In real medicine, that’s considered fast weight loss, but not dangerously so. I’ve maintained an ideal weight since then, over 25 years.  I was very lucky to have discovered the real solution to chronic weight problems in Behavioral Medicine, and now I teach it to others.

It’s an oversimplification, but succeeding with permanent weight loss is a matter of reprogramming habits, not diets, and not using “will power”. It’s a matter of using technique to reprogram the habits, not a matter of “just making up your mind”. It involves enjoying food even more than ever and winning every day, not waiting months or even a week to feel victorious.

Please read my articles here on my website, especially the letters from clients when you click on “testimonials” and you’ll learn how I and my clients have lost enormous amounts of weight  sometimes rather quickly, but always with the goal of forming a way we can live with forever, not fast weight loss at all costs.

Just so you know, a realistic pace for healthy weight loss is 50-75 pounds a year for women, with sometimes 5-10 pounds the first week. When you think about it, wouldn’t having that happen be a lot better than chasing crazy weight loss that will only disappoint and leave you worse?

Can I Lose and Control my Weight Without Exercise?


I’m William (Bill) Anderson, the psychotherapist who discovered Therapeutic Psychogenics, the successful method in behavioral medicine to lose weight permanently. I was s0 happy when I learned that I could solve my weight problem without having to exercise. In my prior “fat”  life, I was over 300 lbs. and everything I did was painful. I hated exercise my whole life, since I was a kid in gym class. The idea that I needed to exercise to lose and control my weight, which was something that all the “experts” said I needed to do, was so discouraging. So, it was a great relief when I found that exercise didn’t really do much to help with weight, and I could lose weight and control it even if I couldn’t exercise.

Here’s the facts: to lose weight, you need to have habits where you undereat, eating an average of fewer calories than you burn. Say you burn 2000 calories a day, you’d need to average less than that. To avoid gaining weight, you need to have habits where you don’t average over 2000. To lose a pound a week, the cumulative deficit has to add up to 3500 calories. Here’s the deal with exercise: If you go out and bust your butt with an hour walk, you only burn an extra 300 calories or so. That’s less than a donut or bagel’s worth of calories! No wonder I used to gain weight when I exercised! I’d exercise, think I should be able to have a donut now, eat one and cancel out the exercise, then have another and gain!  Lots of people gain weight when they exercise because they feel like they deserve to eat and then they have thousands more a day! If you look at the calories in the stuff you eat, you’ll see. Exercise is of no value in weight control if your eating is out of control, which is the real problem for most of us.

Getting the eating right, so that it becomes easy and automatic is no easy trick. That’s where behavioral medicine comes in. Change won’t happen by accident, and most of the so-called “experts” have no clue how its done. It’s not done with “will power”. Neither will diet pills or weight loss products help you succeed. Its done with Therapeutic Psychogenics, a method in behavioral medicine, and that’s what my program and my book, The Anderson Method, is about. It’s not a trick and there’s work involved, but the objective is to make it so weight control becomes habitual, second nature. Many clients do say it’s become easy.

So, exercise doesn’t do any good for weight control if the eating is out of control; and exercise is not necessary by any means to lose weight and keep it off. That being said, exercise is important and necessary for good health. But for weight loss, no.

For all the details on how to succeed at permanent weight loss, read my book, The Anderson Method, or call one of my therapists. I’m training therapists now all over the country to provide my counseling and therapy, in places like Atlanta and North Carolina, not just here in Sarasota. Follow us and change your life for the better and for good.