If your scale won't budge, you may want to reconsider your weight loss strategies.
That's the advice of obesity expert Dr. Louis Aronne of the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at Weill Cornell Medical Center. In his new book, "The Change Your Biology Diet: The Proven Program for Lifelong Weight Loss," he argues weight loss is not a question of willpower or motivation, but of other physical factors in the body.
"If you try to hold your breath for 10 minutes, at some point you jump out of the water to breathe, something would tell you that you're drowning," Dr. Aronne said. "And when you try not to eat, there are physical forces that do the same thing."
According to Dr. Aronne, there are at least ten factors beyond eating portions and amount of exercise that influence our weight, including medicine consumption and lack of sleep.
In order to lose weight successfully, Dr. Aronne asserts you must reverse the damage done to the brain as a result of environmental factors -- such as eating fatty foods which changes the brain's nerves.
"It damages your brain in a way that it makes it difficult for you to lose weight so that we look at it as completely willpower, but actually you're dealing with a situation that becomes increasingly physical as time goes on," Dr. Aronne said.
As may already be well known to dieters, Dr. Aronne noted healthy food choices including proteins, vegetables, oils and high-fiber carbs.
But what's more important, he said, is the order in which you eat these different foods. For example, he advises to eat the proteins first and save the carbs for last.
"Eating protein first controls your appetite and blood sugar the best," he said. "Having bread first will raise your blood sugar, it drops later on, it stimulates your appetite."
Dr. Aronne also debunked the popular myth that more exercise leads to more weight loss, saying that what and how we eat is far more important.
"It's virtually impossible to exercise your way out of your weight problem," he said. "You don't have to do as much exercise as many people think you have to do to be in good shape. Fifteen minutes a day of brisk walking can do it. The problem is healthy eating."