Janis
                  Rosenberg, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist

Janis Rosenberg, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist

9696 Culver Boulevard, Suite 303
Culver City, CA 90232
310-841-0302
Lic # PSY 15452

Services
                        Offered
  • Weekly or Biweekly Individual Psychotherapy Sessions for Personal Growth
  • Couples, Marriage and Family Counseling
  • Telephone consultation sessions
  • Half hour supportive or educational sessions
  • One and one-half hour sessions for couples

Areas of Specialization

  • Fear of intimacy and relationship ambivalence
  • Divorce and infidelity
  • Trauma and DEPRESSION
  • Parenting and Step-parenting
  • Shyness and Self-esteem Issues
  • Finding or building a healthy passionate relationship
  • Adjusting to loss, separation and divorce
  • Underachieving or creative blocks
  • EMDR Therapy (Level 2 Certification)
  • Eating disorders, weight loss, body image
  • Anxiety and panic
  • Motivation and tools for CHANGE

LOSING WEIGHT

By Janis Rosenberg, Ph. D.

Losing weight is one of the hardest goals to achieve. As a psychologist who has worked with weight and food issues with clients and as woman who has battled extra pounds myself, I have studied this issue and watched the popular culture and fad diets move through many different incarnations. I also work with individuals who have more severe eating disorders, either restricting or bingeing and purging.

There are many reasons for food addiction and becoming overweight. Some are chemical and some are emotional. In my years of helping those with eating problems, Iíve learned that to successfully recover, blocks in both the physical and the psychological realms need to be understood and resolved.

Why itís such a problem

There is an epidemic of overeating and obesity in the United States and now we are hearing this is becoming truer in other Western countries. Itís estimated that 65% of Americans are overweight or obese. Some wonder, with cheap and easy calorie loaded fast food, with the sedentary lifestyle that is especially problematic to children, why everyone isnít fat. Half of our children are overweight because television and video games have replaced family time. Parents are afraid to let their children play outdoors. Prevention Magazine quoted a study that says it only takes 100 calories (one cookie) over your allotted amount of calories per day to gain 10 pounds in a year. Even if you arenít compulsively overeating, weight can creep on as we get older unless some serious changes in lifestyle are embraced.

Most people who are overweight have a strong desire to lose weight, to be healthier, more fit, and more attractive. We get discouraged for several reasons: itís not easy; it hasnít worked in the past; we feel like failures; we have too much to lose. We give up our belief in ourselves to be able to do it. We have no hope that we can stay on the diet or maintain a healthy eating pattern. We have tried several diets and many donít work. This helpless mode comes about because people give up hope after many failures, since failure brings about more shame. Shame is a very potent emotion and we want avoid it, so we give up trying.

Metabolic syndrome, or the Chemical Causes of Obesity

Itís important to understand the physical or chemical reasons that make it hard to lose weight. Dr. Michel Mazouz, a Los Angeles physician who has been successful in helping many patients lose weight, explains Metabolic Disorder as follows:

Metabolic syndrome is a complication of being overweight that makes it more difficult to lose weight. Insulin, the hormone that stores sugar, takes blood sugar from the blood and delivers it to the cell. Before diabetes develops, insulin doesnít work well. The body compensates by overproducing what isnít working well. The body overproduces insulin, which creates more hunger and craving of sugars and carbohydrates. Sugars and carbohydrates are harder to metabolize and may be stored into fat.

High levels of insulin in the body need to be treated. One fourth to one third of people in United States have metabolic disorder, due to obesity. There are greater cardiovascular risks if you have metabolic disorder. Cardiovascular damage starts five years before diabetes shows up. Dr. Mazouz treats this with Glucophage, a diabetes medication, to regenerate the insulin so the body will stop overproducing it. With more level insulin levels, the body will crave less of the insulin producing sugars that would be stored into fat.

Those who have a metabolic disorder have a harder time losing weight. The main symptom patients can feel with metabolic syndrome is that eating refined carbohydrates leads to more hunger. Itís a vicious circle. You eat carbs or sugars and you create more insulin and an hour later, your blood sugar drops and the brain craves more.

Once you start losing weight, your insulin goes down and you have less craving. The goal is to increase lean muscle, which will reduce body fat.

The goal of a food plan is to feel satiated, that is, being able to forget about eating for 3 or 4 hours at a time. Certainly food choice is important. Letting go of the sugar/ carbs that stimulate the cravings and eating more satisfying protein and vegetables seems to be the most effective way for most patients. But itís important for you to find a food plan you can fall into without it being a strain, or without being hungry.

Change

Itís important to have smaller goals so you donít get overwhelmed. Even a little loss goes a long way.

If you lose only five pounds, you decrease your cardiovascular risk by ten percent. With a ten pound weight loss, you decrease your risk of developing osteoarthritis by fifty percent.

If you lose ten percent of your starting weight (say 20 lbs. if you are at 200 lbs.), you gain a great deal of the health benefits.

Dean Ornish, who motivates heart patients to make radical change, believes you have to appeal to peopleís emotions, to reframe their ideas of themselves. Fear isnít as good a motivator as positive emotions. If I believe I can have joy, Iím more likely to change. He also found that radical, sweeping, comprehensive changes are often easier for people than small, incremental ones. ďPeople need to make big changes to get immediate rewards, whether in health, weight loss or gains in physical ability. Then they see that the changes are worth it. Itís a paradox, that big changes are easier for people to make than small ones. Patients often stop taking a cholesterol-lowering drug, he says, because they donít actually see the changes or feel better.Ē (p.60)

Dr. Mazouz believes that eating to lose weight is different from eating a healthy balanced diet. He believes that if the body has less carbohydrates, it will use the fat stores more quickly. It isnít about calories, in his opinion. In Weight Watchers, you can eat what you want, as long as itís under a certain amount ohf points or calories . Weight loss is slow, which can be discouraging for some. Others like the freedom to eat carbohydrates and can manage the portion control and like the stimulation of the meetings and group support.

Questions for Dr. Rosenberg? Send her e-mail or call her at 310-841-0302