"Biology and Weight loss"Obesity has become such an epidemic in the United States, the FDA is considering approving a new prescription weight-loss drug – despite safety concerns about it.

It seems the health effects of being overweight override officials’ concerns about Qnexa, a drug the FDA rejected two years ago.

That shocks weight-loss expert Don Ochs, who says neither diets nor drugs are effective, long-lasting solutions.

“When you understand the biology behind burning off fat versus packing it on, the whole notion of starving yourself on a low-calorie diet is absurd,” says Ochs, developer of the physician-recommended Mobanu Integrated Weight Loss Solution (www.mobanu.com). “And certainly taking a drug that can damage your heart is out of the question.”

Here’s what people should know about biology and weight loss, Ochs says.

• Your body was designed to temporarily store fat because food was not consistently available to our ancestors. They relied on that stored fat to get them through famines, winters and dry seasons. That worked very well until we made huge advances in agriculture and food supplies became abundant and consistently available.

• When food is plentiful, your body will quickly burn fat deposits – those bulges you want to get rid of – for energy. When food is scarce, it burns fat more slowly, to help ensure your survival. That’s why simply eating less is not the best way to lose weight. A low-calorie diet actually tells your body to store fat because food is in short supply.

• You can control whether or not your body stores fat for survival or dumps it for an upcoming time of plenty by sending it the right signals. The types of food you eat, and how much you eat of them, send biologically ingrained messages to your body about whether to store fat or burn it – just like flipping a switch.

• Your body is very efficient at converting certain types of food to fat. These were the foods with natural carbohydrates that were available to our ancestors before a dry season or another winter, such as apples, which ripen in the fall. If you eat these foods, your body interprets it as a signal that lean times are coming so guess what? It starts stocking up on the stored fat.

To address his own weight problem, Ochs spent years studying the biology of fat burning versus fat storing based on research conducted at The Mayo Clinic and the National Institutes of Health. From that perspective he figured out how to recognize when the foods he ate were signaling his body to produce a lot of insulin, which results in storing fat instead of burning it off.

“When you feel very sleepy after a meal, or when you’re full and yet you still crave food, those are signals that you’ve flipped the switch and turned on your insulin production,” he says. “How many carbohydrates flip that switch is different for every person based on genetics.

Losing weight by working with biology and your own individual, genetically encoded insulin triggers is natural and a prescription for long-term success. It doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want and never exercise, but it does mean you’ll feel full and satisfied and have lots of energy. And keep the weight off.

Donald Ochs is a Colorado entrepreneur, the president and CEO of Ochs Development Co. and M4 Group, an inventor and sports enthusiast. He developed the Mobanu weight loss system based on research conducted at The Mayo Clinic and the National Institutes of Health. The program is endorsed by physicians, nutritionists and exercise experts.