Q: There are all kinds of weight-loss programs out there. What are your thoughts about that?
ML: You cannot outrun your fork. When you exercise, you burn a few calories, but if you're not careful, you're going to eat more than what you burn. And as you get older, your body resists weight loss through exercise. All my life, I've had struggles with my weight. I've tried so many different methods - some pretty extreme.
Q: What was the spark that inspired you to become a doctor?
ML: I was quite heavy and unhealthy as a kid. I eventually got pneumonia, nearly died, and lost a lot of weight. That sparked in me an interest in health. I started reading books that I got from health food stores and turned my life around. It was the health food store that set me on the right path. That inspired me to become a medical doctor.
Q: And what have you learned from those who need help the most?
ML: It's been a quest of mine to look at the science behind weight problems - not to stereotype people and say. "Oh, they're lazy," or, "they're silly or foolish," or whatever. I know that it's much more complicated than that. People can grow up in environments that are very harsh. Maybe they have medical issues that have led to weight problems, or they're on drugs that lead to weight gain. When you really listen to someone's story with compassion, you understand that it isn't a simple matter. You can't just pick the magic diet and you're fixed. That's why I love what we do at the clinic.
Q: So what do you recommend?
ML: The simplest and healthiest way to lose weight is to follow a partial meal replacement diet. There are hundreds of research projects looking at this approach. Very simple, very healthy. I use meal replacements myself, and I've discovered that's the only way to lose weight realistically for me now. I'll never try any other way. I keep my weight off by making careful choices every day, practising portion control, and not snacking into the evening - all thesethings are important for me. But I lose weight by going on meal replacements. It's actually super easy.
Q: How does the weight loss happen?
ML: About a week into using meal replacements consistently, your hunger really minimizes. You feel quite satisfied, and that's partly because when you consumea meal replacement, it's food that's processed to get rid of all the extra calories. All of it is nutrition. So it has all the protein you need, all the vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, as well as fibre. These meal replacements give pure nutrition in a meal that only has 225-250 calories.