Choosing the best weight loss method

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- You might have given up on your New Year's resolution to lose weight, by now. Or maybe you're planning to start your fitness goal. But there are so many diets and other weight loss methods, how do you choose?

In this Action News special assignment, you'll learn some of the latest ways to drop pounds, and the hidden reason why some people continue to struggle.

Maribel Gutierrez helps customers choose healthy fruits and vegetables at her family's produce stand at the Selma Flea Market, but she never used to sample her own inventory. She says bad eating habits and lack of exercise caused her to reach 300 pounds.

Gutierrez said, "When I look in the mirror, I want to see a different woman."

That motivation along with her family history of diabetes, pushed Gutierrez to make a lifestyle change to lose weight. The 34-year-old, married mother of five from Easton, simply started following footsteps to fitness.

Painted footprints on the grounds, guide customers around the market, but Gutierrez used them as a path to losing pounds, walking the mile and a half route, during her work breaks.

General Manager, Susana Mora says the path and the fresh produce are two ways the market tries to encourage its customers and vendors.

Susana Mora, the General Manager of the Selma Flea Market said, "We're very focused on the health of our community."

Along with walking, Gutierrez started eating the healthy food she sells, and lost 133 pounds. But her best motivators are her children.

"Hope. I want hope and that hope is my kids," explained Gutierrez. "I see them running, I'll do whatever I can to help them."

It took Gutierrez at least two years to lose half her weight. But other methods, that recently hit the multi-billion dollar dieting market, promise quicker results. This fall, the Food And Drug Administration approved the new weight loss drug, Contrave.

The makers claim it blocks food cravings but it can have some serious side effects. Another dieting idea without side effects, is the Malory Band which was featured on Good Morning America. The company founder says it's a centuries-old technique of wearing a fabric band around the waist as a reminder to not over-eat.

Dietitians are also watching other trends such as the Modified Fast which cuts carbohydrates or flexitarianism which includes some meat in a mostly vegetarian diet. But there's another new approach to weight loss and it has more to do with the mind than the body. A Fresno therapist is among a growing group of experts who say, many diet plans fail because many people have an undiagnosed food addiction.

Stacey Thacker said, "It's amazing how many people are looking for help and just haven't known where to find it in the past."

Licensed therapist, Stacey Thacker treats food addiction in her Northeast Fresno office. Her clients undergo an 18 month program called lifestyle transformation.

"This is not about will power, this is about addiction," said Thacker. "So the diets don't work not because people don't have enough will power but because the addiction needs treatment."

Recovered food addict, Jennifer Guidry of Fresno says she finally realized why she yo-yo dieted for years. She was eating to cope with life.

Guidry explained, "If you are seeking food on a regular basis to manage or numb negative emotions, and as a result of that, you are damaging your health, your relationships, your life then you're addicted."

Guidry tackled her food addiction with the program's therapy methods and so far, she's lost 70 pounds.

"I'm doing great," said Guidry. "I'm really embracing my new lifestyle."

A lifestyle change that took Guidry and Gutierrez on different paths toward the same goal; to be happy and healthy.

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