One Life was born out of a 35-year struggle with my own weight. In second grade I started the first of what would be literally hundreds of weight loss attempts over the next three decades. Every diet I tried worked … at least for a little while, but ultimately they all failed in the long run. Not a single diet I tried provided me with a long-term solution. And not until I started down the path that would end up with the creation of the One Life Diet did I understand why. 

For the last 35 years, despite achieving great successes in other aspects of my life, I was somehow incapable of losing weight, something that seemed like it should have been one of my easier challenges. If I could overcome my dyslexia and ADD to obtain my Medical Degree and build a successful medical practice, why was cutting back on calories somehow beyond my ability?

It seemed so simple: Eat Less and Exercise More. Right? 

Why couldn’t I follow such easy advice and just eat fewer calories and exercise a little more??? I could push myself to work 120 hours a week during residency but I couldn’t successfully cut back 500 calories a day!

My weight would continually yo-yo between 225–250 pounds, at one point I actually hit 269 pounds during a particularly stressful point in my life during my undergraduate years (thanks BYU). And while I would occasionally hit 220 it would only last for a day or two, at most, before I would start to climb back up again. I honestly spent less than a week or two under 225 since I turned twenty.

Fast forward to around 2009 when I was practicing Family Medicine in San Diego. In one week I diagnosed six of my patients with new-onset diabetes. I had already begun noticing an increasing trend in the number of new diabetics, but six new cases in one week really shook me. When I first started practicing medicine I would maybe diagnose one new diabetic every month or so, by the time I finally left my medical practice I was diagnosing a new case every week. And all of the new cases, every single one of them, were directly related to the patient being overweight. And as my patients’ weight had climbed over the years, they also had begun to develop more and more diabetes (not to mention high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, sleep apnea, back pain, gout, depression, etc.). 

But with modern medicine being what it is these days, I had little to offer in regards to helping my patients with their weight. I would tell them they needed to lose weight and I would give some basic advice, but even if I had the answers (and at that point, weighing around 245 pounds myself, I certainly didn’t) I simply didn’t have enough time to provide any real education. With primary care doctors being required to see a patient every fifteen minutes and then being overburdened with charting, insurance forms, billing, etc. I, like every other primary care doctor, was averaging less than seven minutes of face-to-face time with each patient. And in those seven minutes I had to cover their diabetes, blood pressure, back pain, cholesterol, as well as renew their meds, and discuss any new issues they might have. In the unlikely event we had any extra time, I could bring up the topic of weight loss, but since I didn’t have any serious answers to give them and since insurance companies don’t reimburse physicians for counseling about weight loss, very little of value was ever accomplished. 

Besides simply warning my patients to avoid diets based on fake foods, HCG, juice cleanses, and other fads and gimmicks and then giving them the same old generic advice about “eating less and exercising more,” I had very little else to offer. So I’d write out a stack of prescriptions for their diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, and their depression and then wish them good luck with their weight loss. Knowing full well very few (if any) of them would ever succeed at losing weight.

At the end of the day I started to question my role as a physician. I began to see what I was doing as being complicit with big pharma and the food companies. By continuing to just throw more and more medications at my patient’s growing list of weight-related medical-problems, I was essentially enabling them (and myself) to continue to eat themselves into poor health. 

That’s when I decided I had to make a change.

After a lot of soul-searching I decided to leave my traditional medical practice and focus on weight loss full time. I knew that if I could help people to successfully lose weight, I would be able to do more to improve their health than I could by writing prescriptions.

That’s what most of my patients wanted anyway, they just didn’t know how to do it.

The problem was neither did I.

So I accepted the position as the Medical Director for a new, up-and-coming weight loss company that seemed to show promise. However, I soon discovered that the business of weight loss is not as honorable as one would hope. A great deal of the profits in weight loss are made by creating good short-term weight loss while providing poor long-term success – creating a business model that is built on return business based on their customers’ inevitable failure. 

To be fair, I honestly don’t know if this is done purposefully for financial reasons or if they simply don’t have a solution that works and so the revolving-door business-model is just a result of their flawed plan that happens to work out in their financial favor? The fact that the company I worked for would routinely reach out a few months after a client had reached their goal to offer them a special pricing deal on a “Re-Start Package” certainly made me question their intentions.

But what’s the point in losing weight if you just end up gaining it back again?

What I did know was that I couldn’t, in good conscious, make money off of selling people a product I knew would set them up for failure – knowingly breaking their dreams, hopes, and self-respect just to make money. 

Selling false-dreams is not only unfair, it’s cruel and destructive.

But I also wasn’t willing to give up. 

So I immersed myself fully and passionately into the study of weight loss. And after 1000’s of hours of research, self-experimentation, and reading everything I could find on the subject, I began to put together what would ultimately become the One Life Diet.

There were a lot of stumbles and more than a few dead ends, but with a fair amount of luck and a lot of help from people more scientifically inclined than me, I was able to create a diet that not only produced successful weight loss but more importantly created it in a way that allowed people to keep their weight off forever. 

I discovered the reason every diet I tried failed, wasn’t because I was weak or didn’t have enough willpower, it was because the “solution” I was being sold didn’t actually work. Every one of them was based on a misunderstanding of the science of human metabolism.

In hindsight it seems so obvious, and yet sadly, the same pattern still continues for millions of people every day …


jonathan haynes md