Losing weight and keeping it off are the seemingly elusive goals that keep the $71 billion U.S. weight loss industry profitable and growing. The rub is that despite the plethora of diet and fitness information, Americans don’t seem to be getting any thinner or healthier. In fact, the obesity rate for American adults is now more than 40%.
So what’s going on? What’s really the key to losing weight? In this blog, the providers at Generations Family Practice in Cary and Raleigh, North Carolina, take a look at why weight loss can be so difficult, and they explain how you can lose weight and keep it off in a healthy way.
Why weight loss can be challenging
While part of losing weight is about the calories you take in and the calories you burn, it’s not a simple math calculation. Each person’s body operates differently and metabolizes energy differently. That’s why so many cookie-cutter weight loss programs fail. They leave the individual out of the equation.
If you’re among the estimated 45 million Americans who go on a diet each year, you’re likely all too familiar with this scenario. Unique lifestyle conditions and physical, mental, and biological factors come into play with each person. Because of this, a plan that might work for one person may not work for another.
The healthy way to lose weight
If you’ve tried to lose weight and keep it off only to come up short, doing the following things may be able to help you reach your goals.
Recognize your challenges
When embarking on a weight loss program, you need to know what medical conditions you have that could derail your weight loss efforts. For instance, if you have high blood sugar levels due to diabetes, your weight loss program needs to take this into consideration. The newest diet craze likely won’t do this.
Think long term
While an upcoming event may have you wanting to lose weight in a hurry, jumping into a weight loss program with short-term goals may ultimately put you on the yo-yo dieting track. You might lose the weight but gain it all back and then some after the special event.
Instead, adopt healthy lifestyle changes for the long term. Losing weight and getting healthy isn’t about undergoing a program for a specified amount of time. It's about a commitment to your health for the long haul. Instead of eating foods you don’t like or doing exercise you hate, find nutritious meals you can enjoy and exercises you can live with.
Aim for steady weight loss
As Americans, we often want immediate gratification. But, when it comes to weight loss, you need to look at sustainability. If you try to do too much, too fast, you may crash out and never reach your goals. Instead, aim for modest goals. Losing 1 to 2 pounds per week is a great benchmark, and it’s one that many people can maintain.
Furthermore, even if you need to lose a lot of weight, know that even losing a modest amount of weight — such as 5-10% of your total body weight — can pay big dividends for your health. Even losing this much can help lower high blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Get medical support
No matter how you approach losing weight, the process may seem daunting. The good news is you don’t have to go it alone.
Here at Generations Family Practice, we understand how difficult it can be to rewire your approach to eating and exercising. That’s why we offer a medical weight loss program that provides a patient-focused, physician-directed strategy.
It all starts with a weight loss consultation, where we check your weight and body mass index and learn about your eating habits and activity level. We also go over your medical history to learn about any conditions that may impact your ability to lose weight. Then we design a program that takes all of these factors into consideration.
We partner with you to help you reach your goals by providing support and engagement to keep you accountable and moving in the right direction. We also serve as physician, advisor, and your biggest cheerleader.
If you’re ready to begin your journey to a healthier you and want to learn if medical weight loss is right for you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Generations Family Practice today.