When you've tried many methods of dieting and exercise to lose weight with no results, medical weight loss may be the answer. Some people may consider it an extreme solution, but there are many reasons why certain people are unable to lose weight and keep it off. Genetics, underlying medical conditions, and personal metabolism all play a part in the way we gain and lose weight. Turning to medical weight loss isn't taking the easy route to a slender body. In fact, it's often a recommended treatment to help patients overcome weight-related medical issues.
Medical weight loss isn't an instant solution and it doesn't make a healthy lifestyle easy. However, it can be the jump start you need to begin the lifestyle you deserve. Medical weight loss is a physician-assisted nonsurgical approach to meeting your weight loss goals. Your personalized plan may include medications, supplements, and a nutrition plan based on your weight loss goals. No matter what is included in your weight loss plan, you will need to undergo certain lifestyle changes to lose weight and keep it off.
5 Lifestyle Changes for Medical Weight Loss Patients
Seeking the help of a physician is only the first step in taking charge of your health and working toward your weight loss goals. Ongoing lifestyle changes are the most important part of the process. Changing your entire lifestyle seems like an impossible task, but making the necessary adjustments is possible. Not only will these changes help you lose weight and keep it off, they'll also improve the way you feel and help to eliminate dangerous health conditions. The following lifestyle changes are an important part of a medical weight loss program.
Long-term weight loss isn't achieved with a temporary change to the foods you eat. While it's true that drastic diets are often effective in accomplishing short-term weight loss, they're rarely attributed to keeping the weight off. Navigating food without your nutritionist looking over your shoulder can seem like an insurmountable challenge but it is possible, and probably easier than you think. Try these techniques to develop long-term healthy eating habits.
- Consider prepackaged meals. These meals can help you maintain the recommended number of calories without thinking about it.
- Try mindful eating. Always ask yourself if you're truly hungry before turning to food.
- Stay hydrated. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger.
- Avoid triggers. You don't need to eliminate any food completely, but keep foods that are likely to cause a binge out of your home.
- Keep a food journal. It's easy to consume extra calories and forget them. A food journal promotes mindful eating.
- Always be prepared. Use lists when shopping and avoid outings when you're already hungry. Keep a healthy snack on hand for unexpected delays.
Exercise doesn't have to be a form of punishment. In fact, when patients find the type of aerobic activity that's right for them, it's often an enjoyable part of the day. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. This boils down to about a half hour a day, five days a week for moderate activity.
The exciting thing is, you can get this exercise any way you want to. If you dread the thought of joining a gym consider these activities:
- Brisk walking
- Water aerobics
While it may seem like a chore at first, many people find they feel healthier after getting their heart pumping for a little while. Besides the obvious benefits of weight loss and improved health, exercise makes you feel more energetic and promotes restful sleep.
Often, weight gain is brought on by more than a full menu and a sedentary lifestyle. Depression or feeling isolated can be a major problem for people who are overweight. If you've been a victim of unsuccessful diets, social events that offer unhealthy foods can be an issue. Often, the lifestyle changes that go along with long-term weight loss require a change in the way you approach social activities. Avoiding social interactions can backfire, resulting in emotional eating. However, facing and changing your behavior can help you overcome these issues. Try these techniques to make outings go smoothly.
- Make outings active.
- Bring healthy snacks.
- Take a class to learn something new.
- Invite friends for a healthy meal.
- Join a workout group.
- Compile ideas for outings that don't revolve around food.
All too often, the ongoing struggle against weight loss is met with skepticism and lack of support from those around you. If you don't get the support you need from your friends and family, it's vital to seek a support system somewhere else. A bariatric support group can provide emotional support and reinforcement needed to stick to your goals.
It's common knowledge that people who join exercise or weight loss groups often see better results. A support group works in much the same way. While your loved ones may not understand the challenges you face, members of a support group are often navigating the same battles. A support group can provide supportive listeners, useful advice, and a safe environment to discuss mutual challenges.
Emotional Health Maintenance
Physical health is affected by more than the food you eat and the amount of cardio you plow through each day. Mental health plays a major factor in your physical health as well. We're all familiar with the term "comfort food," but most people rarely bother to investigate their own personal relationship with eating and various emotions. Practicing mindful eating is one way to avoid eating your feelings, but healing those feelings can eliminate the urge to binge.
Nearly 80% of people with serious mental illness are overweight. Since mental health issues often go undiagnosed, it's impossible to calculate the true number of overweight people suffering because of mental conditions like bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety. Obesity is a common trigger for social anxiety and depression, and failure to seek and maintain treatment can cause a vicious cycle of weight gain and depression. Maintaining good mental health can be the key to keeping your physical health intact.
Making lifestyle changes is a way to take small steps toward a healthier lifestyle. Medical weight loss programs are only one part of a long-term weight loss solution. Making positive changes can improve the way you feel, keep excess weight off, and eliminate dangerous health conditions.