Maybe you’ve seen reality television shows where people compete to lose significant amounts of weight—100 pounds or more—and you think, “Why can’t I do that?” It’s important to know that the resources to succeed in major weight loss on a competition television show are very different than those the average person can access, so the results you see on TV are not typical. Additionally, many health experts have voiced concerns over the long-term health consequences for contestants in shows like “The Biggest Loser”.
Still, major weight loss is possible. Don’t turn to reality TV for answers, however. First, it’s important to figure out why your past attempts at weight loss have failed.
It turns out, if you are more than 100 pounds over your ideal body weight or have a BMI greater than 35 and at least one serious obesity-related health condition, you may actually be resistant to being able to achieve long-term weight loss using diet and exercise alone.
The Difficulty of Diets
Keto. Low-fat. Blood Type Diet. Cutting Calories. Vegan. Intermittent fasting. Mediterranean Diet. Paleo—the different kinds of diets out there sometimes seem endless. So why are none of them working?
One of the most difficult things to do can be to adjust your diet in a way that can achieve and sustain weight loss. There are a lot of psychological reasons that diets fail, mostly because changing habits is extremely hard, and many people try to make changes to their diet that aren’t realistically sustainable. But, if you’re obese, there may also be biological factors working against you.
When you diet, the energy you expend, both at rest and while you’re being active is reduced—so even if you’re consuming fewer calories, in the hopes of losing weight, your body actually slows down the way it burns the calories, making weight loss more difficult. Simultaneously, dieting disrupts your appetite regulation, and may increase your hunger and desire to eat.
According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), because of these biological changes, maintenance of weight loss through dieting is harder than maintaining weight, if you’ve never dieted to achieve your weight. A person who weighs 180 pounds who has never dieted will burn calories faster than a person who achieved a weight of 180 pounds through strenuous dieting.
An Exercise in Futility?
Like changes to diet, using exercise for weight loss only works so long as it is realistically sustainable. Obesitymedicine.org breaks down some of the common reasons that people who are overweight or obese have difiiculty in sticking with a weight-loss exercise regimen. The top reasons include:
- Exercise is too unpleasant or difficult. If you can’t enjoy exercise, it won’t be something that you can incorporate into your daily life for the rest of your life, at a level that would promote significant weight loss and help you maintain it.
- Exercise leads to overeating. If you begin expending more energy through exercise, you may find yourself more hungry—the more calories that your body burns, the harder it may be to feel satiated by the same amounts of food or calories.
- You may experience a workout injury. People who are obese are more likely to experience injuries during exercise, which can be a discouraging setback, derailing your weight loss goals.
Additionally, some research has shown that exercise alone is nearly useless in helping obese people achieve significant weight loss. A review of other studies demonstrated that attempting to use exercise alone to lose weight can actually undermine weight loss. This can be because many times, exercise makes people hungrier and they consume more calories, incorrectly estimating how many calories have been expended through exercise.
Weight-loss Supplements and Pills
Weight loss supplements, pills, shakes, and bars are a billion dollar industry. More than 15% of Americans have tried weight loss supplements at some point in their lives. Yet, for the most part, little evidence exists for the effectiveness of many popular weight-loss supplements, and some can even be dangerous. Always discuss medications you’re taking with your doctor, even if you are taking over-the-counter supplements.
Bariatric Surgery: An Effective Tool for Sustainable Weight Loss
Multiple studies have confirmed that bariatric surgery can be a highly effective tool to promote weight loss, for those who qualify. So how can bariatric surgery help you succeed in significant weight loss and maintenance, where other methods have failed? The answer lies in how bariatric surgery impacts your body to promote weight loss, as well as in the fact that surgery is used as a tool within a larger, more comprehensive weight loss program to support major weight loss.
How Does Bariatric Surgery Cause Weight Loss?
There are several types of bariatric surgery you might consider. Different procedures each have different approaches but all work by changing the anatomy of the stomach and digestive system and by promoting changes in the body affecting fat metabolism and energy balance. By changing gastrointestinal anatomy, some procedures can impact the production of hormones in the intestines, which help to reduce appetite—in fact having the opposite effect on hunger that losing weight through dieting does.
Support for Life-changing Weight Loss
My New Beginning’s comprehensive program also helps people combat the difficulties of making major lifestyle changes that are needed to achieve significant weight loss. Bariatric surgery can be a very useful tool to break the vicious weight gain cycle and help you achieve weight loss for good, but actively making lifestyle changes is a big part of weight loss success.
Prior to surgery, each patient undergoes comprehensive pre-surgical education, a psychological evaluation, a dietary consultation, and attends support group meetings. We help you make small, sustainable changes to your life before surgery even occurs, and we give you the strategies and support to make these changes into lifelong habits.
If you’re ready to explore how you can make failed weight loss attempts a thing of the past, call (214) 324-6127 today and let us help you!