Weight Loss Isn't One Size Fits All! Learn Custom Solutions

It’s hard to escape the hype: Quick, easy weight loss can be yours for a low, low price. Just try the latest pill, powder or potion.

Pursuing a healthy lifestyle that promotes good weight management has to be tailor-made for each individual. Do you sit at a desk all day? Take care of children or parents? Eat out a lot for work?

But as you work through your individual challenges, one of several common issues may be holding you back from your weight-loss goals. Do you need more information or better motivation, or is it time for medical intervention? Read below to learn solutions for weight loss.

“There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to weight loss,” says Melina B. Jampolis, M.D., author of The No Time to Lose Diet: The Busy Person’s Guide to Permanent Weight Loss (Nelson Books, 2007) and board-certified physician nutrition specialist.

Ms. (or Mr.) Independent

Do you like to chart your own course once you have the information you need?
First, it’s important to base your goals on solid data about sane, sustainable weight loss. The U.S. Surgeon General recommends gradual weight loss, about one half to two pounds a week. If you lose more, you are probably losing a significant amount of muscle, water and even bone, Jampolis explains.

Quick-fix solutions may look appealing, but the best tools will equip you to make healthy choices and maintain your weight for life. The National Weight Control Registry tracks people who have succeeded at long-term weight loss. Almost all the participants report changing their eating habits (98 percent) and increasing their physical activity (94 percent).
To manage diet and exercise on your own, make your plan sensible and personal. Eat smaller portions of a variety of foods. Focus on foods naturally high in fiber fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains—while you go easy on foods high in fat. Try to fit in exercise at least three times a week.

Work with your doctor, dietitian or other qualified health professional to choose your target weight and accommodate any health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or chronic pain, that may affect your weight-loss plan. Brainstorm solutions to your particular challenges: choosing healthy restaurant food, scheduling regular physical activity or managing nighttime munchies, for example.

A Little Help From Your Friends
Do you stay motivated more effectively when you team up with a friend or mentor? A structured weight-loss program may help you stick to your goals.

“It’s ideal for people who may have tried to lose weight on their own and found they need the extra support, encouragement and accountability of another person,” says Lisa Talamini, R.D., vice president of research and program innovation for Jenny Craig Inc.
You might seek reinforcement and structure from an organization such as Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, from a support group at your local medical center, or a fitness program at a park district or other community center. You might create it for yourself by working together with a couple of friends or meeting regularly with a dietitian or other weight-loss expert.

Another way to leverage motivation to manage your weight is to look at why you eat, not just what you eat. “Dieting usually leads to feelings of deprivation, cravings and guilt,” says Michelle May, M.D., author of Am I Hungry? What to Do When Diets Don’t Work (Nourish Publishing, 2004). These feelings can trigger overeating: “an eat—repent—repeat cycle,” May says.

May encourages people to get in touch with their own hunger signals and make lifestyle choices based on what nourishes them and nurtures their well-being. “It’s about feeling good, not about being good,” May says.

Healthy food and activity choices may be easier to sustain if you’re focusing on your quality of life more than on the number on the scale. 

Our certified dietitians at the Diabetes & Nutrition Education Center can work with you to develop a personalized plan for you and your family to meet your needs. At Gwinnett Sports Rehab, exercise physiologists work with patients to develop customized exercise plans to meet your specific fitness level and goals.

Time for a Lifeline?

Do you feel like you’ve tried everything to lose weight and you’re giving up hope? You’re not alone.

About 30 percent of adult Americans are considered obese (body mass index, or BMI, over 30). More than 64 percent are over-weight (BMI of 25 or more), according to the Obesity Society. The more extra pounds you carry, the more extra help you may need from healthcare professionals who specialize in weight management.

Medically managed weight-loss programs bring together doctors, nurses, dietitians and psychologists to help you tackle the underlying causes of your weight problem with the goal of safe, steady weight loss.

“Losing even 5 percent to 10 percent of your body weight can have a very large impact on your overall health,” Jampolis says.

When medical management doesn’t solve the problem, surgery may be an option. “For some people, if they don’t have weight-loss surgery, their weight will kill them—prematurely and sometimes soon,” says Merle Cantor Goldberg, LCSW, coauthor of Weight Loss Surgery: Is It Right for You?. Surgery can restrict the amount of food people can eat or absorb, enabling them to lose large amounts of weight when they’ve been unsuccessful in the past.

GMC's Center for Surgical Weight Management understands dieting and exercise alone aren't the answer for every person. As a leader, our comprehensive bariatric program can assist patients in achieving significant weight loss, long-term weight maintenance and improvement in obesity-related medical conditions.

Whether it’s 20 pounds or 200 standing between you and a healthier life, take a step today to manage your weight, feel better and live longer.

Set your goals
Part of successful weight loss is establishing positive and realistic goals at the beginning. For tips on setting effective weight-loss goals, visit consumer.gov/weightloss/setgoals.htm.


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