Overweight? All Is Not Lost!

Overweight? All Is Not Lost!

Need to shed 15 or 25 pounds? Try this trick: Pick up a 15- or 25-pound turkey in the grocery store (or a bag of soil at the nursery). Then carry it around for a few minutes. Did you find it tough to do? Extra pounds take a toll, don’t they? But weight gain is often such a gradual process that you might not even realize it’s happening.1

Sadly, more and more people are dying from weight-related health problems. This includes high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other conditions. In 2015, 40 percent of 4 million deaths linked to weight were in people who weren’t even considered obese, just overweight.2 And for those who gain more, the risks are even greater. For example, 44 extra pounds in midlife increases your risk of type 2 diabetes by 10 times.1 There’s an emotional toll as well. A recent study found that heavy kids faced three times the risk of depression in adulthood.3

Okay, enough of the scary statistics. I’m here to also say that even small changes can make a big difference. For example, did you know that losing just 7 percent of your body weight can cut your risk of diabetes by 60 percent?4

So what can you do? As I’m sure you’re aware, there’s no shortage of weight-loss tips out there. Here are a few backed by recent research:

  • Weigh yourself regularly, especially during times of life transition, such as pregnancy or marriage. See the number going up? Nip that trend in the bud before it gets even harder to do.1
  • Down water instead of other drinks. Following 16,000 adults, researchers found that drinking a glass of water instead of a beer every day reduced the risk of obesity by 20 percent. Substituting water for sugar-sweetened drinks lowered the risk by 15 percent.5
  • Be wary of artificially sweetened drinks, though. Among 1,000 subjects in seven clinical trials, aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose showed no major weight-loss benefits. In fact, data from 30 observational studies involving 400,000 people showed a link between artificial sweeteners and obesity. These kinds of studies, however, can’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship.6
  • “Keep on walking, keep on walking,” to paraphrase Dory from Finding Nemo. A global study looked at “activity gaps” and found that waistlines have widened in places where walking rates have declined.7 The great thing about this activity is that nearly everyone can do it. And it doesn’t cost much, just the price of a good pair of shoes. On your walks, you can also try a few quick bursts of fast walking or running to burn extra calories.8
  • Get enough sleep. This link might be something you don’t think much about. But studies have shown a lack of sleep may contribute to obesity.

Of course, it goes without saying that you need to focus on healthy food choices, too. Eat more vegetables, fruits, lean meats, fish, and nonfat dairy products. And don’t tempt fate. Keep sugary, starchy foods out of your house, if you can.8

If lifestyle changes aren’t quite enough to be effective, your doctor may prescribe a medication or other measures. As you know, I’d be glad to share my insights. Good luck!

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

Sources:

  1. HealthDay: “More Evidence That Midlife Weight Gain Harms Your Health.” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_167272.html Accessed 8-2-17.
  2. HealthDay: “2 Billion Worldwide Are Obese or Overweight.” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_166514.html Accessed 8-2-17.
  3. HealthDay: “Heavy Kids Face Triple the Odds for Depression in Adulthood.” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_165743.html Accessed 8-2-17.
  4. WebMD: “Weight and Diabetes: Lose Pounds to Lower Your Risk.” Available at: http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/diabetes-weight-loss-finding-the-right-path#1 Accessed 8-2-17.
  5. HealthDay: “Drink Water, Fight Fat?” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_165714.html Accessed 8-2-17.
  6. HealthDay: “Could Artificial Sweeteners Raise Your Odds for Obesity?” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_167249.html Accessed 8-2-17
  7. NHLBI: “Treatment.” Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/treatment Accessed 8-2-17.
  8. WebMD: “Lose Weight Fast: How to Do It Safely.” Available at: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/lose-weight-fast-how-to-do-it-safely#1 Accessed 8-2-17.
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Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

“Why can’t I lose weight?” is a question that many of us have asked ourselves. However, effective weight loss means dealing with several variables.

  • Poor diet: Most of us eat ethnically or habitually, or follow the recommendations of the processed food and fast food industry who encourage us to eat much more than we need to and more poorly than we should. This also extends to the oversized food portions being served in the more popular restaurants.
  • Lack of exercise: The purpose of food is to provide us with the energy that we require for activitiy. If we consume more calories per day than what we expend in activity, we store the excess calories as fat. As we increase exercise, we decrease fat.
  • Lack of accountability: Successful weight loss is best accomplished by being accountable to someone
  • Failure to commit: Successful, healthy weight loss can require a commitment of six months to two years, with a LIFETIME commitment to a new healthy lifestyle to keep it off.
  • Psychological make-up: Food as a reward mechanism is common in American culture.
  • Genetic make-up: Research has found that some individuals possess a genetic profile which makes it difficult for them to lose weight. However, genes only indicate predisposition; they do not mandate outcome.
  • Hormones: There are a number of hormones that can come into play in weight loss, including thyroid hormones, adrenal hormones and dopamine. Hormones can impact metabolic rate,weight gain and food craving.

What ANY animal is designed to eat for a healthy life is known as its diet. A weight loss plan is not a diet, but a special program designed to encourage consumption of calories that are being stored in the body as fat. A weight management diet is used to retrain and recondition the body so that weight does not return. Popular weight management diets are the Mediterranean Diet, the Elimination Diet, the Gluten Free Diet and the Paleolithic Diet. Generally, a weight loss plan is used for 30 days and then followed by 30 days of a weight management diet, with the sequence repeated until the desired weight is lost. For successful weight loss, an individual cannot return to the diet that created the weight gain to begin with.

In designing your personal weight loss plan:

  • Correct all variables to insure that you have the ability to undertake a serious weight loss plan.
  • Design a nutritionally sound meal replacement weight loss plan.
  • Limit the weight loss plan to no longer than 4 weeks. Then, move on to the weight management diet for 3-4 weeks. The weight management diet will support the weight loss that occurs during the weight loss plan. Repeat this cycle until desired weight is lost.
  • To insure that your weight loss plan and your weight management diet is nutritionally sound, seek out the advice of a healthcare professional.

 

Written by: Wellness Works – Monthly Nutritional Practice www.wellnessworks.com

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