If you’ve struggled with obesity for any length of time, you know first-hand just how difficult it can be to lose weight — and how much harder it can be to keep it off. Traditional recommendations to eat less and move more simply don’t work for most people who are seriously overweight or obese.
A study conducted by researchers from the UK found that obese men have a one in 210 chance of maintaining a healthy weight, and that women have a one in 124 chance of doing the same. These chances become even slimmer when a person is severely obese. But why is it that diet and exercise often don’t work?
Your body has what’s known as a “natural set point,” a level of body fat your body will try to maintain. While diet and exercise may work temporarily, they are often not enough to maintain long-term weight loss. Over time, the body will return to its set point. Diet and exercise fight against the set point, while bariatric surgery may actually recalibrate your natural set point, making it more likely that you’ll both lose weight and keep it off.
In addition to considering weight loss surgery, use these tips to help maintain weight loss and reclaim your health.
The new habits you create for yourself if you’re trying to lose weight or when you’ve just had bariatric surgery aren’t just temporary changes in your behavior. Consider these habits your new way of life. If you return to old habits once you reach your weight loss goal, you’ll only find you start gaining weight again.
Creating new habits is best done by making small changes rather than giant leaps. For example, if you regularly drink soda, change it up and begin drinking diet soda. Once you’ve become accustomed to drinking diet, begin replacing some of the soda you drink with water until you are able to kick your soda habit altogether.
When we talk about “set point,” we’re talking about the amount of body fat your body will maintain within a particular environment. Change your environment and you can alter your set point and achieve long-term weight loss. “Environment” simply refers to the factors around you that contribute to your weight. For example, the foods you see, smell and have access to, or how easily you are able to access exercise and fitness programs.
Make it your goal to only purchase whole, healthy foods (do this by avoiding the inner aisles of the store, where processed foods are most often located). If it’s too difficult for you to walk past those foods you normally toss in your shopping cart, begin shopping at a different grocery store where you don’t know your way around. Purchase a gym membership or buy exercise equipment for your home. Evaluate your relationships and eliminate those that may cause you stress or anxiety, causing you to overeat.
Yes, weight loss is about eating fewer calories, but if you don’t eat nutrient-dense foods, you could find yourself lacking essential vitamins and nutrients your body needs to thrive. At McCarty Weight Loss Center, we offer all our patients access to a nutritionist who can help you evaluate your current eating habits and develop a nutritious eating plan that works for your lifestyle and that includes foods you enjoy.
You may be able to do it alone, but having a strong support system around you can make losing weight and keeping it off much easier to achieve. Surround yourself with people who support and encourage your new habits and lifestyle changes. This may mean changing your relationships to spend less time with people who encourage you to live a less healthy lifestyle. Take advantage of support groups and psychological support we offer at McCarty Weight Loss Center to help you renew your relationship with food and live a healthy lifestyle that promotes long-term weight loss.
Are you ready to lose weight and keep it off for good? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.