Successful weight management is about choice
As the New Year rolls in, many of us resolve to lead healthier lives this year than we did last year. Sometimes this is spurred on by the excesses we've indulged in, starting on Thanksgiving, and ending with a massive binge welcoming a new beginning. Or it could be that we are tired of constantly struggling with the weight we've carried over many years, and have decided that this is the year to take action.
The important thing is to choose to make a change in your life — and then finding something that works.
I've mentioned before, the reason diets fail is that they are viewed as temporary solutions. If you start a weight loss protocol with the intention of making the changes only until you reach your goal and then go back to how you were living previously, the weight you have lost will creep back and leave you feeling like you have failed. The negative emotions and damaging inner monologue that comes from self-shaming can lead to further weight gains as you seek comfort in the very foods you were avoiding.
The good news is — successful weight loss and weight management are achievable! This choice needs to be for a new lifestyle and not just a short-term plan for beach season. It is within your reach to meet your weight loss goal and to sustainably keep the weight off.
Finding the right solution can be a challenge. We are in an era where there are more diet plans being touted as the 'best' way. Whether it's Paleo, Carnivore, Vegan, Pegan, No Carb, Mediterranean, etc., they all overlook one important factor. They are mass-produced and marketed as a 'one size fits all' solution, and aren't designed specifically for you. Any of these may work well for your neighbor or your Sister-in-Law's best friend's cousin. And that's great!
But the weight loss industry is counting on you failing with the most recent diet fad, so you will be back to try the next one.
Why is it so challenging to lose weight?
One thing you may notice about traditional diets and the 'flavor of the day' diets is they focus mainly on food intake and calorie output, based on the theory that if you expend more energy than you take in, you will lose weight. This approach works on paper because it's just basic math: 3000 calories equal one pound - and reducing your daily calories and moving around more should create an environment where your body takes the rest of the required calories for daily function from the stored fat, which should result in weight loss.
What they don't take into account, however, are the underlying conditions that may be contributing to your weight - and preventing long-term weight loss success. You could work out every day for an hour, and reduce calories - and you may get slower weight loss results than someone else doing the exact same routine. That other person may have the same amount to lose, but they may not have hormonal imbalances or have the same stress levels that you do.
Those hormonal factors play an important role in regulating weight gain, lean muscle mass, metabolism, and overall health. If you have an adrenal system that is severely fatigued because of increased cortisol levels; or if you have an imbalance in your estrogen or testosterone levels, your weight loss journey is going to be a very difficult uphill battle.
That's where approaching weight loss from a functional medicine perspective, and incorporating a medical weight loss program like the one I've created will make a difference. Looking at the big picture of the body as a whole, and how well — or poorly — things are working on the inside, provides a clear roadmap on how to proceed.
Does anything work for long-term weight loss?
The weight management solutions that work the best are not the ones being pushed by Instagram influencers. The programs that work are the ones that have been tailored to your needs and offer personalized coaching and support. They are also based on lifestyle changes that include changing the way we think about food, how we select foods, and how we eat them.
In my previous practice, my desire to help make people healthy led me to create a physician-guided weight loss program. The plan was successful in helping hundreds of people to lose the unwanted weight and to begin living more healthy lives. There were also failures with that plan. Very Low Calorie Diets (VLCD) usually start with a phase of elimination in an effort to get the body into a state of ketosis - where the main source of energy burned is the fat that has been stored, as opposed to the calories being taken in during the day.
With the food restrictions in the ketosis phase, you risk food fatigue. This is caused by the limited food choices that are available. Essentially, you're being told you can have foods A, B, and C. And that is where people start to slip - they have a cheat meal or a cheat day. And then the guilt rolls in, snowballing into losing the progress that was made and ultimately ending with the patient quitting the diet.
Is there a way to prevent food fatigue?
When I went out into private practice in 2017, I knew I wanted to create a weight management plan that was better than the one I had developed before. The biggest challenge in creating my new plan was to find a supplier of meal replacements, meal supplements, snacks, and deserts that met the nutritional needs — and actually tasted good! I wanted to ensure that having a bigger variety of foods available would help to prevent the food fatigue possibility.
Deciding on New Direction as my supplier was not difficult. Currently, they offer over 170 different items you can choose from — considerably more variety than my previous plan — and each of those provides more complete nutrition than their counterparts on other diets. And having a wider range of products to choose from definitely makes the initial two phases of my weight loss program more enjoyable for patients.
Variety isn't just important in the elimination phase, but also in the transition phase. This is where you start to slowly incorporate other foods and move from a VLCD to a Low Calorie Diet (LCD). Along the process, we provide guidance on making better food choices that will help you move into your new lifestyle and to maintain the weight loss progress you've made. This is all part of getting you to see food differently so when you are in the final phase of the plan, you can be confident in your success and continue to make the right choices.
So, if you are finding that your current weight management program is less than ideal, contact our office at 920-737-1625 and request to schedule your consultation. During the month of January, we are offering 50% off consultations for our weight management program - which makes right now the perfect time to take control of your life and start your journey to revealing your new self!