The new year is here, and for many people, now is a time of a renewed attitude towards weight loss. For years, there have been countless pages of advice written about weight loss and dieting. There are more experts than one could believe, and everyone is willing to dish out advice. As our knowledge has grown more recently, weight gain and loss just seems to have become more complex. The advice used to be simple, calories in vs. calories out, and you could determine weight changes. If life were only so simple.
Weight Loss In Today’s Society
A recent article in the newspaper thankfully sheds more light on weight loss. The best advice may be simple – go see a doctor of medicine that specializes in weight loss. The reason for such advice is there are so many issues that can affect a person’s weight and a comprehensive analysis is often necessary. The more we try to help people with weight loss, the more factors we find that affect weight. No two people are alike. Some people will gain weight on low calorie diets, and we all know people who can eat just about anything and not gain weight. We do know that there are many factors and genes in the body that contribute to our body shape and metabolism.
Obesity can be caused by many things, and what we eat is just part of the story. Medications from various heart drugs, to antidepressants and even some pain drugs can contribute to weight issues. Medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, heart and lung disease, as well as abdominal conditions and depression all may affect our weight. Since many medical conditions directly affect our weight as well as the drugs we take, having a medical expert on obesity help design a program to control medical problems associated with obesity is often a first step.
Weight Loss Steps
The next most important step is probably taking a close look at oneself, and trying to understand personal factors that may be contributing to weight. These factors include the obvious, like our diet, especially what we eat, when we eat and how much we eat. Activity level is also a crucial factor. An inactive body does burn some calories, but being more active does increase the amount of energy used. Soft factors also contribute to weight, such as stress, anxiety, and how much we sleep.
Once we identify factors contributing to our weight, we need to make changes that are sustainable. Many diets fall into the category that are unsustainable, since they rely on one eating only packaged food from a special company. Changes do not need to all happen at once, as slow implementation fives the body time to make adjustments. Simple things like getting a good night of sleep, eating regular meals and taking a few minutes to exercise can make a big difference. Also, find a way to be accountable to either oneself or to another person. Being accountable tends to make a person more responsible.
Weight loss is extremely complex. There are many factors that contribute to a person’s weight. It takes a degree of dedication and the ability to understand what is happening in your body to facilitate weight loss. For the lucky, weight control is just a small amount of effort, while for others it often becomes a life long challenge. Seeking good medical advice is beneficial for any person looking to drop a few pounds.
Thomas Cohn, MD
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