Weight Management: How to Gain the Right Attitude to Lose Weight
There are so many emotional factors to weight gain that impede our ability to address it as a health issue. Obesity feels personal because of the societal pressures to be fit, and thin and attractive. The incorrect assumption for anyone to make about an issue with weight management is that it is a choice. No one really prefers to feel tired, or dissatisfied with their appearance. There are a number of health and emotional triggers which cause it, and it is a health issue.
The importance of addressing the societal norms about obesity is important, because it has become a crises and epidemic in many countries around the world. Whether due to affluence and the prevalence of unhealthy fast food, a more hectic lifestyle (sleeping less) and even stress, the concern far surpasses any aesthetic. Obesity is linked to significant physical impairments, chronic health risks and even emotional symptoms of depression.
If losing weight was easy, most weight loss guides and programs would simply have two chapters; 1) Eat Less and 2) Exercise More. Unfortunately it is a little more complicated than that both for the patient, and for physicians.
The Health and Lifestyle Costs of Obesity
The diagram does an excellent job of pointing out the health risks to your vital organs when a healthy weight is not sustained. The impact on the functioning of the vital organs under the stress of obesity cause a number of conditions from difficulty with breathing (obstructive sleep apne and hypoventilation syndrome) to increased risk of stroke, diabetes and certain types of cancers. Uncomfortable conditions such as gout, osteoarthritis and problems with painful menses and fertility are all linked to obesity.
One of the most unfortunate symptoms of obesity is the impact of fat on our mood. Why some speculate that it is an emotional response only, researchers have demonstrated that excessive fat cells release hormones that significantly alter our mood. Adiposity in patients has been linked as a cause of depression, and conversely depression has been studied as a cause of obesity.
“… in a meta-analysis of over 50 studies, Howren et al2 found that the majority of studies show that depressed patients have elevations in the proinflammatory cytokines, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-1β as well as the acute phase protein, C-reactive protein (CRP). A recent meta-analysis has revealed that the proinflammatory cytokine, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, is also increased in patients with major depression.”
Getting Started: Five Tips to Win at Losing
- Consult your Physician. Every journey to a more balanced weight begins with your Family doctor who will run tests and help you establish goals and benchmarks for your better health and wellness. Ensure that you do not have any prescription medications or other health issues that may complicate a focused weight loss plan. Your doctor is an excellent resource and will be eager to help you achieve your goal.
- Diet is Everything. The saying is “weight loss is 80% about what you put on your fork”. This is true. Start by keeping a truthful diary and log of the foods you eat, and when for at least two weeks. If you feel that it was a poor nutritional choice, write a note about the circumstance and why you chose to have it. After two weeks, you will be able to see patterns which may include “feeling tired” or “running late” or other causes of fueling up on the wrong kinds of foods. Also remember to write down the time you are eating.
- Reprogram Your Intake. After opening a bag of chips to watch television, do you find that you are eating more than you should? The term “portion distortion” applies and is something you should be aware of. Never eat directly out of a bag, but choose to put your serving into a bowl or on a plate instead. Be aware of how much you are eating, and aim to eat less but more frequently throughout the day to avoid fatigue and uncontrolled hunger. Binge eating happens when we go a little too long between meals and snacks. Aim for three meals per day and three snacks, spread out to keep your body and mind fueled.
- Tell Your Family and Friends. Your support network matters! Tell your family, friends and even colleagues at work about your weight loss goal. Not only can they provide some great advice to help you, but they can make suggestions that support your goals. For instance, if you go out for lunch at the office, your colleagues may suggest a healthier restaurant if they know you are trying to lose weight. Let them help you kindly, by reminding you to stay on track and making healthy choices easier at home and during the work day.
- Be Kind to Yourself. Weight loss should never feel punitive. You are not punishing yourself, you are rewarding yourself by feeling better with more energy and by taking steps to help you avoid any negative health outcomes. This is a gift you are giving yourself to avoid chronic health conditions, discomfort and other risks. Not to mention that you will look fabulous, feel a big improvement in your overall energy and mood and look great! Congratulate yourself for putting your needs first, and getting your health on track.
We’d like to ask our customers and Affiliate’s for tips on losing weight. What have you found to be effective to reach your target weight and maintain it? What constructive advice do you have for readers who are ready to win at losing the weight for good? Share by leaving a comment!