July 20, 2016

Weight Management is a Marathon, Not a Sprint!

Have you noticed that weight seems to be a favorite topic that, one way or another, has a way of always popping up in conversations, publications, television programs, commercials, and the like?    Whether it’s gaining weight, losing weight, fad diets, new food, the perfect exercise program, or new exercise gadget, weight and it’s management is a marathon and not a sprint.

Let’s face it, the struggle to maintain a healthy weight is real for many of us!

In fact, the CDC reports that now 41% of all US women are obese, and only women show an upward trend. Furthermore, studies show once you lose weight, it’s very hard to keep it off.

 It’s a real pleasure to introduce you to Dr. Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, Director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness, and an expert on weight management, who says finding a support network is key. “Patients are more likely to achieve progress when, in collaboration with their healthcare network, they have opportunities to discuss treatment options, establish plans, monitor results and evaluate responses to the plans,” says Dr. Kahan.

For me, the challenge is often just getting started! Dr. Kahan came to the rescue with some great tips to follow before you begin a weight loss plan!!  If you heed Dr. Kahan’s advice and tips below, it will help to get you in the right frame of mind!

 TIP #1) Approach weight management as a marathon, not a sprint. A recent study shows that most people go through several phases during the cycle of weight management, some of which are exciting and associated with having lots of energy and momentum, while others are frustrating, such as the dreaded “plateau.”  Just like any marathon, there are ups and downs, and we should expect this and build our approach to managing it. 

[Click Live Link below by IMAGE to view the attached image developed , based on the study results, to help people understand the Weight-Loss Cycle.]

TIP #2) Set realistic expectations. Several studies show that we typically go into weight loss attempts expecting wildly more weight loss than what is realistic. One study showed people starting a basic weight loss program expected 20-30% weight loss, more than is typical with bariatric surgery!  In contrast, we know that as little as 3% weight loss improves blood sugar, and 5-10% weight loss improves most health outcomes and helps you feel good.

TIP#3) Understand that weight maintenance is something that will continue. Weight loss cycles between momentum and fatigue, excitement and frustration. We need to build an approach to managing each of these phases during the long process of weight maintenance.

IMAGE: Weight loss cycle w_caption-1

These are terrific, Dr. Kahan. Thank you so very much for the helpful weight management advice!

(Quoted and Paraphrased information in this article was obtained from Press Materials.)

 

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