There are several factors that lead to obesity, one of the biggest health problems in the world, which often results in a string of other diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and sleep disorders. And it is not just gluttony or laziness.
Rather than judging people based on their weight, or surrendering weight problems to genes, Dr. Gia Wassmer of Makati Medical’s Weight Wellness Center offers healthy and realistic tips how to shed off excess poundage.
“The evaluation of overweight and obese persons includes looking into ethnicity, family history of obesity, history of weight gain, maximum body weight, medications that may contribute to weight gain, previous approaches to weight reduction, patterns of food intake, including binge eating, and physical activity levels,” she said.
Lifestyle changes. According to Dr. Wassmer, lifestyle modification—or changes in diet, exercise, and behavior—is the cornerstone of every weight loss program. A reduction in daily caloric intake of 500 calories a day will result in loss of approximately one pound per week and 10-percent reduction of initial weight by six months. This may seem disappointing to the obese individual, but 10-percent weight loss is associated with significant improvement in obesity-related conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension.
Fad diets may fail. “It’s better if the diet plan is acceptable to the individual, so that long-term compliance is more likely,” explained Dr. Wassmer. Fad diets or those that promote laxatives or fasting often set up for failure as it is likely to end up back where one started with the deprivation of hankering for food. It is best to pace dieting so it’s healthier and weight loss is sustained.
Get moving. “Exercise alone without caloric restriction is generally ineffective in weight loss, but it is essential in long-term weight management,” Dr. Wassmer shared. Increased physical activity provides cardiovascular benefits, prevents loss of muscle mass during weight loss, promotes better dietary adherence through improved mood, and may directly reduce fat in the internal organs. Losing weight requires close to an hour a day of moderate-intensity exercise. Obese people or those who haven’t worked out for a long time should consult their doctor on the proper intensity of their exercise. Little things like parking away from the entrance to force one to walk or use the stairs instead of elevator is considerably helpful.
Stay in touch with emotions. Eating is often influenced by personal, psychological or social reasons. “These emotions and behaviors are powerful forces that impede long-term caloric restriction and weight loss,” Dr. Wassmer said. Some strategies to modify eating behaviors are through stimulus control [avoiding cues that prompt eating], self-monitoring through a daily food diary, positive thinking, and social support. Focus is so much placed on food and calories, but emotions play a huge part in eating habits – like being angry, bored, happy or sad.
Consult experts. Obesity treatment is best undertaken the soonest time possible. MakatiMed’s Weight Wellness Center offers personalized programs to help one lose weight safely and keep it off by lifestyle modification. The center is focused on providing knowledge and tools for achieving realistic weight-loss goals like interpreting nutrition facts, starting a food diary, get tips on eating out and preparing replacement meals.