Millions of Americans are looking to lose weight. But this is an extremely challenging task, and even those who succeed often gain back the weight they’ve lost within a few years. At Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, GA, we offer weight management programs to all patients looking to achieve their ideal body shape. Today, we’ll examine how effective these programs are and what you can do to support your weight loss journey.
How Effective Are Weight Management Programs?
Around 90% of the people who go on a diet and lose weight eventually gain back the extra pounds. This is because long-term weight loss is extremely difficult and requires a lot of discipline. Once the person has achieved their goal, they often relax and fall back into their old patterns. The odds are much better for patients who seek help at the clinic because they have the right kind of information and guidance.
With the support of an expert, you can lose weight much more effectively because you’ll have easy access to good information whenever you have questions or concerns. Thanks to our classes and one-on-one support, you’ll be held accountable, so you stick to your new, healthy habits more easily. We’ll also discuss how to keep the weight off once you’ve lost it.
You can’t lose weight without making some lifestyle changes. Eating right and exercising are the two most effective weight loss measures, and it’s almost impossible to see good results without them. Most people who are overweight eat too much or the wrong foods or put their bodies under a lot of stress every day.
When you first come to the clinic, we’ll speak to you about your lifestyle and determine which factors are contributing to your problems with your weight. Based on this assessment, we’ll either suggest our classes, one-on-one sessions with a nutritionist, or both. No matter what kind of program you’re joining, adjusting your lifestyle is key.
Many people don’t have the right tools to make healthy choices. Every day, the media presents us with attractive images of unhealthy foods, which tempt us to buy the wrong products. In the supermarket, sugary and fatty snacks are often displayed prominently, and it’s easier to grab them instead of walking down the aisle to find the healthier alternative. On the internet, a lot of the information related to nutrition, weight loss, and exercise is misleading.
Our classes provide patients with the information they need to lead a healthy lifestyle. We teach how to check the nutrition labels, which substances to avoid, and how to calculate the number of calories per meal. Aside from nutrition, we cover topics like exercising, drinking plenty of water, and reducing stress. We also discuss addictive substances like alcohol and nicotine and how they affect a patient’s weight loss journey.
Support from a Nutritionist
Gaining access to the right information is a great first step that helps patients to avoid the unhealthiest and most damaging foods. But if you’re looking to lose a large amount of weight, it might not be enough. To achieve your goal, you need individualized support from a nutritionist, who will come up with a meal plan based on your individual goals, food preferences, body composition, and health.
Because every patient is different, a weight loss method that works well for one person might not be suitable for someone else. An experienced nutritionist will take into consideration various factors when putting together your meal plan. They’ll make sure that you not only make healthy choices but that your plan fits your lifestyle and appeals to your taste buds. That way, it’s much more sustainable, and your odds of success are high.
Sometimes, holistic methods like exercising and dieting aren’t enough to help people lose the desired amount of weight. Patients who have been overweight for a long time or have tried dieting several times might benefit from medication or even surgical intervention. There are several drugs that either curb a person’s appetite or make them feel full more quickly.
While these medications are effective, some of them come with side effects, so it’s important to always speak to a doctor before taking weight loss drugs. Gastric bypass surgery or sleeve gastrectomy are common types of weight loss surgery. They can be effective, but only if the patient is dedicated to leading a healthy lifestyle and doesn’t revert to their old patterns once they’ve lost some weight.
Tips for Effective Weight Loss
During the initial weight loss phase, many patients are motivated, especially once they see the change in their body shape. If you eat right, exercise regularly, and reduce your stress levels, it’s highly likely that you’ll see a change in your appearance within a few weeks or months. However, this is only the first step. As discussed, most people don’t keep the weight off because they don’t stick to their new lifestyle habits in the long run.
There are several things you can do to avoid temptation and make the behavioral changes more permanent. Take part in weight management classes to get the social support you need, choose foods that are both healthy and delicious, and plan your meals at the start of each week. Choose creative and fun types of exercise so you’re not tempted to give up after a few months.
Eat Healthy and Delicious Foods
When you hear the word dieting, do you think of restrictions and cutting out the foods you enjoy? The problem with diets is that most people associate them with stress and frustration because they feel limited in their choices. It doesn’t have to be this way. Nowadays, there are countless delicious and healthy foods available. Instead of restricting the number of foods you eat, why not expand it?
Try at least one new healthy recipe per week, and incorporate it into your regular diet if you like it. When you go out with friends, choose a restaurant that offers healthy choices. Greek, Japanese, and Korean foods are some of the healthiest in the world, so restaurants from those cultures are great.
Plan Ahead Every Week
When you’re in the middle of a busy workday, you don’t have time to think about preparing or selecting healthy foods. You’re much more likely to choose something sugary and fatty from the office vending machine or the local fast-food place. Avoid the temptation by planning and preparing your meals and snacks ahead of time.
Spend an hour or two coming up with a weekly meal plan, and prepare as many foods as you can. If you batch-cook, you can create portion-sized pots that can be taken out of the fridge or freezer one at a time. That way, you don’t have to decide what and how much to eat during the work week.
Choose Exercise that Suits Your Lifestyle
Regular exercise keeps your body healthy and supports your weight loss journey. Resistance work, like lifting weights, is particularly beneficial because it increases your muscle mass, and muscle burns calories more than fat.
Don’t do exercise that puts pressure on your joints or isn’t enjoyable. You’re unlikely to keep it up for many years unless you like what you do. Some people thrive in a group class environment because they are motivated by the challenge and social aspect. Others need one-to-one support from a personal trainer, who keeps them accountable. Experiment with different types of exercise, classes, and locations to figure out what works best for you.
Find Social Support
If everyone around you is eating unhealthy foods, gaining a lot of weight, and dismissing your efforts, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll succeed. Before you start your weight loss journey, get your family and friends on board. They can help keep you accountable and support you by not offering you foods that slow down your progress.
Sometimes, it’s hard for patients to get enough support from their familiar environment. In this situation, joining classes and groups is crucial. You’ll meet like-minded people who are interested in exchanging ideas and overcoming the challenges of weight loss together.
Get Rid of Your Excess Weight Now
Weight management programs are highly effective, but only if the patient sticks to the experts’ guidelines and attends their classes regularly. Some of the changes they might need to make include eating healthier foods, exercising regularly, getting a lot of sleep, and planning their meals ahead of time. Get in touch with us at Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, GA to find out more about our weight loss programs.