One of the best things you can do for your well-being is to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. More than half of all US adults are obese or overweight, and this is a serious problem because it leads to a host of issues such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, gall bladder disease, and even certain types of cancer. At Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, GA, we offer a weight management program to patients who would like to shed their extra pounds.
If you’re worried about your weight and you’d like to make the necessary changes, a management program could be the way to go. When you sign up with us, you will receive help with issues such as nutrition and exercise, and you’ll gain access to support groups that can help you stay on track. Let’s have a closer look at what managing your weight could look like and how you can get started today.
What Is Weight Management?
Every patient’s body is different, and there isn’t an easy way of measuring whether someone is overweight or not. Traditionally, the Body Mass Index was used to determine whether a person’s weight is in a normal range. But this doesn’t always work. For instance, someone who practices bodybuilding could count as overweight even though they are leading a very healthy lifestyle.
In addition to the BMI, many doctors also measure the patient’s waist to figure out whether they should lose weight. Women should have a waist circumference of under 35 inches, while men should stay below 40 inches. If you come to the clinic and your doctor determines that you are overweight, they will suggest that you participate in a management program that allows you to lose weight and then maintain your new, healthier shape.
Why Should I Participate?
There are several reasons why people suffering from weight-related issues come to see us at the clinic. Being obese is a struggle, and patients face a number of problems on a daily basis. For instance, they might not be able to move around freely because of the extra weight and the pressure it places on their joints. Trips to the shopping mall or supermarket, which are normal for other people, are a painful and often humiliating experience.
Additionally, patients might be concerned about their health and the long-term consequences of their obesity. Countless studies have shown that carrying around excess weight comes with significant risk and is associated with a higher chance of premature death. When you’re ready to make the necessary changes and achieve a healthy weight, the best thing you can do is work with professionals at the local clinic.
You Are at Risk of Being Overweight
Most people in the United States are either already overweight, or they are at risk of becoming so. The reason is that our diet is often unhealthy and we live in a car-based society, so we don’t move around enough on a daily basis. But despite the fact that obesity is so common, many people still suffer significantly from this condition.
For instance, studies have shown that people who are overweight are less likely to succeed in the workplace, and many patients struggling with obesity also experience mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. Because patients with weight issues often can’t participate in regular activities, they experience distress and are worried about missing out. If you’d like to improve your quality of life, a weight management program could be right for you.
You Are Worried about Medical Conditions
Each year, around 2.8 million Americans die because of their weight, and countless others develop conditions like diabetes and heart disease. On average, moderate obesity shortens a person’s lifespan by three years, and severe obesity can cut your life short by a decade. But dying prematurely is only one of the issues that people struggling with their weight face.
Additionally, patients often complain about pain in the joints and gallbladder issues. Over time, the health concerns related to obesity can spiral out of control and significantly impact a patient’s enjoyment of life. The earlier you address the problem with your weight, the less likely you are to suffer from medical issues related to it.
What Might Be Included in a Management Program?
When you come to the clinic to speak to us about weight loss, we’ll first find out about your individual situation. Each patient is different, and not all measures work for everyone. For this reason, we’ll come up with a program that suits your needs. Depending on your current lifestyle, your age, and the amount of weight you would like to lose, your treatment plan might include help with nutrition and exercise.
Additionally, we will connect you to others on the same journey, so you can exchange ideas and keep each other motivated. If necessary, we can offer you medication or therapies that facilitate weight loss. This could be especially beneficial if you have trouble changing your lifestyle or you have to lose a significant amount of weight.
Information about Nutrition
Nutrition is closely related to weight, and it is one of the first things that should be addressed. Your healthcare professional will speak to you about your current diet and let you know what modifications might be necessary. If you don’t yet understand the basics of good nutrition, we can go through them and give you a better understanding of what your body needs.
Once we’ve analyzed your situation and identified your dietary preferences, we can come up with a realistic plan. This might include cutting down on certain foods, drinking more water and fewer beverages that contain sugar, reducing your overall calorie consumption, and increasing your vegetable and fruit intake. In some cases, patients also have to commit to drinking less alcohol.
Information about Safe and Healthy Exercise
Diet alone can make a massive difference to your weight, but when combined with regular exercise, the effect can be augmented. If you’re not used to moving around every day, you should start slowly to avoid injury. Your healthcare professional can come up with some safe types of exercise such as walking, swimming, and cycling on a stationary bike.
As you get more used to regular movement, you can increase both the duration and intensity of exercise. Many people benefit from working with a professional such as a personal trainer or a Pilates teacher, who can plan their workouts and help them get consistent results. If you’re not sure whom to contact, the providers at the clinic can connect you with reputable fitness professionals.
Patients who try to lose weight without any social support are much more likely to give up prematurely. For this reason, every good weight management program includes support systems. In addition to the professionals who can help you stay on track, you’ll connect with other individuals going through the same process. You can exchange ideas with them and share your struggles with someone who truly understands.
Medication or Therapies
Sometimes, changing a patient’s diet and exercise patterns isn’t enough because they are very overweight or because they have mental health issues in addition to obesity. In such a case, additional help is required. Currently, there are several FDA-approved weight loss medications available to patients who can’t get good results via the traditional methods.
Since most of them are prescription drugs, you will need to speak to your doctor about this possibility. Another way to facilitate your weight loss journey is to speak to a counselor or therapist who can address the mental aspect of managing your weight. Having this type of support can significantly increase your chances of long-term success.
Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight Now
If you’re overweight due to lifestyle factors such as a bad diet or inadequate levels of exercise, you shouldn’t delay making the necessary changes. But while advice such as “eat more vegetables” and “go for a walk every day” might sound simple, it can be challenging to consistently implement it in your life. What’s more, without proper guidance, you could put your health at risk by eating too little or exercising in a way that isn’t suitable for your body.
To help you lose weight safely and remain on track in the long term, you should seek out a support system. Get in touch with us now at Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, GA to speak to our professionals about our state-of-the-art weight management program. We offer help with nutrition and exercise, ongoing support, and even medication or therapies if necessary.