If you’re overweight, you’re in good company. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than two-thirds of all adults in the U.S. are overweight, and of those, half are considered clinically obese. Numerous studies have shown just how unhealthy it can be to carry around extra pounds. Being overweight can increase your risks for lots of serious medical conditions and diseases, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, depression, and even some types of cancer. Plus, carrying around all those extra pounds can make it difficult to do a lot of fun activities, and in some cases, it may even prevent you from socializing.
So what’s the best way to get around all those problems? By taking off those excess pounds. Of course, if you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know that’s a task that’s easier said than done. But just because you’ve been discouraged by previous efforts at weight loss, that doesn’t mean you should give up hope. Chances are, your diet was to blame, mostly because it wasn’t the right diet for you.
Today, there are literally dozens of diets to choose from, but even though popular commercial diet plans may seem different, they all have one thing in common: They’re all designed for the population at large; not one is custom-tailored for an individual. And that’s why so many people who use these diets have difficulty losing weight and keeping it off. So what’s the key? Finding a diet plan that works for you and your specific needs. And the good news is, that’s actually lot easier than it sounds. Here are three steps to get you started.
Choose a diet you can stick with
Starting a diet is an important first step, but in order to shed that weight, you need to make sure the diet you choose is good for the long haul. Fad diets that include fasting can be really difficult to follow for a long period of time. Not only can fasting make you moody and irritable, but in some cases, going without food can even increase your cravings for sugary, unhealthy foods, and it might even cause you to overeat or binge. The same is true for diets that focus on only a few foods or food groups, especially if they eliminate other groups or healthy foods. Remember: You didn't gain those pounds overnight, and you're not going to lose them overnight either. Don't be tempted by fad diets that promise fast results; instead, opt for a healthy eating plan you can stick with for the rest of your life.
Consider your food preferences and lifestyle
Most of us lead busy lives, so that means we need an eating plan that fits in with our schedules. It might be tempting to opt for a commercial diet that offers premade meals, but remember: The costs can really add up over time, and many of those meals are high in fats, salt, and chemicals. Plus, relying on commercial premade meals won't give you the skills and knowledge you need to make your own healthy eating decisions and meals once the weight is off. Other diet plans require you to attend meetings or weigh-ins. If you're social, that kind of support can be helpful; if you're not, you'll only be setting yourself up for failure. Bottom line: When choosing a diet plan, don't focus just on foods; think about your lifestyle and your habits, too.
Talk to your doctor
One reason why so many people have a difficult time losing weight is that they don’t consider their underlying health issues, their lifestyles, and perhaps most importantly, their nutritional needs and deficiencies. Too often, people think all they have to do is cut back on calories and the pounds will fall off. The problem is, while you might shed some pounds with that approach, you’ll also be shedding muscle tissue. And you could be endangering your health in other ways too. By working out a diet plan with your doctor, you can make sure your body gets the nutrients it needs to support good health. Plus, having a nutritional analysis ahead of time helps identify deficiencies that could be causing cravings and prompting you to overeat or to eat the wrong foods. Dr. Suri can help create a diet plan that’s based on sound nutritional principles while also taking into account your lifestyle, your overall goals, and even your food preferences. That means you’ll be set for success right from the start. Plus, Dr. Suri can provide you with ongoing support and medical guidance to keep you on track all the way through to your goal.
Like any other journey, losing weight starts with a first step — scheduling an evaluation and consultation at Nova Physician Wellness Center. To get started on a healthier future, book an appointment online today.