Have you been struggling to lose weight or keep weight off? Does it feel like you’ve tried every diet out there and nothing seems to work? You are not alone! Fad diets are captivating and easy to buy into. They will run their cycle of popularity, fade away and then return — often with a different name. There never fails to be a “new” diet claiming that it will help you lose weight, fast.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of a trendy diet’s promise to change your life. However, a new diet plan alone will not lead to sustainable weight loss. You’ll likely lose those first few pounds from the shock of the new diet, but here are some reasons why diets alone don’t lead to sustainable weight loss.
1. It needs to be a lifestyle change
Sustainable weight loss begins with making a change to your lifestyle. Maybe that change is to decrease your alcohol consumption, or maybe you decide to take up an active hobby such as hiking or rock climbing. Maybe you decide to improve your NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenisis) by taking the stairs rather than the elevator or parking farther away from your work and walking. Little lifestyle changes can result in long-term results. Whatever you decide, these small lifestyle shifts when practiced consistently can lead to more sustainable, healthy habits. It’s not always simple, but you can find what works for you.
Be aware, sustained weight loss isn’t easy. When you lose weight, your metabolism slows, making it biologically harder to keep the weight off. “Your body does persistently fight back and try to make you regain the weight that you’ve lost,” says Kevin Hall, senior scientist at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
In other words, whatever you do to lose weight, it needs to be a change that you can realistically maintain for the rest of your life, because biological factors like your own metabolism will fight you every step of the way.
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2. You need to look upstream
“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.” – Desmond Tutu
Finding what works for you can be difficult. We all have a different set of genes, hormones and metabolic makeup that will respond differently to different methods, so sometimes a medical weight loss program (like ours here at Advanced Practice Clinic) is the best option.
Consulting a healthcare practitioner and considering adjusting or starting new supplements or medications may be a solution. You could find that your cortisol levels are much higher than you thought. It could be you are storing more glucose as fat than burning it up for energy. It could be that your hormones are out of balance. Or perhaps, you have been told your thyroid is normal, but in reality, it is under-functioning for your metabolism. Participating in a medical weight loss program will help you find the right method that works for your genetic makeup. The healthcare practitioners at Advanced Practice Clinic are skilled at helping you create a personalized plan that is realistic, healthy and geared towards long-term change.
3. There are underlying factors
Many struggle with losing weight and keeping it off. They’ve done all the right things, and it feels like nothing is working. Oftentimes, it’s due to no fault of their own but rather underlying factors that are preventing sustainable weight loss such as thyroid function, insulin resistance, hormone imbalance or adrenal health. Not only can these factors prevent sustainable weight loss but they can also create greater health risks when you try to lose weight.
Working with a specialist can help unearth any underlying factors that might be preventing sustainable weight loss. They can help you create a plan to address any medical conditions that need to be fixed first in order to safely lose weight and keep it off long term.
If you’re tired of seeing inconsistent results with each new diet you try, it’s time to reevaluate your overall weight loss approach. Sustainable weight loss often requires much more than just a change in diet.
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