Among the many resolutions we make each New Year, losing weight is at the top of the list. Interestingly, only a very small percentage of people maintain their weight loss for long periods of time. Add to that a worsening obesity epidemic, and the mystery deepens. So, why aren’t we losing weight, and what are your weight loss options?
We Love Our Lifestyles
Are you used to the way you do things? You’re certainly not alone; we all love our lifestyles. We aren’t interested in getting up earlier to exercise or paying attention to how much or how little we move. Yet, those are exactly the kinds of things that prevent us from achieving and maintaining our weight loss.
So, what can you do differently? Well, the trick to making changes is to start small. Maybe take the stairs instead of the elevator just one day this week. Or, while you’re enjoying that weeknight movie at home, spend five or ten minutes standing up instead of sitting. Taking a good look into your cupboards, see if there is one unhealthy item that you can donate so that it’s not sitting temptingly in front of you.
Before you can do all of that, however, you need to be ready and willing to make these small changes. Without this important ingredient, losing weight will be more of a challenge.
We Set Lofty Goals
One of the keys to losing weight is setting goals. However, sometimes we want to lose weight so badly that we develop unrealistic expectations about how much weight we can lose and how fast. The truth is that the amount of weight an individual can lose is unique to that individual. Not only that, but everyone will lose weight at a different rate.
The best defense against setting unrealistic goals is to be realistic. For example, being several pounds overweight and experiencing health problems may be your reality right now, but it won’t always be. If you stepped on the scale expecting to see five pounds gone, and you didn’t lose anything, the reality is that a number of factors could have contributed to that result.
When setting goals, stack the odds for you instead of against you. For example, you can set a major goal for the long term but, in the meantime, set small but achievable goals. Instead of swearing off unhealthy food forever, focus on substituting with something healthy for three meals this week.
We’re Too Hard on Ourselves
When we experience moments of weakness, we can be very harsh with ourselves. This negative self-talk can ultimately sabotage every attempt we make at losing weight. How do you plan to talk to yourself this new year? Will you berate yourself every time you experience what you deem to be a failure, or will you acknowledge that you went off track and then forgive yourself?
The truth is that you will have to deal with any number of temptations during a day, and every day will be different. Some days, you will eat all the right things, stick to your exercise routine, and speak words of encouragement to yourself. Other days may be filled with doubt about ever reaching your weight loss goals.
Recognizing these highs and lows as normal parts of your weight loss journey, and gently encouraging yourself back to healthy habits, will help you far more than being negative.
Our Bodies Don’t Want Us to Lose Weight
Wait, what? How can our bodies possibly be against us when we want them to be healthier? The culprits are our hormones, specifically leptin and ghrelin. Simply put, leptin is responsible for telling you when you’re full, and ghrelin’s job is to let you know when you’re hungry.
When the body loses fat, the leptin hormone is decreased, making it harder to tell when you’re satiated after a meal. If that weren’t bad enough, the ghrelin hormone increases with weight loss. This imbalance doesn’t only occur during weight loss; it can continue months, weeks, and years after you’ve lost the weight.
Although it may seem impossible to control, the way to keep unwanted weight off for the long term is to gradually increase the calories you consume. This will lessen the chances of a fast weight gain.
We Don’t Have Enough Support
Losing weight is not an easy task, and it is certainly not one that we should do alone. Yet, this is exactly what commonly occurs. Instead of getting help, we think we can do it all by ourselves, and this is simply not the case.
Surrounding yourself with a support network is a crucial part of successfully losing weight—but how do you do this? Start by asking a friend to accompany you when you go for walks or to work out. Doing this can help to keep you motivated and positive.
Your family can also play a significant role in your weight loss. The first thing to do is to find family members who already understand why you want to lose weight, and who will be more than happy to assist you in any way they can. If some family members don’t understand, educate them about your reasons for wanting to achieve a healthier weight.
If Weight Loss Seems Impossible
Maybe you’re doing all of the above, and more, and are still not losing weight. If that’s the case, you may need professional support to help you decide what your next step should be. Obesity is a complex disease with many negative consequences to your health. Arthritis, diabetes, heart problems, and many other conditions have been directly linked to obesity.
If your health is threatened by any of the conditions above, you may be a candidate for weight loss surgery. This option can be a safe and effective way to lose weight and keep it off because it reduces the amount of ghrelin hormone released in the body. Bariatric surgery involves reducing the size of the stomach so that a limited amount of food can be consumed in one sitting. On average, over 70% of the stomach is removed. The smaller the stomach, the less ghrelin is released.
Things to Ask When Considering Weight Loss Surgery
Today’s weight loss surgery options are both effective and safe. However, there are a few considerations to make before you choose this option. The first piece of information you need to have is your BMI or body mass index. A BMI over 40 can make you a good candidate for surgery. The same is true if your BMI is over 35 and is accompanied by a medical condition like diabetes.
You will also need to consider how successful your weight loss efforts have been in the past. Not being successful at losing weight on your own may have led to a medically supervised weight loss plan that was equally unsuccessful. This, too, is another scenario which can lead to the decision to undergo surgery.
Your commitment to losing weight is another consideration. Surgery is only one piece of the puzzle, albeit a very large piece. After surgery, you will still need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including eating and exercising for the weeks, months, and years that follow your surgery. This is where your support network will come in.
Getting Help with Your Weight Loss Goals
Making the best decision for your weight loss goals in the coming year can be difficult to do on your own. The experienced team at Bariatric Care Centers understands this; that’s why we offer such a wide range of services to assist you. We dedicate ourselves to supporting your weight loss goals so that you can be a healthier person and live life to the fullest.
Our support network provides stellar care, both before and after you have undergone surgery. One of the most important aspects of successful weight loss is education. The education services offered by Bariatric Care Centers will give you the tools you need to maintain your weight loss for life. If you’re ready to learn more about weight loss surgery, we’re here to help. Call to book your free consultation today: (713) 339-1353.