When it comes to serious or ongoing weight issues, it's important to know the facts. Clearly there is no end to the books and programs and experts that offer differing perspectives on weight loss. In order to be factual and scientific, it's important to take note of some solid information that is available. The National Weight Registry keeps track of individuals who lose significant amount of weight and maintain that weight loss for 2 or more years. If you look at the various diet plans these individuals use, it can vary. When looking at the ways they maintain their goal weight, there is far less variation. The techniques commonly used include:
- Weighing once a day and usually reverting back to their diet if 5 or more pounds above goal weight register
- Exercising most if not all days of the week
- Keeping a food and exercise journal
- Watching portion sizes
- Watching total daily calories
So regardless of "how they got there," once the weight was lost, the tools used to maintain that weight loss are pretty standard and sensible. Also important is the impact of your genetic imprint, because indeed, you may come from a family that has weight issues. You can inherit a tendency to have a slower metabolic rate, but more often than not, we think our metabolism runs much more slowly than it really does. If you suspect that you are metabolically slow, you can have a test that measures your rate and gives you the amount of calories you can eat daily for weight maintenance. Of course if you add in exercise and then additional efforts to be active daily, you can then increase caloric consumption. The amount will depend on your weight loss goals. To be fair, your genetic metabolic edge or handicap is still a small contributor for most people who struggle with obesity. Family health history, on the other hand is quite important.
Ever wonder why one person who has a brush with death, is able to "wake up" and reform their habits and become a health convert, while another person temporarily shifts habits, only to fall back on poor choices once the immediate scare is over? Many of us have family trees peppered with serious lifestyle-associated diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, cancers. So you would think that knowing that our lifestyle choices can encourage (or discourage) expression of these diseases, turning high risk into frank disease, would inspire a solid commitment to better food and exercise choices. It doesn't for most, just like the second individual who escaped death chooses to believe, "It won't happen to me again; I outsmarted death." It's human nature to believe that dismal statistics won't apply to you. So though intellectually you know you have a higher risk for diabetes because one or more close relatives had it - your human nature scoffs and believes that it simply won't happen to you. Or maybe you choose just not to think about it. We call that denial.
Assignment #3- Create a family tree starting from great grandparents on both your paternal and maternal sides. Under each family member chart all significant health conditions including obesity. Include your children in the tree and chart their state of health, weight. Make sure to include any health risks your doctor may have raised, even if there is no frank disease.
Next up - Assignment 4 - What's the verdict and can you now lose the weight for good?
Published On: October 30, 2009