9 Facts About Obesity and Weight Loss
Sara Suchy | March 4, 2013
New research from the New England Journal of Medicine gives some hard and fast rules about obesity and weight loss.
What we know about obesity and weight loss
Genes matter, but not that much
Hereditary factors do play a role in a person’s weight, but they do not necessarily seal a person’s fate.
Instead, environmental factors, such as access to a gym, healthy food and outdoor green space, have much more significance in predicting if a person will be overweight or not.
Diets work, but not forever
Going on a ‘diet” can, in fact, bring weight loss.
The problem is that as soon as the diet is abandoned, the weight often creeps right back on.
A much more effective weight loss strategy is an overall change in lifestyle that includes a reduction of daily calories. It’s the kind of change in eating habits that can be sustained indefinitely.
Exercise always helps
Regardless of body weight or body type, working out will almost always improve health (as long as you avoid injury!).
Even if you lose no weight through a fitness routine, the extra physical activity is likely to keep you in better health.
Working out aids weight loss
It is one thing to cut 500 calories from your diet. It is another to burn an extra 500 calories on top of that 500.
Physical activity is an extremely beneficial component of any weight loss effort. Making regular physical activity a lifetime habit will help you maintain your healthy weight.
Keep it up
Obesity is a chronic condition that requires a sustained, long-term effort to fight it.
So, taking up a strict diet for two months might result in dramatic weight loss upfront, but it is not going to keep the weight off in the long term.
A healthy, truly holistic lifestyle change is much more effective.
Parental involvement matters
With more and more kids clocking in high BMIs and developing type 2 diabetes, many children are now among the victims of the obesity epidemic.
Since parents make most of the household food purchasing decisions, they are on the front lines of ensuring that their children get the nutrition they need.
Plan out meals
People who meticulously plan their meals and incorporate meal replacement bars into their diet are more successful in losing weight than people who do not.
This happens because people who do not plan their meals often make impulsive food choices. And an impulsive food choice when you are already hungry is often an unhealthy food choice.
Set yourself up for success and plan out your healthy meals well in advance.
Some weight loss drugs work
While the best way to lose weight permanently is to embrace a complete lifestyle change, there are drugs on the market that can support weight loss efforts when taken under the guidance of a physician.
Always talk to your doctor before taking any kind of weight loss drug.
Bariatric surgery can help
When it is medically appropriate, bariatric surgery can greatly help obese patients get to a healthy weight faster and keep the weight off indefinitely.