Our clients have frequently asked us, "why can I not lose weight?" Often this occurs during a physical exam or a new client visit for weight loss. Literature from the National Library of Medicine revealed that the COVID 19 pandemic has worsened the obesity problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are 100.1 million obese adults and 14.7 million obese children in the United States, costing $147 billion dollars. It is important to understand that there are many factors that can lead to weight gain. Lifestyle and life situations can often contribute to weight gain also.
Lifestyle such as eating habits and the choice of foods we eat - snacking between meals, boredom, late night snacks, or even eating without mindfulness, are all habits that can lead to weight gain. Inactivity and inadequate regular exercise can create a daily caloric excess and lead to weight gain. Our lifestyle can influence our food choices for the positive or negative. Foods or snacks that are calorie rich, low in fiber, highly processed, or made of refined sugars and carbohydrates can dramatically increase weight.
Life situations are factors that can create an environment for over eating. Having a desk job or working from home can also lead to weight gain from decrease activity. Some clients may have jobs that require frequent travel making it a challenge to eat healthy. In the past I worked for years in the emergency department. I would often find myself in a situation where I would miss lunch or dinner. This led to snacking on unhealthy foods and eating without mindfulness. This caused me to gain weight. Being busy with long work hours and kid’s activities can also present a situation for families to eat “on the run” or get “take out.” Often these foods are not healthy and can lead to weight gain. In this situation children begin to also eat unhealthy foods. Life situations may directly affect emotions that can impact food choices and quantities of foods we eat.
There are several elements to helping our client’s lose weight. Listening carefully to various aspects of their life and their challenges is important to gain understanding to their weight gain. Each person has their own unique story. The strategy to helping clients must be individualized. Our provider/health coach will have the client really explain how their weight gain is impacting their life. This leads to a discussion of why they believe it is important to lose weight for themselves. On the surface it seems self-explanatory. Why wouldn’t anyone want to lose excess weight? Any journey to lasting weight loss requires us to help our patients be very aware of the “why” just as important as it is to understand the “how to lose weight.” It is so much more than the typical “I want you to diet and exercise.” Understanding emotions, triggers to clients’ food behaviors is vital in re-establishing a healthy relationship to foods.
For some clients newer and recent weight loss injections may be considered. This occurs only after a careful, informative discussion and informed decision making. Preventing diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, bone and joint disease, and certain cancers is linked to maintaining a healthy body weight. Our clients that have successfully lost weight often feel improved energy and less tired. Many have improved sleep, better mood and even report that they “hurt less.” Getting there takes commitment, the right coaching, education, and in some cases medications that can help them lose weight.
Weight loss success involves several aspects to care and a real individualized plan. It’s okay when our clients say that they don’t have an hour of time to exercise daily. Our goal is to understand their behaviors, their motivations, their challenges, and work with the parameters that they do have with consistency. This creates an environment where they begin to shed the extra pounds in a manner that is healthy and sustainable. It is with this approach that the vast majority of our patients have been able to successfully lose weight. Feel free to let us know how we can help you achieve your health goals. We invite you to a consultation at Family Care and Wellness and join in the success experienced by many of our clients!