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Weight Loss

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Unhealthy weight (also called overweight or obesity) is one of the most common health problems in the world today. Over 42% of people in the US are obese (body mass index (BMI)  > 30 Kg/m2) and more than 70% of adults are overweight (> 25 Kg/m2.)  And while BMI is not the best measure of unhealthy weight, what is important is that excess body weight (more specifically excess body fat) is a potentially serious health problem. 

Being overweight markedly increases the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, cancer, dementia, fatty liver disease, and early death.  

The health risks of excess body weight (body fat) are well known, and, not surprisingly, weight loss is a common health goal. However, traditional weight loss programs are notoriously ineffective, with data showing that as much as 90% of people regain the weight lost in a year or two.

Understanding Healthy Weight And When To Seek Help

Everyone understands the challenges of achieving lasting weight loss. However, what many don’t understand is that the typical strategies of traditional weight loss set people up to fail. 

First, let’s talk about what doesn’t work. 

  • “Eat less, move more.” – Anyone who has heard this standard advice understands that while it sounds good – and nutrition and physical activity are critically important to achieving a healthy weight – weight loss is far too complex to be solved by such a well-meaning but overly simplistic strategy.
  • Temporary interventions – This is a common strategy that provides short-term results that mostly don’t last. Extreme calorie restrictive diets, high-intensity exercise programs, and meal replacements are frequently advocated for weight loss, yet are remarkably ineffective in the long run.
  • Willpower – One of the most common reasons I hear from my patients why they have not been able to achieve their weight goals is that they didn’t have the willpower or motivation. However, a strategy that relies on willpower is highly likely to fail in the long run as willpower is a limited resource.

What does work in achieving lasting weight loss

There is no effective one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss. Each person has a unique path to achieving a healthy weight. However, there are some guiding principles to lasting weight loss.

  1. Get healthy to lose weight.
    • While “lose weight to get healthy” is a common approach, what is most effective is to “get healthy to lose weight.” The National Weight Loss Registry of over 10,000 people who have lost on average 66 pounds and kept it off for 5.5 years has found that more than 90% of those who have successfully lost weight and kept it off did so by changing their nutrition and being physically active – in other words, they developed healthy habits that led to lasting weight loss.
  2. Use systems
    • While a willpower strategy often fails, what does work for achieving complex goals is to build systems. 
    • There are 3 steps to the HealthspanMD™ system:
      1. We give you a clear direction
        • We build an action plan with you with clear objectives and the daily steps needed to achieve your health goals. And then we help you track your progress every day.
      2. We help you shape your  unique path
        • We help you find your unique path by providing expert support, feedback, and accountability to build on wins, learn from setbacks, and adjust the action plan accordingly.
      3. We help you stay emotionally engaged
        • We keep you emotionally engaged by clearly demonstrating your progress and regularly reminding you of your emotional “why” – the reason achieving your health and longevity goals is not optional.
  1. Build habits
    • Lasting weight loss is achieved by developing habits that support your health and weight goals; We help you build your habit-building system that provides the support you need to go at your pace to achieve lasting weight loss.
  1. Address the “hidden” barriers to weight loss
    • Experience has taught us that many people who are eating well and staying active yet can’t lose weight are often sabotaged by one or more of three conditions:
      1. Poor sleep
        • Chronic sleep deprivation sets your metabolism up to not being able to lose fat.
      2. Uncontrolled stress
        • The hormonal response to chronic stress can prevent people from being able to lose fat.
      3. Insulin resistance
        • Just about every person who has excess fat has insulin resistance. If insulin levels are high, it is almost impossible to lose fat.

Contact HealthspanMD™ For Help With Healthy Weight Loss

Science, and our own experience, show us that achieving lasting weight loss on your own is rare. If achieving your health, weight, and longevity goals is a priority for you, consider getting expert guidance from a team that has experience helping people like you achieve their goals. Our team is here to aid you in taking control of your weight.

Dr. Robert Todd Hurst, MD, FACC, FASE  has extensive experience in treating patients with unhealthy weight who want the best treatment to lower the risk of the complications of unhealthy weight and get the best chance to lose weight and keep it off. He established HealthspanMD™ to help patients live long, healthy, and vital lives. He brings over 25 years of experience at respected institutions such as the Mayo Clinic and the Banner Heart Institute. With over 50 peer-reviewed publications and over 100 delivered educational presentations, he continues to be an active part in advancing heart health and providing leading-edge care for his patients.

Two woman exercising for weight loss