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5 Must-Know Secrets Your Doctor Forgot To Tell You About Weight Loss

Girl Measuring waist with measuring tape
  1. Weight Loss is not just about eating less and exercising more.  In theory, there’s some logical validity.  By and large, that is an outdated approach and hardly leads to successful and long term weight loss.  Counting calories for some may be helpful, especially when looking at ways to keep account of exactly what you’ve eaten in any given period of time.  However, counting calories alone seldom delivers desirable results. Most people find counting calories tedious and hard to maintain.
  1. “Exercise more” is the other somewhat outdated approach to weight loss.  Now, it is true that the more physical activity you have the more calories you will use or burn.  That’s one thing most doctors will recommend is to increase your physical activity.  What they may not tell you is how much time to spend and how often you should exercise for weight loss.  Many people are told to exercise 150 minutes per week or 30 minutes 5 days a week.  While good for overall general health, that exercise regimen in many cases will not result in significant weight loss.  Exercise and physical activity are important for many reasons such as keeping joints flexible, helping strengthen muscles for good coordination and to protect joints, for bone density, for a healthy heart and blood vessels, for stress reduction, improved mood and sleep among many other benefits.  All of these are important for health and wellbeing, yet exercise alone may not always result in shrinking waistlines and lower numbers on the scale. Exercise has a far greater benefit in maintaining a healthy weight. Exercise should be tailored individually to get the best results.
  1. Weight gain is different from the inability to lose weight.  I know they sound like one in the same, but they are in fact, quite different  and it’s worth figuring out which one is your biggest challenge.  Let’s take two examples: Barbara is a 30 something year old mother of 2 school age kids and reports that over the past 2 years she has steadily gained weight every few months when she gets on the scale.  She’s gained 13 pounds since the beginning of the year.  She’s really stressed out with work and home life and now weighs in at 223 lbs. Next we have Jennifer, her weight has been the same over the past year, give or take a couple of pounds.  No matter what she does, she can’t seem to shed the weight.  She’s been working out for almost 3 months and still hasn’t lost a pound.  Her frustration is through the roof. Her doctor has not addressed this annoying problem.  Barbara and Jennifer both have unwanted weight but two different pathways of dysfunction.   This can be a very important piece of the weight loss puzzle.
  1. Genetics play a role in obesity but DNA always doesn’t have the final say so. You may be convinced that all of your weight problems trace back to your genepool. That is only partly true.  To some extent, family history is very much linked to health conditions and can be very predictive depending on the condition. And yes, there is an obesity gene.  Or in other words, a part of the DNA that can put one at risk for having extra weight.  However, what we do and how we live can determine if that gene gets turned on or if it can be switched off.  
  1. The drive for food, especially comforting food and soothing eating patterns, also known as Emotional Eating, is not all in your mind.  In fact, Emotional Eating (EE) does have strong ties with chemicals naturally produced in the brain.  These brain chemicals engage in two-way signaling between the brain and the gut.  So, strong urges may disrupt even the best intentions when one is experiencing stress and unsettled emotions. One helpful approach is to starve the emotion,not the person. 

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