As of 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Over 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese. With an expanding population in quantity AND SIZE, it should not be surprising the weight loss business has skyrocketed. The various industries participating in addressing this growing epidemic includes:
The food industry
The exercise industry
The lifestyle coaching industry
The health care industry
I can tell you from personal experience as a physician that successful, LONG TERM healthy weight loss is best achieved by those people focusing on pursuing a healthy BALANCED LIFESTYLE rather than focusing simply on weight loss. People need to understand that being overweight is a SYMPTOM of an underlying problem. It is the RESULT of a PROCESS that includes hormonal factors, behavioral factors, lifestyle factors and emotional factors. As everyone knows, treating symptoms doesn’t address the ROOT CAUSES of problems leading to recurring patterns of weight loss and weight gain. Breaking this cycle requires changing the mindset from a LIMITED, “I want to lose weight” perspective, to an ALL ENCOMPASSING, “I deserve to feel good AND enjoy life” perspective.
Why is this perspective so important? The reality is:
becoming thin does not equal happiness
becoming thin does not equal good health
becoming thin does not equal remaining thin
Becoming and maintaining a healthy well balanced weight:
IS A NATURAL RESULT OF LIVING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AND REMAINING COMMITTED TO SELF VALUE, SELF WORTH AND SELF RESPECT.
Becoming THIN without understanding the various important components needed to accomplish this result can cause greater detriment if not approached in a SAFE and REALISTIC manner. To achieve the desired LONG TERM results, a person MUST be able to answer the following four points:
When losing weight, are you losing body FAT or LEAN BODY MUSCLE? The scale only provides a number measuring TOTAL WEIGHT. It DOES NOT tell you whether you are losing fat or muscle (unless your scale includes a body composition analysis.) Some healthcare providers and most certified fitness trainers can help answer this question.
Are you exercising as part of this lifestyle modification? Are you doing cardiovascular exercise or resistance exercise or both? Are you training at the right intensity for the right duration of time? Are you training at the right frequency? Certified trainers can help answer this question.
What dietary LIFESTYLE changes have you made? Are these changes you can COMFORTABLY live with AND ACCEPT the rest of your life, or are they designed to reach a certain number on the scale? Has your doctor ordered a lab panel to determine if your dietary changes match the needs of your body? (Ex. blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, inflammatory markers, hormones, electrolytes, etc…) Licensed health care professionals and certified nutritionists can help answer these questions.
What are you doing to address the emotional component that commonly causes addictive behavior interfering with healthy lifestyle choices? Failing to address these interfering factors will compete with personal attempts to overcome weight issues. Certified health coaches and licensed counselors and therapists can help with this question.
As you can see, there are many factors people do not consider when attempting to lose weight. Focusing just on food (or the lack there of) will guarantee failure in almost every situation. Having greater understanding of the different components and using these recommendations will significantly improve your ability to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
AND WHAT DOES THIS LEAD TO?
A healthy body weight with the right composition of lean muscle and fat; a healthy blood chemistry profile; increased energy and improved function; an ability to channel unwanted stress and the desire and capability to live the QUALITY OF LIFE YOU CHOOSE!
NOT A BAD ALTERNATIVE FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF US!