Our previous two posts both dealt with some of the misinformation available about weight loss. In this final post, we will attempt to lay out some of the facts, hopefully allowing readers to make informed health decisions. Despite many of the unhealthy and incorrect ideas about obesity, it is still a medical concern, and being overweight can massively impact your overall health, both short and long term. Health risks such as diabetes, depression, and heart failure are all exacerbated or can even be caused by obesity. In other words, obesity is still something that is worth fighting, both through social programs, and in our own lives.
When looking to lose some weight, first take a step back and assess the situation. A visit to your doctor, or healthcare provider can be a good first step. Figure out ways to start making changes, and don’t have unrealistic expectations. Understand that this will not be something requiring short bursts of energy, but rather a long and sustained effort leading to permanent change. Utilizing your doctor can help to quantify your progress. Being able examine which specific areas you want to improve on will help you stay on target, and will connect all of the steps necessary to achieve your goal.
Second, take steps that are realistic for you. You will not be able to instantly transform yourself overnight. We are creatures of habit, and habits are powerful. Your current lifestyle is a deeply ingrained, and it is easiest to break it using small steps, one at a time. However, when making a change, make sure to remove all triggers for that activity. For example, if you typically drive down a certain road after work and buy some unhealthy food, driving a slightly different route might help you to avoid the trigger of craving the food. Similarly, if you are trying to be more active, try to start your exercise before you get into your normal daily routine. Once you are in your daily routine, it is hard to break it. So when you get home from work, lace up those running shoes. Resist the urge to take a quick break in front of the TV, as this will sap your willpower. Go for that run, and enjoy afterwards. It will be much more enjoyable.
So, when looking to lose weight, do your best to keep things simple and get your information from reliable sources. Don’t trust everything you read, including this. Go talk to your doctor, and create a plan that will help you to end up in the best shape you can.