Fight the Fad: Diet Right

Too skinny.  Too fat. Pleasantly plump. Curvy. Obese.  Voluptuous. When it comes to weight, people seem to be constantly vigilant.  For those struggling with their weight, dieting can feel like the center of their lives. However, the scale can be your friend again if you take the time to diet right!

Diet and Exercise 

If you are aiming to lose weight, you will likely start by looking at diet and exercise.  You may be making good choices, but eating too much of a good thing. You may need to ramp up cardio or strength training.  For a solid plan to be built, some reverse engineering takes place. Your doctor or weight specialist may suggest keeping a food and exercise journal during the diagnosis phase. The journal can help you, your doctor, your nutritionist, or personal trainer to look for trends in your eating, activity, and even emotional and psychological patterns. Together, you can build a healthier relationship to food and target any areas to improve. 

Fads Aren’t Fabulous

If you’ve got a special event coming up, or you just want your clothes to fit right, you may be tempted by short-term solutions.  Fad diets are nothing new. You will often hear of some new “it” program and over-amplified celebrity results. Usually, these fads are simply hype.  Some are safe and some are not. Beware of diets or supplements that offer major results in a very short period of time. While short-term results may occur during the program, weight may pop right back on after the program is through. Diets that encourage you to cut out too much may not be nutritionally sound and eating too few calories may even push your body to hang onto weight. Some “supplements” may not be approved by the FDA.  They might be useless at best or dangerous at worst.

Food Obsession

Sometimes, people can be so worried about those extra pounds, unhealthy behaviors can develop:

  • Hyperfocus on counting calories and fats
  • Fixation on reading food labels
  • Food deprivation/refusal and/or excessive exercise (possible Anorexia Nervosa)
  • Gorging indulgence (as an emotional response or because they’ve given up hope of losing weight)
  • Binging and purging or laxative abuse (possible Bulimia)

What Else Could be Causing Your Weight Problem?

If you are active and eat a healthy, well-portioned, and balanced diet, you may be confused about being over- or underweight. Your doctor can help rule out any underlying medical causes that may be affecting weight control.  However, it doesn’t stop there. Weight is influenced by so many factors. Diet and exercise only scratch the surface. Some other factors that may impact your weight include:

  • Genetics
  • Sleep habits
  • Depression (seasonal, traumatic event triggered, post-partum, or clinical)
  • Some prescription medications
  • Abuse of alcohol or drugs
  • Anxiety and stress response (relating to elevated cortisol levels)
  • Hormone imbalances (including polycystic ovarian syndrome or Cushing’s Disease)
  • Endocrine or thyroid dysfunction
  • Chronic dehydration and/or electrolyte imbalance (possible causes of water retention!)
  • An injury or other mobility impairment
  • Pregnancy and post-delivery
  • Other health conditions  

After your doctor evaluates your eating habits, fitness routine, and medical history, they may order testing. You might be referred to a nutritionist or a weight clinic, which can help you to navigate a plan for your specific needs. 

You Don’t Have to Go it Alone!

The term weight management applies to any person who has trouble reaching or maintaining a healthy weight.  Our weight clinic helps patients who are seeking to lose weight. We aim to put you back in control and will work with you to optimize your weight through customized, medically-based programs and counseling.  We invite you to learn more about our clinic’s RenewME MD plan, and book an appointment.  We’d love to help you reach your goals and feel your best!