This article is written by Abe Fridman, DO, Griffin Hospital’s Director of Bariatrics. Dr. Fridman offers a range of surgical weight loss procedures designed to help patients live healthier, happier lives.
What’s the secret to healthy weight loss? Ever since I started in the field of weight loss, this has always been the number one question asked by patients and staff. After working with countless patients and staying current on all the latest research, I still have yet to find a perfect answer. As we know, obesity and morbid obesity are part of a disease process that we are still exploring and trying to figure out the exact causes and effects of.
When most people think of weight loss, they think of the kind of magic bullet solutions you see on TV or hear about on the radio. These programs and pills promise incredible results with just one simple change. Because of this, many people will try several different treatment plans and inevitably end up unsuccessful. What I think people need to realize is that there is no magic trick to getting rid of the weight. No matter how you plan on doing it, weight loss requires hard work and dedication. It will require lifestyle changes that may be very difficult to sustain in today’s environment. Obesity is a chronic disease, and that means you have to continuously treat it over time.
Weight Loss is a Journey, So Don’t Go It Alone
Speaking to a dietician or nutritionist should be the first step in everyone’s weight loss journey. When someone gets diagnosed with a disease, they will then go see an expert who specializes in that disease and to develop a treatment plan together. We should treat obesity like any other chronic disease. Whenever someone is ready to begin their weight loss journey, they should see a provider trained in the management of the disease of obesity.
Diet and nutrition are complex facets of health and are there many nutritional misconceptions perpetuated by different sources. These misconceptions can sabotage a person’s weight loss journey, making the effort feel hopeless even when they thought they were doing the right thing. Many people are unaware that diet and nutrition are responsible for about 80% of weight loss or gain. Usually once an individual has met with a provider, they are very surprised to learn that some of the things they are doing are not as healthy as they thought. After getting an education on what is actually healthy and what is not, a person can develop a much more effective plan to lose weight in a healthy way.
How Can You Reach Your Destination?
Healthy weight loss is very much doable if one works cooperatively with knowledgeable and appropriate providers. Whether with dieting, weight loss medications, or surgery, lifestyle changes are extremely important to successful weight loss. If one is able to identify what behaviors need to change and proceed to make those changes, then healthy weight loss can begin. I often see patients lose weight and keep it off just by modifying a few aspects of their diet and sticking to those changes. However, the worse morbid obesity gets, the more difficult it is to make those needed changes. At a certain point, additional interventions like weight loss medications, counseling, and surgery are needed together with lifestyle changes.
Healthy weight loss is possible if the necessary steps are taken. In order to battle this chronic disease, appropriate education and management need to be paired with a lifelong commitment. If you’re interested in learning more about how to start your weight loss journey, I encourage you to attend one of Griffin Bariatrics’ Weight Loss Seminars. Click here to sign up for a free virtual seminar.