By Dr. Rehan Lakhani, ND
“You have to lose weight,” said your doctor.
“I know, I know, I can stand to lose a few pounds, I will doc, don’t worry!”
Soon after the visit, the doctor’s orders were forgotten, and the weight kept creeping on.
Why does this occur so often? Weight loss has become common advice that doctors often tell their patients, but it is seldom, if ever, adhered to.
In Canada alone, 1 in 4 people were considered obese in 2011-2012, and the number has since increased. Medical literature points to obesity as a cause for multiple different health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.
Considering that the leading causes of death in Canada are heart disease and cancer, it’s crucial that patients don’t ignore their doctor’s advice to lose weight. In fact, patients should treat it as a prescription rather than merely a suggestion – it could be a matter of life and death.
Obesity and weight management are major public health issues currently, partly because they are layered and complex problems – there is no simple solution to this epidemic. Income, environment, food security, and housing are only some of the factors that impact an individual’s tendency to gain weight. While these underlying factors may be difficult to address immediately, there are several actions that patients can take right now to slowly and sustainably decrease the excess weight they are carrying, and improve their overall health status.
Eat until you are full.
While this might seem overly simplistic, many people eat until they are overly stuffed! Listen to your body while you’re eating, and follow it’s natural hunger cues. When eating, avoid distractions such as televisions or phones and focus on simply eating the food in front of you. Chew your food slowly and put your fork down between bites to allow your digestive system to convey to the brain that it is full, and stop eating.
2. Drink a glass of water if you feel hungry.
Sometimes the body thinks it is hungry when really it’s bored, or just thirsty. When you start to feel hunger, drink a tall glass of water, and take 10 minutes to sit with that feeling and understand what is causing it. Are you bored? Are you tired? Thirsty? Or are you truly hungry? Ask yourself these questions and try to see if the hunger goes away once you have identified the cause. If the hunger persists, you know that you indeed are hungry and can consume a meal!
3. Reduce your intake of refined foods.
This is quite possibly the number one recommendation that health professionals make to their patients and for good reason! Refined foods cause blood sugar spikes that result in cravings and intense hunger pangs. Additionally, refined and processed foods are often associated with negative health outcomes such as increasing risk for cardiovascular disease. Decreasing these foods in the long run will help reduce huger pangs, decrease your chances of developing heart disease, and allow for more control over your weight.
- Weight loss is a crucial component to the maintenance of good health, and prevention of chronic disease.
- Obesity is an epidemic of public health concern, and can cause the development of various different illnesses.
- Underlying factors contribute to one’s tendency to be obese, but actions can be taken to reduce your chances of weight gain and development of chronic illness.
- Eating until you’re full, drinking more water, and reducing intake of refined foods are all effective strategies in weight management
If you’re ready to take charge of your health and want to get back to a healthy weight, contact us or book online using the link below. Let’s get you back to feeling like yourself again!