Controlling Your Weight for Better Health

December 2, 2022

The holiday season is here, and that means the approach of the new year. For many, this means a fresh start and a chance to set the tone for the future. For others, it’s a time to look back and ask the question: What happened to last year’s resolutions?

If losing weight and keeping the excess pounds off has been on your indefinite to-do list, it’s time to check it off, once and for all.

Claire McGillClaire McGill, DO, a family physician at Lakewood Ranch Medical Group, provides some helpful information on the importance of maintaining a healthy weight as well as options for weight loss.

Why do people gain weight?

Poor diet and lack of exercise are the biggest contributors to the issue of obesity. As a society, our diet includes lots of calorie-dense, processed foods that lack nutrients. We expend less energy with a sedentary job, or we default to efficiency – like taking the elevator instead of the stairs.

Was the pandemic a contributor to weight gain?

The pandemic did not help with lifestyle challenges. A lot of people indulged in more comfort foods. Many people started working from home, and their jobs became more sedentary. If the job was already sedentary, they lost the little activity they did have when away from their desk. Many people still haven’t returned to the gym.

Besides the pandemic, overall health has significant impact on weight. Thyroid issues, certain medications or unprecedented stress can all be contributors to weight gain.

I want to lose weight, but where should I start?

Start small, by only setting two or three resolutions. You’re more likely to follow through if you can magnify what you really want. When you focus on your main short-term goals, you’ll eventually accomplish the long-term ones. After you complete them, you can set a couple more. Maybe you’ll surprise yourself.

How can I stick to my weight-loss goal?

For most people, it’s difficult to keep up with a new year’s resolution – especially when it requires a change in routine. If you aren’t seeing the results you want, it may discourage you.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone isn’t easy. A first step is to develop a plan of action. What are some small changes you could make without changing your day? It might be to take the stairs instead of the elevator, to pack a lunch instead of buying takeout, or to park the car further from your destination to get in some extra steps. Small changes can make a big difference.

What are some other options if diet and exercise are not working?

If you aren’t seeing results from traditional dieting and exercise, there are alternatives. Depending on your BMI, or Body Mass Index, medication could be an option. Typically, a BMI of 30 or higher, or a BMI of 27 with certain associated health conditions, make you a candidate. For a BMI of 40 or higher, or 35 with certain associated conditions, weight-loss surgery may be on the table.

The Manatee Weight Loss Center offers two kinds of weight loss surgery: Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass and Robotic Sleeve Gastrectomy. The Manatee Weight Loss team can help determine if surgery is the right option for you. A free informational seminar, which explains the entire process and shares patient success stories, is available for registration on their website.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. McGill or one of our other Family Medicine physicians, call our free physician referral service at 800-454-8215.