Weight Loss Program and Diet

Worldwide, obesity is associated with a wide array of co-morbidities that have a poor effect on long-term health. Obesity, by itself, is a chronic condition. If your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 30 or if your BMI is greater than 27 with an associated co-morbidity (such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes), you may benefit from partaking in a medically-assisted weight loss program. The reason is fairly simple. Lifestyle changes through diet modification and regular exercise can trigger an adaptive response within you that can negate the benefits of your persistent efforts. This physiologic response includes an increase in appetite and a lowered expenditure of energy. FDA-approved medical therapy helps target these specific physiologic responses to help induce and sustain long-term weight reduction.

In general, an effective weight loss program is multifaceted and comprehensive. Anti-obesity medications are an adjunctive part of treatment. If all measures fail, bariatric surgery may be a viable consideration and has been shown to be highly effective for short-term and long-term weight loss. But weight loss begins with lifestyle changes, including diet modification, as a cornerstone of all treatment plans.

Dietary Intervention

One of the most important predictors of weight loss is adherence to your diet, and this is regardless of the type of diet you choose. The ketogenic diet, which is currently one of the more popular diet plans, is commonly utilized for weight loss but is largely unsustainable over the long term due to its dietary restrictions. Keep in mind that the goal of a diet is to reduce the total amount of calories you consume compared to the amount of calories you expend. Low-calorie diets (LCD) of approximately 800 to 1200 kcal/day have been shown to be effective in helping obese/overweight adults with weight loss.

An effective diet also involves lesser consumption of beef, processed sugars, processed meats, and content high in trans fat and sodium. More emphasis should be placed on fish, nuts, fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and yogurt. This nutritional content is encompassed in the Mediterranean diet, which is highly recommended for individuals with obesity and cardiovascular risk factors. When men and women of similar weight and height partake in the same diet, men often lose more weight. Men generally have less body fat and more lean musculature, which leads to more energy expenditure and calories burned over time.

Long-term adherence to dietary modification is essential to maintaining weight loss, in addition to regular exercise and an anti-obesity medical regimen for those who qualify.

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