The struggle millions of individuals experience in regard to maintaining a healthy weight has led public health agencies to characterize overweight and obesity as a major public health crisis.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, nearly one in three adults in the United States are overweight, while more than 40 percent are considered obese.
With so many adults in the US classified as overweight or obese, it’s no wonder that fad diets and additional programs to lose weight are so easy to find. Individuals who are overweight or obese should aspire to lose weight, as doing so can lower their risk for various conditions, including some which can be deadly, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
But it’s vital that individuals lose weight in a safe way that gives them the best chance to keep weight off. In recognition of that, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Downriver Clinics offer these tips to lose weight safely.
Recognize what makes up a healthy weight loss program
Individuals have all sorts of options that promise to help them lose weight, but that doesn’t mean each of those options is safe and/or effective. For example, the American Academy of Family Physicians notes that the typical fad diet is unhealthy and does not result in sustainable weight loss.
Some such diets can even be dangerous to your overall health. The USDA describes healthy weight loss programs as those that consist of reasonable and realistic weight loss goals.
A reduced-calorie, nutritionally-balanced eating plan is another feature of a healthy weight loss program. Such programs also should encourage routine physical activity and a plan to help people change their behaviors so they can stay on track and meet their goals.
Know what to expect out of a healthy meal
The USDA notes that calories, portion sizes and nutrition all combine to make a healthy meal. Avoid high-calorie meals by limiting portion sizes. The online health resource Verywell Fit offers a useful breakdown that can help people determine healthy portion sizes:
• 1 palm: a serving of protein
• 1 fist: a serving of vegetables
• 1 thumb: a serving of fats
• 1 cupped hand: a serving of carbs
This breakdown can act as a guideline for individuals, who also can discuss appropriate portion sizes with their physicians or a licensed dietician.
Change your lifestyle, not just your diet
A successful weight loss strategy will help individuals develop lifestyle habits that help them maintain healthy weights.
Fad diets and other quick fixes only provide short-term weight loss, and the USDA and Downriver Clinics urge individuals to avoid programs that they “go on” and “go off” at predetermined intervals. Long-term, healthy weight loss is achieved by changing one’s lifestyle, which requires a permanent commitment to physical activity and healthy eating.
At Downriver Clinics, we offer medical weight management supervised by our own “Dr. Weight Loss” Mounir Khaled, MD. Using a comprehensive approach rooted in healthy eating and routine exercise, Dr. Khaled has helped hundreds shed pounds and keep those pounds off for good.
For more information about the Downriver Clinic Medical Weight Management program, call (734) 992-5252 or visit us in Trenton or Grosse Ille.