Maintaining your weight in the normal range is essential to healthy living. It adds to your overall fitness and keeps your vulnerability to different diseases low. Usually, when you have a high body mass index, your possibility of developing health issues, like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and others, increases. So, it’s important to manage your weight.
Read on for the ultimate guide to primary care weight management.
Benefits of weight management in primary care
Weight management is vital for both your physical and mental health and well-being. For instance, you become more assertive at work, feel happier and confident, socialize often, and develop a sense of achievement.
The fundamental objective of weight management in primary care is to lower the morbidity and mortality of overweight and obese people. Here are some of the benefits primary care weight management offers:
- It protects you from weight-related issues
Unhealthy weight can lead to various diseases and health conditions, including gallbladder disease, stroke, and even mental health problems like anxiety and depression. Losing weight is one of the best ways to prevent health issues. When you live a healthy life, you increase your chances of living longer.
- It helps you achieve your objectives
Your family physician can assist you in achieving your weight loss objectives. When you have someone checking on you to ensure you’re following the right diet and exercising regularly, you act more responsibly and stay focused on your goals.
- It gives you a map
The weight loss process can sometimes be challenging, especially if you’re not taking the right path. Fortunately, primary care practitioners can provide the map you need to achieve your goals. On top of that, they can walk you through this journey. These people are specialists, and they know the obstacles you may face in trying to lose weight. Therefore, they offer you the support you need to commit to the journey and succeed.
- It allows you to obtain the appropriate tools
Without the proper tools, you may find it difficult to lose weight on your own. However, if you’re equipped with the right tools, you’ll be on your way to success. Primary care facilities provide all the necessary tools you need and can devise a more personalized weight management plan that meets your requirements.
- It lets you learn about the proper diet for weight management
One great thing about working with a primary care physician in weight management is that you can receive guidance on the kind of food you require to manage your weight and foster your overall health. Selecting the right balanced diet can be overwhelming, as you may need to know what to cut and what to add. Thankfully, experts can help you create and maintain a long-term nutritional plan that can work for you.
- It helps you lose and maintain your weight for the long term
There are high chances for one to gain weight after losing it. Research shows that most people gain back the weight they lose while dieting and can even weigh more than before. Only around 20% of people who start out overweight succeed in losing weight and maintaining a slim figure for a long time. Professionals say one reason behind this is that your body tries to compensate for the deprivation you experienced while on a diet.
Fortunately, primary care specialists provide you with a long-lasting weight management solution. They offer you the right tools and come up with practical diet plans that can allow you to maintain a healthy weight for a long time.
Causes of overweight
Below are some of the primary causes of weight gain:
Genes are one of the chief contributors to overweight or obesity. If your parents or blood relatives are significantly overweight, there are high chances that you may also be overweight. However, this may vary from one person to another. Research reveals that for some people, the genetic influence of being overweight is only 25%, whereas, for others, it can be as high as 70% to 80%.
- Poor diet
Another common cause of being overweight is poor diet. Most people don’t practice good eating habits. Nearly half (46%) of adults and 56% of children in the US have a poor diet.
Some unhealthy eating habits include:
- Taking huge amounts of processed foods that are rich in fat and sugar
- Drinking a lot of sugary drinks, including soft drinks
- Consuming excessive alcohol
- Eating more food than you require
These poor eating habits can affect your nutrient intake, impair your daily health, and lower your ability to lead a satisfying and active life.
- High insulin levels
The major purpose of insulin in your body is to control your energy supply by balancing micronutrient levels. It directs fat cells to store and contain the fat they carry. However, when insulin levels are high, the fat cells store energy instead of making it available for utilization. This makes you gain weight.
- Leptin resistance
Leptin is a hormone that enables you to regulate your appetite. When your leptin levels are high, your appetite is low. However, leptin resistance lowers your ability to control your appetite or boost your body’s energy usage. This causes you to feel hungry often and raise your food intake even if you’re already full. As a result, you gain a lot of weight.
- Some medications
Particular medications can make you gain weight. Some include the following:
- Epilepsy drugs
- Tricyclic antidepressants
These drugs affect your body’s metabolism. Some can make your body burn calories slower, while others can make you retain water. This leads you to gain weight, even though you don’t take in additional fat.
Primary care medical weight loss services
Your doctor can advise you on various methods to help you lose weight. Some of the options are:
- Weight loss pills and supplements
Some pills and supplements can help you lose weight or can work with other medications to make it easier for you to lose weight. They reduce your appetite, making you feel full and consume fewer calories. Additionally, they augment fat burning and reduce nutrient absorption. Some of the popular weight loss pills and supplements are:
- Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
- Green tea extract
- Raspberry ketones
Some of these pills and supplements can have side effects. Therefore, ensure you keep in touch with your doctor.
- Behavioral health
Your doctor can examine the behavioral health patterns resulting in weight gain and counsel you on overcoming them. You can work closely with them and learn how to track your eating habits and increase your activity level.
Primary care physicians can suggest exercise plans to help you manage weight successfully. After evaluating your primary causes of gaining weight, they can devise a more personalized plan. Some of the best exercises for weight loss are:
This is one of the most effective exercises for weight loss. Conventionally, cycling was an outdoor activity, but currently, most gymnasiums and fitness facilities have stationary bikes that can enable you to cycle indoors. You’ll need to cycle faster if you want to lose more weight. The faster you cycle, the more energy you use and the more calories you burn.
For example, a person weighing 155 pounds can burn 298 calories in a 30-minute bike ride while pedaling at 12 to 13.9 miles every hour. On the other hand, a 185-pound person can burn 355 calories by cycling at the same pace.
Walking is a much easier and more convenient exercise for weight loss. You don’t need to use any equipment, and it has a low impact. This means you won’t feel much stress on your joints. The amount of calories you burn depends on how many hours you walk. For example, if you walk for 30 minutes a day, you can burn around 150 calories.
This is a full-body workout that allows you to lose weight. It’s a less risky exercise that incorporates your whole body, including arms, legs, and core.
Running is another excellent way of losing weight. When you run, your heart and lungs work harder, causing your body to burn stored energy. So, you burn more energy than you consume and eventually lose weight.
Yoga is also an efficient form of exercise that can help you lose weight. Although it doesn’t help you burn calories directly, it can help you with your weight loss goals. For instance, yoga can allow you to manage stress, which in turn helps you with weight management. Moreover, it can help you build muscles and develop mindful eating habits.
- Interval training
This involves short bursts of intense workouts that you interchange with recovery periods. Usually, an interval training exercise takes around 10-30 minutes, and you can burn a lot of calories.
- Nutrition counseling
Some foods that can help you lose weight include the following:
- Fiber-rich food, like pears, brown rice, whole wheat bread, and radishes
- Fruits and vegetables
- Lean protein (some sources include eggs, lentils, green peas, cottage cheese)
You can add smaller portions of your favorite foods too. Sometimes, you may want to enjoy a snack but still stick to your weight loss routine. In such cases, consider taking low-calorie snack bars.
The weight management process isn’t as nerve-racking and tough as you think when you know what to do. With the right exercises and diet, you’ll be able to attain your weight loss goals. Just remember to choose exercises you can comfortably and confidently complete and stick to a healthy eating plan. Consider working with your family physician to develop accountability and obtain the right tools for weight loss management.