Tag Archives: obesity and health

time to ask for help

When It’s Time to Ask for Help on Your Weight Loss Journey

How do you know when DIY weight loss isn’t working for you? Here’s when it’s time to ask for help and work with a doctor or weight loss professional who can help you lose weight faster and keep the weight off.

With all the readily found information out there about health and weight loss, it’s easy to think that with the right knowledge we can do everything by ourselves.

And while that’s true for some things like changing a tire or trying a new step-by-step recipe, it’s harder to get right when it comes to complex changes like weight loss.

When you decide to lose weight, there are years of habits and lifestyle choices to overcome. There aren’t quick and easy fixes to how to fix your whole mindset and make new habits in ten minutes or less. 

The changes to lose weight and keep the weight off can take time. That’s why seeking out support can help you overcome the most common barriers to weight loss. Barriers like:

  • Stress
  • Lack of social support or being in an unhealthy environment
  • Food cravings

So if you’ve been trying to lose weight on your own but feel like you aren’t making the changes you wanted to see, here’s how to know when it’s time to ask for help in your weight loss goals.

If you keep hitting the same roadblocks

Losing weight becomes a struggle for many people because of how many roadblocks there are to smoothly achieve weight loss goals. Roadblocks like…

  • being too busy to meal plan 
  • not enjoying exercise
  • not having enough information
  • feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information out there about weight loss
  • Intense food cravings

It’s common to get stuck in a cycle of starting and stopping your weight loss journey because you don’t see any progress.

If you’ve been trying to stick to a diet for a month and see only two pounds lost…it’s discouraging. It makes you wonder why you’re putting yourself through the trouble in the first place. And it’s reasonable to wonder why it’s worth trying. You may even think that weight loss just isn’t possible for you.

If you keep trying new DIY programs and don’t see any progress, that’s a clear sign that you can benefit from an expert perspective and support.

Experts in weight loss know more than ever gets talked about in the generalized health advice on the internet. They’ll be able to see why you haven’t made progress yet and help you stick to a plan that’s actually sustainable and manageable for you in the long run. 

If you have any medical condition

Losing weight is helpful for overall health and wellbeing. But if you’re dealing with health complications either related or unrelated to your weight, it’s important to make changes to your diet and lifestyle with health concerns in mind.

Managing different conditions requires changes to diet, lifestyle, and sometimes medication. So if you plan to take additional weight loss supplements or make dietary changes that could interfere with your management of a condition, you want to have all the information so you can do it right.

A doctor can help you decide what kind of diet is best for you in your situation. They can also monitor your progress and health vitals on a consistent basis to make sure you’re losing weight safely. 

If you don’t feel supported by your friends and family 

While we always want to give friends and family the benefit of the doubt and remember they also have their own concerns in life, sometimes they just aren’t supportive of big lifestyle changes.

And it usually has nothing to do with you.

It’s because they’re afraid of having to make changes to their own lifestyle now that you are. Or they may even feel guilty for not taking a proactive stance about their health after seeing you make a change. And sometimes they truly don’t understand why you’d want to change—even when your health is on the line.

But having support is one of the most important pieces of a successful weight loss journey. When you have support, you’re more likely to complete your weight loss program, achieve your goals, and keep the weight off in the long run.

So if you don’t have the support from friends and family, it’s worth the investment to get support so you get someone in your corner cheering you on. Plus, that support comes from a real weight loss and health expert. You will get the personalized support you need most.

If you want to try the faster weight loss methods like phentermine or HCG

If medical weight loss is on your radar, then working with an expert is necessary.

Options for medical weight loss include phentermine, an appetite suppressant. It’s an FDA-approved medication that can be used to suppress your appetite. It’s helpful when starting out your diet so you can adjust to a new diet without intense cravings that pull you off track.

There’s also the HCG program. It’s a short-term low-calorie diet combined with lipotropic injections. The diet helps you cut calories to lose weight fast over the course of three to four weeks. And the lipotropic injections help you increase your energy and promote weight loss.

Neither of these options are meant to be done alone, however. They are prescribed and overseen by a doctor. So if you’re looking for a way to kickstart your weight loss in a powerful way, it’s time to ask for help from a doctor who can safely guide you through a medical option.

Not all weight loss programs are created equal

There are a lot of weight loss programs out there, but they don’t all offer the same level of support.

But we know how important it is for you to get both knowledgeable and compassionate support from an expert.

This is why when you visit any of our locations, you’ll work with a doctor who is compassionate and knowledgeable. You’ll get weekly health and accountability check-ins. Plus personalized changes for your plan depending on what you need for progress.

We have hundreds of happy patients and helped them achieve their weight loss goals with the right support after hitting many of the same roadblocks you may have experienced for years.

If you feel like it’s time to ask for help and you’re ready for life-changing weight loss support, visit your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss location today.

stay motivated with slow weight loss

How to stay motivated with slow weight loss

8 ways to stay true to your weight loss plan even when it gets tough. Using even a few of these tips will help you stay motivated with slow weight loss progress.

Here’s the truth: whether you want to lose 10 pounds or 40 pounds, weight loss never happens overnight.

And it’s frustrating. So frustrating you kinda just want to throw the scale out the window most days.

When your progress doesn’t happen as fast as you hoped, you’re more likely to lose motivation to keep going. Because sometimes it truly feels like nothing you do works.

But we’re here to encourage you not to lose hope. And to tell you that while it’s totally normal to feel changes in your level of motivation to stick to a weight loss plan—there are strategies that make it easier to stay motivated.

So the good news is that a lot of the frustration you feel about your slow weight loss progress can be overcome with some tricks and new mindsets. 

Here are the top tips to stay motivated with slow weight loss. If you can make a few of these tips work, you will reach your goal weight! 

1. Don’t compare your progress with anyone else’s

Remember every weight loss journey is unique

It’s easy to feel like you aren’t making progress fast enough. And to believe that other people have an easier time losing weight than you do.

But you don’t know anyone else’s journey through weight loss—just like no one else knows yours either. 

If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself with other weight loss journeys here are a couple ideas to try that’ll snap you out of the negative comparisons:

  • When you catch yourself feeling jealousy over someone else’s weight loss achievements, remind yourself that you’re happy for that person and you’re on the way to finding your own success too
  • If your newsfeed anywhere on social media makes you feel more pressure to be a certain way, hide them for a while. Keep anything that’s not helpful to you hidden until you’re more confident about what you’ve achieved so far.
  • Remind yourself of three things every day that you’re grateful that your body does for you. Or point out three things you like about your body

So just remember, perfection is never the goal. Your goal is to create your version of a healthier lifestyle.

2. Create small goals

Big goals take a long time to achieve. They take so long that they start to feel impossible if that’s the only goal post you have in mind to define your success.

To make weight loss easier and feel more attainable throughout your weight loss process, you need to have smaller goals.

A smaller goal takes less time to achieve. It allows for more celebration of wins and progress. And they help you reach important milestones that are essential to hit the big goal.

Create goals that aren’t related to the number on the scale.

Make goals to exercise a certain amount of time each week. Or goals to stick to certain portion sizes in your meals. 

You want your short term goals to be easily measurable and attainable, but still impactful for your long term weight loss goals.

3. Celebrate every win (even for the small goals)

When you hit a milestone don’t just say, “Okay that’s done, now onto the next thing.”

Take a moment to feel proud of your accomplishment (no matter how small).

Your first week sticking to your workout plan is a big deal! So is getting through a full week sticking to your meal plan. These successes give you the confidence to keep going. So don’t just brush them off.

You deserve to feel proud of yourself for these accomplishments. They’re hard work!

So here are some ideas to celebrate your small and big goals when you hit them:

  • Buy yourself something special
  • Go get a mani/pedi
  • Plan a great afternoon outing for yourself
  • Share your success with friends and family. When others cheer you on, the success feels even more special!

4. Keep a weight loss journal

Weight loss requires personal accountability.

You have to show up for yourself and your best interests every day. And there are a lot of actions and choices that go creating a day where you can say you successfully showed up and stuck to your plan.

A weight loss journal helps you keep track of and reflect on all those moving pieces.

In your journal, you can use the space to do a range of things. All of which help you create better plans and enjoy your weight loss journey as much as possible:

  • Track your meals
  • Track your calories
  • Reflect on how certain foods make you feel
  • Track your time spend exercising
  • Track which exercises you did
  • Reflect on which exercise you enjoy most and how it makes you feel
  • Reflect on what went well at the end of each week and how you’ll make next week ever better

5. Find an exercise you enjoy

It’s so much easier to stick to an exercise plan when you enjoy what you do.

That’s why your first step to introduce fitness shouldn’t be to do whatever any fitness guru says is the one-and-only way to lose weight. 

You want to first find ways to increase your movement every day that you actually look forward to. Because when you look forward to exercising, you’re more likely to do it.

It’s also important to ease into exercise. Especially if you’re new to it or haven’t done any exercise in a long time. 

And then, if you want to start something more intensive or targeted down the line, great! 

Here are some of the types of activities you can ease into and that many people enjoy:

  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Jogging
  • Walking
  • Weight Lifting
  • Yoga

And if you’re looking for ways to get high-quality exercise at home, you can check out our previous article about workouts at home for ideas.

6. Remind yourself daily of all the positive life changes that’ll come from losing weight

Remember those reasons that prompted you to start your weight loss journey to begin with. All those ideas you had about how different (and better) your life will be after you lose the weight.

Whether you have these listed in your weight loss journal, posted on sticky-notes around the house, or you go all out to make a vision board—you need some way to keep your reasons for losing weight at top of mind.

7. On the flip side, remind yourself what’s at stake

Sometimes it helps to remember what’s at stake if you give up on your plan. 

Will your long term health suffer? How will you feel six months from now if you stop? And then what do you imagine things will be like in another year?

There are consequences to every action. So on those days you struggle to stay motivated with slow weight loss, remember what you’re giving up in your future if you don’t follow through with your plan.

8. Find social support

Weight loss is so much easier when you have support.

The first is to get friends and family on board to support you. When they are aware of your weight loss goals, they can be there to talk to you through the hardest times. And they can support you by celebrating your progress and wins.

But sometimes it’s hard to get the people closest to you to see why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s easy to feel misunderstood and even judged.

That’s where health coaches and weight loss specialists come in. Studies show that individuals who work with health coaches and other specialists lose more weight than if they do it alone or with only the support of peers.

People who work with weight loss specialists are also more likely to stay motivated with slow weight loss and get through the toughest times of the journey.

These are professionals who are always there to support you. Plus, they get to know your health and fitness levels to create a plan that’s just right for you. 

Want to lose weight and hit your goals faster?

While no one can give you overnight weight loss, we can help you lose weight faster than doing it alone.

At Valley Medical Weight Loss our doctors are specialized in helping people with a range of challenges. We help our patients overcome their biggest weight-loss barriers and finally lose the weight they want.

We learn about you, your health history, and your weight loss goals to help you achieve them faster. 

If you want to finally make your weight loss goals a reality, contact us at the location nearest you.

Sources

  1. “Study Shows Health Coaches Effective in Helping People Lose Weight, Live Healthier Lives.” ACE Fitness, www.acefitness.org/certifiednewsarticle/2892/study-shows-health-coaches-effective-in-helping-people-lose-weight-live-healthier-lives/. 
childhood obesity

Childhood Obesity: An American Epidemic

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. So, we’re here to call attention to a problem that’s increasing at an alarming rate in America. It’s so alarming, in fact, that the World Health Organization describes childhood obesity as one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century.

Over the past 3 decades, the rate of childhood obesity in the United States has tripled. As of 2012, more than one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. While different factors – like genetics, amount of exercise, and other environmental factors – play a role in obesity, nutrition – what kids are/aren’t eating – is largely to blame.

Before we get into what you can do to help reduce these numbers, let’s talk about the consequences of childhood obesity and why it matters so much.

The Health Risk

Being obese in your childhood has both short-term and long-term consequences. Obese children are more likely to have pre-diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, which are all risk factors for heart disease that were once “adult-only” issues. Obese children are also more likely to develop sleep apnea and have bone and joint problems. It’s not just about physical health though — obesity also takes a toll on a child’s mental health, as well. Reports show that obese children report feeling secluded from their peers and often have low self-esteem.

Children who are obese are also more likely to stay obese as they enter adulthood, which only increases the risk of these health problems – and many others, like stroke and cancer.

What’s to Blame?

It’s impossible to point the finger at just one cause of childhood obesity. It’s a myriad of factors that when combined are a recipe for disaster. Increased consumption of fast and processed foods, a lack of exercise and more time sitting indoors, and increasing intake of sugary beverages like soda are all party to blame.

According to a 2003 article in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” 64 to 83 percent of school-age children and adolescents drink soda. The more soda a child drinks, the less water and milk that child consumes. Because milk is rich in vitamin D, vitamin B-12, vitamin B-2, protein, and calcium, intake of these nutrients also falls as soda consumption increases.

Children who eat fast food regularly also tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables than kids who don’t eat fast food as often. As a result, children who regularly eat fast food gain an extra 6 pounds per year, on average.

What Can You Do?

Combating the issue of childhood obesity starts at home. Sure, there are outside influences, like friends, sleepovers, and school lunches that come into play. But if you do your best to control what you can, you’re off to a really great start.

First of all, avoid fast food as much as possible. Yes, it’s cheap, but the nutritional consequences are expensive. A large hamburger packs about 600 calories and 35 grams of fat, while a small order of fries adds an additional 200 calories and 10 grams of fat. Add a small soda to complete the meal and you’ve reached almost 1,000 calories just for that meal.

In addition to avoiding fast food, encourage vegetable consumption as much as possible. Offer vegetables with every meal and let your child experiment with different options. Sometimes adults are quick to say “oh, my child won’t eat that” but how do you know if you’ve never given it a chance?

It’s also important to encourage active play. A lot of children nowadays are glued to video games and social media and tablets and because of this, they don’t get the exercise they need. Exercise isn’t important just for maintaining a healthy weight, it’s also important for increasing self-confidence and boosting mood. Get out there and play WITH your children. Show them that it’s a good idea to take a break from the electronics every once in a while and really get connected with each other.

Valley Medical Youth Program

We understand that it’s difficult to keep up in this fast-paced world, but when you know better, you can do better – and that’s the message we’re trying to share here. We also offer an effective youth program for kids aged 12 and up.

For $120 per month, you get:

  • FDA-approved Appetite Suppressant for 12 years or older*
  • Professional strength liquid multivitamin, mineral and antioxidant vitamins
  • Daily Probiotic
  • Meal Plan
  • Weekly Weigh-ins
  • Physician Consultation