Weight Management & Health
By Linda Kiley, MD
We all know that we live in a country with an obesity epidemic. Almost ¾ of Americans are overweight, and 40 percent are obese. Nearly one-fifth of Americans are severely overweight. There is no end to diet books, diet programs, fad diets, and ads for unbelievable weight-loss pills, the weight loss industry is a multi billion dollar industry. With so many people overweight, it’s not surprising to see this. We know based on data that being overweight increases risk for diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain, and joint replacement surgery. Most of us really want to be healthy and feel well. Many of us will make an attempt to lose weight at some point, if only to look better at a class reunion, wedding, or other special occasion. The problem with most weight loss programs is that they provide a temporary solution to a long term problem.
Understanding nutrition, metabolism, activity level and genetics each play an important role in our health and our tendency to gain weight, we still need to find a workable answer to achieving optimal health and a healthy weight. The best question to ask is: “How do I change my life so that I don’t feel deprived, but am happy, healthy and satisfied with how I look and feel?”
Although childhood obesity has become epidemic, most children during and shortly after puberty tend to be thinner and more muscular during that time, but gradually shift towards gaining weight in adulthood. Some of us are born with metabolisms that predispose us to obesity because our ancestors survived based on their ability to retain fat during times of low food availability. Sometimes, despite tremendous effort at dietary restriction and exercise, we see little to no change on the scale.
Understanding all of this, looking more closely at the complex interaction between our genes, our environment, and our nutrition, we have some answers. Finding the right nutritional balance and eating pattern for each individual is extremely important. More data has been produced looking at different eating patterns such as intermittent fasting with varying periods of eating and fasting based upon the individual, this has provided insight not only into weight control but also into longevity and the aging process. Achieving a proper balance is a key part of achieving a healthy weight and better health. Additionally, understanding the mechanisms taking place within each cell affecting energy production (cellular metabolism) has helped us to understand the bigger picture of metabolism in general. This has led to a different approach to weight loss. Diet drugs traditionally have been used to curb appetite and reduce intake but have had some potentially very negative physical side-effects and risks. The question is, are there supplements, medications or other approaches that can help us achieve a proper weight without the significant risks of the more traditional diet drugs? And can our understanding of this help make the weight loss permanent?
There has been much excitement in the past few years over the development of peptides to augment and promote health. One of the first peptides discovered was insulin to treat diabetes. With greater understanding of the effects of insulin and discovery of other peptides involved in digestion, metabolism, immune system function and cellular recovery, we have been able to find better ways to help our cells function better, boost metabolism and encourage safer weight loss. The discovery of liraglutide, semaglutide and related compounds has revolutionized the treatment of diabetes and more importantly, changed the face of weight management strategies. Finding ways to reduce inflammation in the gut and optimize proper nutrient absorption has also been important in helping to achieve a healthy weight.
A weight management program is a good place to start when traditional “healthy diet and exercise” strategies have not achieved the desired results. The most important thing to remember, though, is that a weight management program is not designed to allow for periodic temporary weight loss, or “yo-yo dieting”. Wide fluctuations of weight are actually harder on the body than maintaining a steady weight. Our goal needs to be to achieve the best level of health with the healthiest amount of body fat for each individual and maintain that permanently.
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At Ultra Health & Wellness and Laser Skin & Wellness, we have designed programs to help achieve and maintain those goals of optimal health and proper body weight. Learn more by calling our office or filling out one of our online forms.