Look at the cartoon above.
Are you really going to willpower your way to weight loss success? I am not a psychiatrist or substance abuse specialist, but I know better than telling someone who is depressed to “cheer up” and an alcoholic to just “drink less” and it didn’t take my medical school degree to figure that out. If this is the case, then WHY are people still trying to tell those with obesity to just eat less and move more? Yes these situations are slightly different, but they are also very similar.
As I alluded to in the past, is obesity really just a choice? A choice that comes down to eating less and moving more?
What about those who have ravenous hunger? Don’t you think it’s tough for them to eat less when they feel miserable when they try?
Heck if you don’t believe me, a new review just came out discussing how diet and exercise fail most of the time and why it happens.
Fortunately for those with obesity, just like depression and substance abuse, there are treatments available. This is NOT the time to give up. Diet and exercise are a PART of the treatment plan, but to make it work, you will likely need some extra help.
In my new book, I discuss a multidisciplinary approach to treating those with obesity. The key components are:
- Improved lifestyle – Yes it’s true that eating less is part of the equation and potentially moving more. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though as doing it effectively and maintaining it is a whole different beast. I go over this in my upcoming book (join my newsletter below to be notified when it comes out).
- Joining a support group – It’s hard to do it alone. One thing that may help is a group of others going through the same process. You can join my Facebook support group here.
- Hiring a coach – When you aren’t succeeding while doing it alone and your peers in the support group aren’t helping, there is evidence that a coach can help in not only the initial weight loss, but also the maintenance. In fact, I think most people should have a coach. I even hired one of the most compassionate that I hook my patients up with. If you’re interested in working with him, sign up for my newsletter below and be notified when a few slots open up. There are other great coaches out there too. Join my support group and you will find some good ones.
- Medicine – If the above is unsuccessful, or I feel we need to hit the problem from multiple angles in the beginning, then it may be worth discussing a weight loss medicine. They work in various parts of your brain to help you stick to the lifestyle plan. Currently there are none that work by actually burning more fat/energy. I use these (currently 4 long-term medicines available) when the above doesn’t work (to help with adherence).
- Surgery – I save this for last if possible. It’s not a failure if you have to resort to this. I will discuss this more in another blog, but basically it is the most effective treatment we have for treating obesity.
Don’t worry, we have much better than just “eat less, move more.”