The Best Resolution Yet, Never Diet Again
As the holidays quickly approach and people fall into the temptation of overeating, millions of Americans will solemnly resolve to start the New Year off with a dreaded “diet.”
“While diets may work for a short while, many are destined to fail before they begin,” cautions Obesity Medicine Physician Jennifer Morse, M.D., medical director of MidMichigan Health’s Medical Weight Management Program. “There is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to long-term weight loss. If you want to live a healthier, more energetic life, you need to resolve to adopt a lifestyle and eating style.”
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight takes more than a temporary change in eating habits. Diets work in the short term because the dieter eats less for a period of time. Unfortunately, once the diet ends, people go back to their usual eating and exercise habits and the weight returns. Instead of spending a few days or weeks on a restrictive diet, focus on adopting a food plan and healthy lifestyle habits to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
During the holidays, many people eat for emotional reasons,” said Dr. Morse. “People use food to soothe anger or as a false remedy for loneliness, depression or boredom. Examining why you eat is as important as examining what you eat. It’s not all about food either; it’s about developing a healthy lifestyle that includes building good exercise habits and managing stress. Just as unhealthy habits evolved over time, new, healthy habits can be learned.”
The purpose of food is to provide energy for life. It is the fuel that powers our bodies. Choosing healthier food will pay off with a healthier body. Simple behavior changes can make a big difference. “That’s why we suggest people change one habit a week for a month,” said Dr. Morse. “For example, add one extra fruit and one extra vegetable each day for the first week. The next week, have fish for dinner a couple of times. During the third week, drink water instead of soft drinks.”
Some of the biggest hurdles to overcome when trying to lose weight are time, choices, food preferences, activity patterns and personal motivation. Change is never easy and making permanent lifestyle changes takes time.
Dr. Morse offers this advice, “Change what is within your control. Remember, successful weight management doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a lifestyle and a process of looking at your own individual challenges and developing a plan to meet them.”
MidMichigan Health offers a variety of medical weight management plans designed to help people lose weight and manage their weight over the course of a lifetime. Those interested in learning more about MidMichigan’s Medical Weight Management Program, may call (855) 296-7252.