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Long Term Lifestyle Changes

Posted on December 20, 2021 at 10:33 AM by Iowa Weight Loss Specialists

By Jody Horstman, ARNP, NP-C

I have a sign in my office that reads, “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.”  The diet culture has done an excellent job of teaching us to adopt an all or nothing mentality when it comes to losing weight.  And they’re good at it!  No wonder it is a multi-billion dollar industry and they keep coming up with new ways to trick us into believing that there is only one way to do it!  Often times, I have patients come in looking for a plan.  “Tell me exactly what to eat and I will do it.”  The trouble with this is, much like following a diet, a specific plan will only work for so long.  It is human nature to be enticed by short-term successes when it is completely unrealistic to stick to a rigid plan every day for the rest of our life.  Diets can and do work in most cases for a short period of time, but weight regain is almost guaranteed without adherence to the plan or continued follow-up.

Here at Iowa Weight Loss Specialists, we highly encourage a real food, real life approach.  Patients develop a relationship with experienced experts in medical or surgical management, nutrition and behavior modification.   Patients who are offered a multidisciplinary approach as well as periodic personal contact tend to have better weight loss and health outcomes than those doing it alone. Our patients are encouraged to make choices based on preferences, lifestyle and accessibility.  So, when beginning or continuing your weight loss journey, consider the following...

Set realistic expectations.  Expect setbacks and plan ahead.  Avoiding cake at a birthday party is no fun for anyone.  Enjoy the things you enjoy and plan to make adjustments to the day otherwise.  Make sure this is the exception, not the rule.  Set goals that align with where you are currently.  If you are drinking 8 ounces of water today, plan to increase to 16 ounces.  When you are able to achieve small goals, you will feel more accomplished than trying to achieve something unrealistic that is not currently within reach.  Accept your current place and continue moving forward.  Even small steps over time can be meaningful in the long-term.

Practice balance and moderation.  For most people, it is nearly impossible to stick to a rigid plan every day for life.  The diet industry targets this happening and continues to set forth unrealistic plans for people to follow.  Success from balance and moderation comes with developing a healthy relationship with food and throwing the diet mentality away for good.  Take away the “good” and “bad” connotation with food.  Acknowledge food options that make you feel satisfied and nourished and work towards incorporating them into your meals and snacks more often than not.

Not sure where to start?  Give our office a call at 515-327-2000!

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