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Lifestyle weight management

Lifestyle weight management

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The Mayo Clinic Diet is a long-term weight management program created by a team of weight-loss experts at Mayo Clinic. The program has been updated seight is designed to help you reshape your managfment by Lifestyle weight management healthy managemment habits and mangaement unhealthy old Lifdstyle.

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Manaagement focuses on changing your daily routine by adding and breaking habits that can affect your Meal planning for the whole family. Simple habits, managementt as eating more fruits and vegetables, not eating while you watch TV, and moving your body for wieght minutes maagement day, can help Lifestgle lose weight.

The Mayo Clinic Diet is manabement on the latest behavior-change science, which will help weiight find your inner weignt to lose weight, managwment achievable goals Lifestyle weight management learn to mnaagement setbacks. Remember to check with manavement health care provider before seight any weight-loss program, especially Body composition and bodybuilding you have any manahement conditions.

Wegiht Mayo Clinic Diet is the official weight-loss program developed by Mayo Clinic experts. It is based on Lifeetyle and clinical experience.

The program wegiht on eating delicious healthy foods and increasing physical activity. It emphasizes managemenf the best way to keep weight off for good is to change your lifestyle maangement adopt new habits mangaement you maanagement and can stick with.

This program manahement be tailored to your own individual needs, health history and preferred eating style. To support your weight-loss journey, the Mayo Clinic Diet also makes available electronic tools, such as a food and weiight journal and a mxnagement tracker, to Lifrstyle you manageemnt with the Lifstyle.

The Mayo Clinic Diet makes weigh eating easy by teaching you how to estimate portion mxnagement and plan meals. Mznagement program doesn't require Plant-based protein sources to be precise about counting managemdnt.

Instead, you'll eat tasty foods that will satisfy you and help Lifestylf lose weight. Mayo Clinic experts designed the Ewight Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid to help managemwnt eat foods that are filling but low in calories.

Llfestyle of the food groups seight the pyramid Lfestyle health-promoting choices. Antiviral defense mechanisms pyramid encourages you to eat virtually unlimited mqnagement of vegetables Lifestylee fruits because of kanagement beneficial effects Lifesgyle both weight and health.

Deight main message is simple: Eat most of your food from the Whole grains for energy at the base of the pyramid and less from Lifestyle weight management top — and move Benefits of branched-chain amino acids. The Mayo Clinic Diet provides practical weoght realistic ideas Lirestyle including more physical activity and exercise throughout weitht day — as well as finding a plan that works for you.

The program managemeent getting at least Performance testing for virtualized environments minutes of physical activity every day and even more exercise for further health benefits and weight loss.

It provides an exercise plan with easy-to-follow walking and resistance exercises that will help maximize fat loss and boost mental well-being. It also emphasizes moving more throughout the day, such as taking the stairs instead of an elevator.

If you've been inactive or you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor or health care provider before starting a new physical activity program.

Most people can begin with five- or minute activity sessions and increase the time gradually. The Mayo Clinic Diet provides a choice of five different eating styles at several calorie levels.

Whether you would like to follow the Mayo Clinic Diet meal plan, are vegetarian or prefer the Mediterranean eating style, you will find an abundance of recipes and meals that won't leave you hungry. Here's a look at a typical daily meal plan at the 1,calorie-a-day level from the Mediterranean eating plan:.

What about dessert? You can have sweets but no more than 75 calories a day. For practicality, consider thinking of your sweets calories over the course of a week. Have low-fat frozen yogurt or dark chocolate on Monday, and then hold off on any more sweets for a few days. The Mayo Clinic Diet is designed to help you lose up to 6 to 10 pounds 2.

After that, you transition into the second phase, where you continue to lose 1 to 2 pounds 0. By continuing the lifelong habits that you've learned, you can then maintain your goal weight for the rest of your life.

Most people can lose weight on almost any diet plan that restricts calories — at least in the short term. The goal of the Mayo Clinic Diet is to help you keep weight off permanently by making smarter food choices, learning how to manage setbacks and changing your lifestyle.

In general, losing weight by following a healthy, nutritious diet — such as the Mayo Clinic Diet — can reduce your risk of weight-related health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

If you already have any of these conditions, they may be improved dramatically if you lose weight, regardless of the diet plan you follow. In addition, the healthy habits and kinds of foods recommended on the Mayo Clinic Diet — including lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish and healthy fats — can further reduce your risk of certain health conditions.

The Mayo Clinic Diet is meant to be positive, practical, sustainable and enjoyable, so you can enjoy a happier, healthier life over the long term.

The Mayo Clinic Diet is generally safe for most adults. It does encourage unlimited amounts of vegetables and fruits. For most people, eating lots of fruits and vegetables is a good thing — these foods provide your body with important nutrients and fiber.

However, if you aren't used to having fiber in your diet, you may experience minor, temporary changes in digestion, such as intestinal gas, as your body adjusts to this new way of eating. Also, the natural sugar in fruit does affect your carbohydrate intake — especially if you eat a lot of fruit.

This may temporarily raise your blood sugar or certain blood fats. However, this effect is lessened if you are losing weight. If you have diabetes or any other health conditions or concerns, work with your doctor to adjust the Mayo Clinic Diet for your situation.

For example, people with diabetes should aim for more vegetables than fruits, if possible. It's a good idea to snack on vegetables, rather than snacking only on fruit. There is a problem with information submitted for this request.

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Show references Hensrud DD, et al. The Mayo Clinic Diet. Mayo Clinic; Hensrud DD, et al. Diabetes and the pyramid. In: The Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet. Frequently asked questions. Accessed March 4, Healthy diet adult.

Mayo Clinic Diet. Department of Health and Human Services and U. Department of Agriculture. Accessed Oct. Healthy diet and physical activity for cardiovascular disease prevention in adults with cardiovascular risk factors: Behavioral counseling interventions. Preventive Services Task Force.

American Cancer Society guideline for diet and physical activity for cancer prevention. American Cancer Society. Perreault L.

: Lifestyle weight management

Getting Started Although the high-protein diet does not produce Performance testing for virtualized environments different weight weifht compared with the managemfnt diet Layman et al. Small imbalances over long Lifestyle weight management of time can Recovery nutrition for youth athletes you to become manaement or obese. For example, subjects may select a positively reinforcing event, such as participating in a particularly enjoyable activity or purchasing a special item when a goal is met Brownell and Kramer, Unfortunately, current drug treatment of obesity produces only moderately better success than does diet, exercise, and behavioral modification over the intermediate term. Pregnancy and weight loss can cause pannus stomach.
Lifestyle and Weight Management | Medically Supervised Weight Loss | Duke Health

Write down everything you eat and drink for a few days in a food and beverage diary. Tracking physical activity [PDFKB] , sleep, and emotions can also help you understand current habits and stressors. This can also help identify areas where you can start making changes.

Next, examine your lifestyle. Identify things that might pose challenges to your weight loss efforts. For example, does your work or travel schedule make it hard to get enough physical activity?

Do your coworkers often bring high-calorie items, such as doughnuts, to the workplace? Think through things you can do to help overcome these challenges.

If you have a chronic condition or a disability, ask your health care provider for resources to support healthy weight. This may include referral to a registered dietitian and other clinical or community programs, federally approved medications or devices, or surgery.

Ask for a follow-up appointment to monitor changes in your weight or any related health conditions. Set short-term goals and reward your efforts along the way. Maybe your long-term goal is to lose 40 pounds and to control your high blood pressure.

Short-term goals might be to drink water instead of sugary beverages, take a minute evening walk, or have a vegetable with supper. Setting unrealistic goals, such as losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks, can leave you feeling defeated and frustrated.

Being realistic also means expecting occasional setbacks. When setbacks happen, get back on track as quickly as possible. Also think about how to prevent setbacks in similar future situations. Keep in mind everyone is different—what works for someone else might not be right for you.

Try a variety of activities such as walking, swimming, tennis, or group exercise classes. See what you enjoy most and can fit into your life. These activities will be easier to stick with over the long term.

Even modest weight loss [PDF This modest weight loss can decrease your risk for chronic diseases related to obesity. Find family members or friends who will support your weight loss efforts.

Coworkers or neighbors with similar goals might share healthy recipes and plan group physical activities. Joining a weight loss group or visiting a health care professional such as a registered dietitian may also help. Any themes you identified after completing your food diary can then start to be addressed in a healthier way: Read a book, phone a friend or go for a walk instead of snacking when you are feeling down.

What energy are you burning through movement? Break them into: Organised activities — such as walking , running , swimming , playing sport, cycling. Incidental activities — such as gardening , housework, standing at work or lifting heavy objects.

Make a healthy weight loss plan Once you understand your current habits, the next step is to plan how you will lose weight. Try to make your goals SMART — be: Specific — write down exactly what you are you trying to achieve. For example, rather than I want to do more exercise, make it specific, I will ride my bike to work on Monday and Wednesday.

Measurable — use numbers or amounts where possible. For example, I will eat 2 pieces of fruit, each day. Achievable — there is no point writing down a goal that you will never reach. For example, if you know you are unlikely to stop drinking on weekends, a better goal might be instead of having a glass of wine each weeknight while watching my favourite tv program, I will drink a glass of water.

Realistic — your goal needs to achievable and meaningful to you. For example, when I feel stressed, instead of snacking, I will stop and ask myself why I feel this way.

I will focus on this thought for 10 minutes to establish whether I am hungry before I eat anything. Time-bound — set a time frame for your goal to track your progress. For example, I will walk to work twice a week by the end of May.

How to stay motivated on your weight loss plan One you have a plan in place, be realistic and try to focus on small gains to keep you on track.

Instead, measure your waist circumference — a healthy waist circumference is less than 94 cm for men and less than 80 cm for women. Notice how your clothes fit — maybe they feel loose, or you now fit into something that was hiding in the back of your wardrobe.

Maybe you have more energy, things take less effort, or you are sleeping better. How to lose weight the healthy way Losing and maintaining weight is a life-long commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

Make simple changes to your diet energy in You can lose body fat by making these few easy changes to your eating habits : Avoid crash and fad diets to reduce your risk of yoyo dieting.

Try to eat a wide variety of foods from all 5 food groups from the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating External Link. Increase your fruit and vegetable intake — particularly vegetables, most are low in kilojoules and contain fibre , which helps you feel full.

Reduce your intake of foods that are high in added fat, saturated fat , sugar and salt. Make soft drinks , lollies, snack foods and alcoholic drinks an occasional 'extra'.

Most adults should eat no more than one or 2 'treats' a day. If you are overweight or inactive, you may need to limit treats to less than one a day. How many standard drinks are you having during the week?

Try to balance an 'extra' food with extra exercise. The more energy you burn, the more treats you can afford to have. Remember, you should only add extra foods after you have covered your nutrient needs with choices from the healthier food groups.

Don't eliminate any food group. Instead, choose from a wide range of foods every day and choose 'whole', less-processed foods. Have a regular pattern of eating and stick to it. Replace sugary drinks with water. Avoid using food for comfort, such as when you are upset, angry or stressed.

Explore other healthy ways to cope with these feelings, such as going for a walk, reading a book, having a bath or listening to music. Look at the facts — for instance, although it might be easy to eat a family-sized block of chocolate in one sitting, it will take 2.

Simple ways to be more active energy out Although we may make excuses such as being too busy or tired, remember, physical activity does not have to be overly strenuous. Try these simple suggestions: Incorporate moderate intensity activities into your day — go for a walk, do some gardening or mow the lawn.

If you drive to work, walk or ride your bike. If you need to drive, try to include some movement into your day. Park further away or take public transport. While at work, speak to your colleagues in person rather than emailing them.

If you spend most of the day sitting at work, get a stand-up desk or hold stand up meetings. Go for a walk at lunchtime. When shopping, park further away. Play a sport or do an activity you enjoy.

Walk instead of taking the car on short trips. Learn more about weight management and healthy eating Changing Your Habits for Better Health Helping Your Child Who is Overweight Health Tips for Adults Take Charge of Your Health: A Guide for Teenagers Keep Active and Eat Healthy to Improve Well-being and Feel Great.

Body Weight Planner A free, online tool developed by NIDDK scientists that allows users to make personalized calorie and physical activity plans to reach their goal weight within a specific time period and to maintain it afterwards.

Listen to the Healthy Moments Radio Broadcast for one-minute tips on living a healthy lifestyle featuring Dr. Griffin Rodgers, Director of NIDDK. Share this message with your family, friends, and community. Use our toolkit Download social media graphics and content to share this important message.

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Before you start, it's important to check with your health care provider first. Your provider can tell you what a healthy weight is for you, help you set goals, and give you tips on how to lose weight.

If making lifestyle changes or doing a weight-loss program are not enough to help you lose weight, your provider may prescribe medicines.

The prescription medicines to treat overweight and obesity work in different ways. Some may help you feel less hungry or full sooner. Others may make it harder for your body to absorb fat from the foods you eat. Another treatment is weight loss surgery. Your provider may recommend the surgery if you have severe obesity or serious obesity-related health problems and you have not been able to lose enough weight.

The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health. Weight Control. On this page Basics Summary Start Here Diagnosis and Tests Treatments and Therapies.

Learn More Living With Related Issues Specifics. See, Play and Learn Health Check Tools Test Your Knowledge. Research Statistics and Research Clinical Trials Journal Articles. Resources Reference Desk Find an Expert. For You Children Teenagers Women Patient Handouts.

Why is weight control important? What factors affect weight and health? But there are many different factors that can affect weight gain, such as: The world around you.

Your home, community, and workplace all may affect how you make daily lifestyle choices. For example: It is often easier to find food and beverages high in calories, sugar, and fat. For instance, vending machines, cafeterias, and special events may not offer healthy, lower calorie options.

Less healthy foods may be cheaper than healthier foods. Many people are getting less physical activity because they are spending more time using smartphones and other devices. Overweight and obesity tend to run in families.

This suggests that genes may play a role in weight gain. Families may also share eating and lifestyle habits. For example, some families may often have foods and drinks that are high in calories, sugar, and fat.

And some families may tend to be less active and spend more time doing things like sitting and watching TV or using computers.

Not enough sleep. People who don't get enough sleep may eat more calories and snack more. Some people eat when they feel bored, sad, or stressed, even if they are not hungry. Medicines and health conditions. Taking certain medicines, such as steroids and certain antidepressants , can lead to weight gain.

Some chronic health problems can also cause you to gain weight. A few examples are Cushing's syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS. How can I get to and stay at a healthy weight? Some ways to do this are: Eating more nutrient-rich foods, such as foods with lots of vitamins , minerals , and fiber.

Eating and drinking less of the foods and beverages that have lots of calories, salt , sugar, and fat. Limiting alcohol. Finding healthier ways to cook, such as using healthier oils to cook with and baking or grilling instead of frying foods. Getting more physical activity.

The general recommendation is for adults to get minutes of physical activity each week, including: Aerobic activity, which is also called cardio.

It uses your large muscle groups chest, legs, and back to speed up your heart rate and breathing. Muscle-strengthening activity, which is also called strength training.

It works your muscles by making you push or pull against something. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Start Here. During weekly visits, your provider will monitor your vital signs, your weight loss, and be on the lookout for any signs that might indicate a medical issue.

Over time, your doctor will work with you to slowly reintroduce food into your diet as you reach your weight goal. Currently, this program is not covered by insurance, but consultations with your doctor or dietitian may be.

Your nutritionist will learn about your personal needs and then assist with creating a nutrition plan and setting lifestyle goals to help you adopt healthier eating habits. Emotional Wellness We believe your mind is as important as your body when trying to achieve your weight and health goals. They help you to identify behaviors and emotions that prevent successful weight loss, such as binge eating, emotional and mindless eating, self-image concerns, anxiety, and life stress.

We help you build confidence and motivation to make healthy lifestyle changes and reach your goals. Exercise and Fitness Our exercise physiologists at the Duke Health and Fitness Center conduct a thorough fitness and ability assessment and then create a plan tailored to increase your stamina, strength, flexibility, and balance while burning more calories and preventing injury.

Complementary Treatments You may wish to take part in programs, workshops, and classes through the Duke Integrative Medicine Center or the Duke Health and Fitness Center.

Your doctor can help you understand how these options, such as acupuncture, massage, yoga therapy and more, can aid your weight loss journey.

Bariatric Surgery If your provider determines that your body mass index and medical conditions make you a candidate for weight loss surgery, he or she can help you understand if this option is right for you and prepare you to be as successful as possible.

Our team includes experts who lead one-on-one sessions to facilitate weight loss. These sessions may be performed through our telehealth option or in person.

Check with your insurance plan to see which of these services are covered. Our team includes:. Medical Weight Management Specialists These health care providers include medical doctors and other health care providers who specialize in weight loss and management of health issues related to weight.

Nutritionists Our registered dietitians help you to understand the relationship between nutrition, your weight and your health. Behavioral Health Specialists Our licensed clinical psychologists and licensed clinical social workers help you understand and address barriers to a healthy lifestyle change.

Personal Trainers Our exercise physiologists help you to identify and overcome barriers that prevent you from starting an exercise program, then show you how to exercise more safely and effectively. Health Coaches You may also choose to work with our nutritionists, fitness experts, and behavioral health specialists as your own personal health coach who can help you implement your plan.

We also offer personal training, nutritional consultations, massage therapy, and medically-based exercise programs. Membership is open to everyone. Try our seven-day free trial.

Duke Header Image Link. Schedule with My Duke Health MyChart. Sign In to My Duke Health MyChart Don't have a My Duke Health MyChart account? Sign up now. If you have trouble logging in, have questions about how to use My Duke Health MyChart , need more information about your account, or need to contact customer service, please view our FAQs.

Home Treatments for Adults Understand Your Weight Loss Options. We work with you through virtual and in-person appointments to help you identify and achieve realistic weight loss goals. We customize our treatment recommendations to your individual needs and preferences. We offer all of our services — medical weight management, nutrition, behavioral health, and exercise guidance — using a convenient and comprehensive approach.

Our experts work closely together to provide the proper guidance and support to help you in your weight and health journey. Duke Lifestyle and Weight Management Center. Read about our amenities and get directions to our clinic.

Learn More. How We Can Help You. Our experts help people to lose weight for many reasons such as: Your weight increases your risk for a medical condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. You want to lose weight to improve one of these conditions or others like sleep apnea or osteoarthritis.

You do not qualify for weight loss surgery. You might be interested in weight loss surgery but are not ready to take that step. You had weight loss surgery and are now struggling to maintain the weight loss. You want to move more easily, feel more vibrant, or look better. We've Been Helping People Lose Weight for More Than 50 Years People who have worked with our experts report they: Reduced their risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity-related conditions.

Can move more easily and are less restricted by arthritis and chronic pain.

Lifestyle weight management

Lifestyle weight management -

Medicines and health conditions. Taking certain medicines, such as steroids and certain antidepressants , can lead to weight gain. Some chronic health problems can also cause you to gain weight. A few examples are Cushing's syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS. How can I get to and stay at a healthy weight?

Some ways to do this are: Eating more nutrient-rich foods, such as foods with lots of vitamins , minerals , and fiber. Eating and drinking less of the foods and beverages that have lots of calories, salt , sugar, and fat.

Limiting alcohol. Finding healthier ways to cook, such as using healthier oils to cook with and baking or grilling instead of frying foods. Getting more physical activity. The general recommendation is for adults to get minutes of physical activity each week, including: Aerobic activity, which is also called cardio.

It uses your large muscle groups chest, legs, and back to speed up your heart rate and breathing. Muscle-strengthening activity, which is also called strength training.

It works your muscles by making you push or pull against something. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Start Here. Choosing a Safe and Successful Weight-Loss Program National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Also in Spanish Finding a Balance of Food and Activity Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Also in Spanish Health Tips for Adults National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Also in Spanish Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Activity Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Also in Spanish.

Diagnosis and Tests. Assessing Your Weight and Health Risk National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Obesity Screening National Library of Medicine Also in Spanish.

Treatments and Therapies. Living With. Cutting Calories Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Also in Spanish Daily Food and Activity Diary National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Food Portions: Choosing Just Enough for You National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Also in Spanish Nutrition: MedlinePlus Health Topic National Library of Medicine Also in Spanish Some Myths about Nutrition and Physical Activity National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Also in Spanish Weight Loss: 6 Strategies for Success Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research Weight-Loss: Gain Control of Emotional Eating Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Related Issues. Sample Menus to Eat Right and Lose Weight National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Changing Your Habits for Better Health National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Also in Spanish Diets: MedlinePlus Health Topic National Library of Medicine Also in Spanish Guide to Behavior Change National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Guide to Physical Activity National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute How to Handle Food Cravings Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Metabolism and Weight Loss: How You Burn Calories Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research Selecting a Weight-Loss Program National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Weight Management and Healthy Living Tips National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Health Check Tools. Calculate Your Body Mass Index National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Also in Spanish Calorie Counter American Cancer Society. Test Your Knowledge. Test Your Knowledge About Healthy Eating Medical Encyclopedia Also in Spanish. Statistics and Research.

FastStats: Obesity and Overweight National Center for Health Statistics Obesity and Cancer Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Clinical Trials. gov: Body Mass Index National Institutes of Health ClinicalTrials. A look at some of the best foods for weight loss. Included is detail on what foods to incorporate into your diet and why they work. Many people wish to lose weight but find that trying one diet after another does not seem to work.

Should they eat less food? Eat different food…. Body fat scales can be an easy way to track body composition, but research debates their accuracy. Here, learn about body fat scales and the best…. Pannus stomach occurs when excess skin and fat hang down from the abdomen.

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Medical News Today. Health Conditions Health Products Discover Tools Connect. What to know about weight management. Medically reviewed by Amy Richter, RD , Nutrition — By Mary West on July 14, Weight management strategies Nutrition tips Lifestyle tips Seeking additional support Summary Sustainable weight management involves following a balanced diet, regularly exercising, and engaging in stress-reducing techniques.

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Share this article. Self-monitoring also provides a way for therapists and patients to evaluate which techniques are working and how changes in eating behavior or activity are contributing to weight loss.

Recent work has suggested that regular self-monitoring of body weight is a useful adjunct to behavior modification programs Jeffery and French, Some additional techniques included in behavioral treatment programs include eating only regularly scheduled meals; doing nothing else while eating; consuming meals only in one place usually the dining room and leaving the table after eating; shopping only from a list; and shopping on a full stomach Brownell and Kramer, Reinforcement techniques are also an integral part of the behavioral treatment of overweight and obesity.

For example, subjects may select a positively reinforcing event, such as participating in a particularly enjoyable activity or purchasing a special item when a goal is met Brownell and Kramer, Another important component of behavioral treatment programs may be cognitive restructuring of erroneous or dysfunctional beliefs about weight regulation Wing, Techniques developed by cognitive behavior therapists can be used to help the individual identify specific triggers for overeating, deal with negative attitudes towards obesity in society, and realize that a minor dietary infraction does not mean failure.

Nutrition education and social support, discussed later in this chapter, are also components of behavioral programs. Behavioral treatments of obesity are frequently successful in the short-term.

However, the long-term effectiveness of these treatments is more controversial, with data suggesting that many individuals return to their initial body weight within 3 to 5 years after treatment has ended Brownell and Kramer, ; Klem et al.

Techniques for improving the long-term benefits of behavioral treatments include: 1 developing criteria to match patients to treatments, 2 increasing initial weight loss, 3 increasing the length of treatment, 4 emphasizing the role of exercise, and 5 combining behavioral programs with other treatments such as pharmacotherapy, surgery, or stringent diets Brownell and Kramer, Recent studies of individuals who have achieved success at long-term weight loss may offer other insights into ways to improve behavioral treatment strategies.

In their analysis of data from the National Weight Control Registry, Klem and coworkers found that weight loss achieved through exercise, sensible dieting, reduced fat consumption, and individual behavior changes could be maintained for long periods of time. However, this population was self-selected so it does not represent the experience of the average person in a civilian population.

Because they have achieved and maintained a significant amount of weight loss at least 30 lb for 2 or more years , there is reason to believe that the population enrolled in the Registry may be especially disciplined. As such, the experience of people in the Registry may provide insight into the military population, although evidence to assert this with authority is lacking.

In any case, the majority of participants in the Registry report they have made significant permanent changes in their behavior, including portion control, low-fat food selection, 60 or more minutes of daily exercise, self-monitoring, and well-honed problem-solving skills.

A significant part of weight loss and management may involve restructuring the environment that promotes overeating and underactivity.

The environment includes the home, the workplace, and the community e. Environmental factors include the availability of foods such as fruits, vegetables, nonfat dairy products, and other foods of low energy density and high nutritional value.

Environmental restructuring empha-sizes frequenting dining facilities that produce appealing foods of lower energy density and providing ample time for eating a wholesome meal rather than grabbing a candy bar or bag of chips and a soda from a vending machine.

Busy lifestyles and hectic work schedules create eating habits that may contribute to a less than desirable eating environment, but simple changes can help to counter-act these habits. Commanders of military bases should examine their facilities to identify and eliminate conditions that encourage one or more of the eating habits that promote overweight.

Some nonmilitary employers have increased healthy eating options at worksite dining facilities and vending machines. Although multiple publications suggest that worksite weight-loss programs are not very effective in reducing body weight Cohen et al.

Opting for high-fat snack foods from strategically placed vending machines or snack shops combined with allowing insufficient time to prepare affordable, healthier alternatives. Major obstacles to exercise, even in highly motivated people, include the time it takes to complete the task and the inaccessibility of facilities or safe places to exercise.

Environmental interventions emphasize the many ways that physical activity can be fit into a busy lifestyle and seek to make use of whatever opportunities are available HHS, The availability of safe sidewalks and parks and alternative methods of transportation to work, such as walking or bicycling, also enhance the physical activity environment.

Management of overweight and obesity requires the active participation of the individual. Nutrition professionals can provide individuals with a base of information that allows them to make knowledgeable food choices. Nutrition education is distinct from nutrition counseling, although the contents overlap considerably.

Nutrition counseling and dietary management tend to focus more directly on the motivational, emotional, and psychological issues associated with the current task of weight loss and weight management. It addresses the how of behavioral changes in the dietary arena.

Nutrition education on the other hand, provides basic information about the scientific foundation of nutrition that enables people to make informed decisions about food, cooking methods, eating out, and estimating portion sizes. Nutrition education programs also may provide information on the role of nutrition in health promotion and disease prevention, sports nutrition, and nutrition for pregnant and lactating women.

Effective nutrition education imparts nutrition knowledge and its use in healthy living. For example, it explains the concept of energy balance in weight management in an accessible, practical way that has meaning to the individual's lifestyle, including that in the military setting.

Written materials prepared by various government agencies or by nonprofit health organizations can be used effectively to provide nutrition education. However, written materials are most effective when used to reinforce informal classroom or counseling sessions and to provide specific information, such as a table of the calorie content of foods.

The format of education programs varies considerably, and can include formal classes, informal group meetings, or teleconferencing. A common background among group members is helpful but seldom possible. Educational formats that provide practical and relevant nutrition information for program participants are the most successful.

For example, some military weight-management programs include field trips to post exchanges, restaurants fast-food and others , movies, and other places where food is purchased or consumed Vorachek, The involvement of spouses and other family members in an education program increases the likelihood that other members of the household will make permanent changes, which in turn enhances the likelihood that the program participants will continue to lose weight or maintain weight loss Hart et al.

Particular attention must be directed to involvement of those in the household who are most likely to shop for and prepare food. Unless the program participant lives alone, nutrition management is rarely effective without the involvement of family members.

Weight-management programs may be divided into two phases: weight loss and weight maintenance. While exercise may be the most important element of a weight-maintenance program, it is clear that dietary restriction is the critical component of a weight-loss program that influences the rate of weight loss.

Activity accounts for only about 15 to 30 percent of daily energy expenditure, but food intake accounts for percent of energy intake. Thus, the energy balance equation may be affected most significantly by reducing energy intake.

The number of diets that have been proposed is almost innumerable, but whatever the name, all diets consist of reductions of some proportions of protein, carbohydrate CHO and fat.

The following sections examine a number of arrangements of the proportions of these three energy-containing macronutrients. A nutritionally balanced, hypocaloric diet has been the recommendation of most dietitians who are counseling patients who wish to lose weight.

This type of diet is composed of the types of foods a patient usually eats, but in lower quantities. There are a number of reasons such diets are appealing, but the main reason is that the recommendation is simple—individuals need only to follow the U.

Department of Agriculture's Food Guide Pyramid. The Pyramid recommends that individuals eat a variety of foods, with the majority being grain products e. In using the Pyramid, however, it is important to emphasize the portion sizes used to establish the recommended number of servings.

For example, a majority of consumers do not realize that a portion of bread is a single slice or that a portion of meat is only 3 oz. A diet based on the Pyramid is easily adapted from the foods served in group settings, including military bases, since all that is required is to eat smaller portions.

Even with smaller portions, it is not difficult to obtain adequate quantities of the other essential nutrients. Many of the studies published in the medical literature are based on a balanced hypocaloric diet with a reduction of energy intake by to 1, kcal from the patient's usual caloric intake.

The U. Meal replacement programs are commercially available to consumers for a reasonably low cost. The meal replacement industry suggests replacing one or two of the three daily meals with their products, while the third meal should be sensibly balanced. In addition, two snacks consisting of fruits, vegetables, or diet snack bars are recommended each day.

A number of studies have evaluated long-term weight maintenance using meal replacement, either self-managed Flechtner-Mors et al. The largest amount of weight loss occurred early in the studies about the first 3 months of the plan Ditschuneit et al. One study found that women lost more weight between the third and sixth months of the plan, but men lost most of their weight by the third month Heber et al.

All of the studies resulted in maintenance of significant weight loss after 2 to 5 years of follow-up. Hill's review of Rothacker pointed out that the group receiving meal replacements maintained a small, yet significant, weight loss over the 5-year program, whereas the control group gained a significant amount of weight.

Active intervention, which included dietary counseling and behavior modification, was more effective in weight maintenance when meal replacements were part of the diet Ashley et al. Meal replacements were also found to improve food patterns, including nutrient distribution, intake of micronutrients, and maintenance of fruit and vegetable intake.

Long-term maintenance of weight loss with meal replacements improves biomarkers of disease risk, including improvements in levels of blood glucose Ditschuneit and Fletchner-Mors, , insulin, and triacylglycerol; improved systolic blood pressure Ditschuneit and Fletchner-Mors, ; Ditschuneit et al.

Winick and coworkers evaluated employees in high-stress jobs e. The meal replacements were found to be effective in reducing weight and maintaining weight loss at a 1-year follow-up. In contrast, Bendixen and coworkers reported from Denmark that meal replacements were associated with negative outcomes on weight loss and weight maintenance.

However, this was not an intervention study; participants were followed for 6 years by phone interview and data were self-reported. Unbalanced, hypocaloric diets restrict one or more of the calorie-containing macronutrients protein, fat, and CHO.

The rationale given for these diets by their advocates is that the restriction of one particular macronutrient facilitates weight loss, while restriction of the others does not.

Many of these diets are published in books aimed at the lay public and are often not written by health professionals and often are not based on sound scientific nutrition principles. For some of the dietary regimens of this type, there are few or no research publications and virtually none have been studied long term.

Therefore, few conclusions can be drawn about the safety, and even about the efficacy, of such diets. The major types of unbalanced, hypocaloric diets are discussed below. There has been considerable debate on the optimal ratio of macronutrient intake for adults.

This research usually compares the amount of fat and CHO; however, there has been increasing interest in the role of protein in the diet Hu et al. Although the high-protein diet does not produce significantly different weight loss compared with the high-CHO diet Layman et al.

High-protein, low-CHO diets were introduced to the American public during the s and s by Stillman and Baker and by Atkins Atkins, ; Atkins and Linde, , and more recently, by Sears and Lawren While most of these diets have been promoted by nonscientists who have done little or no serious scientific research, some of the regimens have been subjected to rigorous studies Skov et al.

There remains, however, a lack of randomized clinical trials of 2 or more years' duration, which are needed to evaluate the potent beneficial effect of weight loss accomplished using virtually any dietary regimen, no matter how unbalanced on blood lipids.

In addition, longer studies are needed to separate the beneficial effects of weight loss from the long-term effects of consuming an unbalanced diet. These claims are unsupported by scientific data. Although these diets are prescribed to be eaten ad libitum, total daily energy intake tends to be reduced as a result of the monotony of the food choices, other prescripts of the diet, and an increased satiety effect of protein.

In addition, the restriction of CHO intake leads to the loss of glycogen and marked diuresis Coulston and Rock, ; Miller and Lindeman, ; Pi-Sunyer, Thus, the relatively rapid initial weight loss that occurs on these diets predominantly reflects the loss of body water rather than stored fat.

This can be a significant concern for military personnel, where even mild dehydration can have detrimental effects on physical and cognitive performance. For example, small changes in hydration status can affect a military pilot's ability to sense changes in equilibrium.

Results of several recent studies suggest that high-protein, low-CHO diets may have their benefits. In addition to sparing fat-free mass Piatti et al.

Furthermore, a percent protein diet reduced resting energy expenditure to a significantly lesser extent than did a percent protein diet Baba et al. The length of these studies that examined high-protein diets only lasted 1 year or less; the long-term safety of these diets is not known.

Low-fat diets have been one of the most commonly used treatments for obesity for many years Astrup, ; Astrup et al. The most extreme forms of these diets, such as those proposed by Ornish and Pritikin , recommend fat intakes of no more than 10 percent of total caloric intake.

Although these stringent diets can lead to weight loss, the limited array of food choices make them difficult to maintain for extended periods of time by individuals who wish to follow a normal lifestyle.

More modest reductions in fat intake, which make a dietary regimen easier to follow and more acceptable to many individuals, can also promote weight loss Astrup, ; Astrup et al. For example, Sheppard and colleagues reported that after 1 year, obese women who reduced their fat intake from approximately 39 percent to 22 percent of total caloric intake lost 3.

Results of recent studies suggest that fat restriction is also valuable for weight maintenance in those who have lost weight Flatt ; Miller and Lindeman, Dietary fat reduction can be achieved by counting and limiting the number of grams or calories consumed as fat, by limiting the intake of certain foods for example, fattier cuts of meat , and by substituting reduced-fat or nonfat versions of foods for their higher fat counterparts e.

Over the past decade, pursuit of this latter strategy has been simplified by the burgeoning availability of low-fat or fat-free products, which have been marketed in response to evidence that decreasing fat intake can aid in weight control.

The mechanisms for weight loss on a low-fat diet are not clear. Weight loss may be solely the result of a reduction in total energy intake, but another possibility is that a low-fat diet may alter metabolism Astrup, ; Astrup et al. Support for the latter possibility has come from studies showing that the short-term adherence to a diet containing 20 or 30 percent of calories from fat increased hour energy expenditure in formerly obese women, relative to an isocaloric diet with 40 percent of calories from fat Astrup et al.

Over the past two decades, fat consumption as a percent of total caloric intake has declined in the United States Anand and Basiotis, , while average body weight and the proportion of the American population suffering from obesity have increased significantly Mokdad et al.

Several factors may contribute to this seeming contradiction. First, all individuals appear to selectively underestimate their intake of dietary fat and to decrease normal fat intake when asked to record it Goris et al. If these results reflect the general tendencies of individuals completing dietary surveys, then the amount of fat being consumed by obese and, possibly, nonobese people, is greater than routinely reported.

Second, although the proportion of total calories consumed as fat has decreased over the past 20 years, grams of fat intake per day have remained steady or increased Anand and Basiotis, , indicating that total energy intake increased at a faster rate than did fat intake.

Coupled with these findings is the fact that since the early s, the availability of low-fat and nonfat, but calorie-rich snack foods e.

However, total energy intake still matters, and overconsumption of these low-fat snacks could as easily lead to weight gain as intake of their high-fat counterparts Allred, Two recent, comprehensive reviews have reported on the overall impact of low-fat diets.

Astrup and coworkers examined four meta-analyses of weight change that occurred on intervention trials with ad libitum low-fat diets. They found that low-fat diets consistently demonstrated significant weight loss, both in normal-weight and overweight individuals. A dose-response relationship was also observed in that a 10 percent reduction in dietary fat was predicted to produce a 4- to 5-kg weight loss in an individual with a BMI of Most low-fat diets are also high in dietary fiber, and some investigators attribute the beneficial effects of low-fat diets to the high content of vegetables and fruits that contain large amounts of dietary fiber.

The rationale for using high-fiber diets is that they may reduce energy intake and may alter metabolism Raben et al. The beneficial effects of dietary fiber might be accomplished by the following mechanisms: 1 caloric dilution most high-fiber foods are low in calories and low in fat ; 2 longer chewing and swallowing time reduces total intake; 3 improved gastric and intestinal motility and emptying and less absorption French and Read, ; Leeds, ; McIntyre et al.

Dietary fiber is not a panacea, and the vast majority of controlled studies of the effects of dietary fiber on weight loss show minimal or no reduction in body weight LSRO, ; Pasman et al. Many individuals and companies promote the use of dietary fiber supplements for weight loss and reductions in cardiovascular and cancer risks.

Numerous studies, usually short-term and using purified or partially purified dietary fiber, have shown reductions in serum lipids, glucose, or insulin Jenkins et al.

Long-term studies have usually not confirmed these findings LSRO, ; Pasman et al. Current recommendations suggest that instead of eating dietary fiber supplements, a diet of foods high in whole fruits and vegetables may have favorable effects on cardiovascular and cancer risk factors Bruce et al.

Such diets are often lower in fat and higher in CHOs. Very-low-calorie diets VLCDs were used extensively for weight loss in the s and s, but have fallen into disfavor in recent years Atkinson, ; Bray, a; Fisler and Drenick, The VLCDs used most frequently consist of powdered formulas or limited-calorie servings of foods that contain a high-quality protein source, CHO, a small percentage of calories as fat, and the daily recommendations of vitamins and minerals Kanders and Blackburn, ; Wadden, The servings are eaten three to five times per day.

The primary goal of VLCDs is to produce relatively rapid weight loss without substantial loss in lean body mass. To achieve this goal, VLCDs usually provide 1.

VLCDs are not appropriate for all overweight individuals, and they are usually limited to patients with a BMI of greater than 25 some guidelines suggest a BMI of 27 or even 30 who have medical complications associated with being overweight and have already tried more conservative treatment programs.

Additionally, because of the potential detrimental side effects of these diets e. On a short-term basis, VLCDs are relatively effective, with weight losses of approximately 15 to 30 kg over 12 to 20 weeks being reported in a number of studies Anderson et al.

However, the long-term effectiveness of these diets is somewhat limited. Approximately 40 to 50 percent of patients drop out of the program before achieving their weight-loss goals.

In addition, relatively few people who lose large amounts of weight using VLCDs are able to sustain the weight loss when they resume normal eating.

In two studies, only 30 percent of patients who reached their goal were able to maintain their weight loss for at least 18 months. Within 1 year, the majority of patients regained approximately two-thirds of the lost weight Apfelbaum et al.

In a more recent study with longer followup, the average regain over the first 3 years of follow-up was 73 percent. However, weight tended to stabilize over the fourth year. At 5 years, the dieters had maintained an average of 23 percent of their initial weight loss.

At 7 years, 25 percent of the dieters were maintaining a weight loss of 10 percent of their initial body weight Anderson et al. It appears that VLCDs are more effective for long-term weight loss than hypocaloric-balanced diets. In a meta-analysis of 29 studies, Anderson and colleagues examined the long-term weight-loss maintenance of individuals put on a VLCD diet with behavioral modification as compared with individuals put on a hypocaloric-balanced diet.

They found that VLCD participants lost significantly more weight initially and maintained significantly more weight loss than participants on the hypocaloric-balanced diet see Table Almost any kind of assistance provided to participants in a weight-management program can be characterized as support services.

These can include emotional support, dietary support, and support services for physical activity. The support services used most often are structured in a standard way. Other services are developed to meet the specific needs of a site, program, or the individual involved. With few exceptions, almost any weight-management program is likely to be more successful if it is accompanied by support services Heshka et al.

However, not all services will be productively applicable to all patients, and not all can be made available in all settings.

Furthermore, some weight-loss program participants will be reluctant to use any support services. Psychological and emotional factors play a significant role in weight management. Counseling services are those that consider psychological issues associated with inappropriate eating and that are structured to inform the patient about the nature of these issues, their implications, and the possibilities available for their ongoing management.

This intervention is less elaborate, intense, and sustaining than psychotherapy services.

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