Successful weight loss

How can I lose weight?  This is probably the most common question asked at Crissman Family Practice. There are many resources on the internet about losing weight, but they can be very confusing.  Low carb diet? Low fat diet? Grapefruit diet? 

Here are a couple of trusted web sites:

Information about weight loss.
Written by the
editorial staff of the American Academy of Family Physicians.  

Eat Smart Move More NC
This is an excellent website with lots of information and helpful tips.
A page in Eat Smart Move More with specific tools and calculators to help in your weight loss plan.  


The basics

Weight loss is very difficult, but the formula for losing weight is quite easy.  We need to consume (eat or drink) fewer calories than we burn off.  We all burn off a certain number of calories just by sitting around.  That is called our BMR (basic metabolic rate).  We also burn off a certain number of calories during normal activities of daily living, such as going to the store or moving while at work and at home. We can burn off additional calories only through exercise.  

•    calories consumed = BMR + normal activity + exercise -- results in weight maintenance
•    calories consumed > BMR + normal activity + exercise -- results in weight gain
•    calories consumed < BMR + normal activity + exercise -- results in weight loss

Many patients worry they have a "slow metabolism" that would result in a lower BMR and difficulty losing weight even with diets and exercising.  Indeed, everyone's BMR is different based on muscle mass, genetics, and hormonal changes.  

Luckily, at Crissman Family Practice, we can measure your BMR with the most accurate test available: the Reevue 
(About the test.) This is a painless office test that requires you to breathe through a tube for 10 minutes. Many insurance plans pay for this test, depending on risk factors such as diabetes and hypertension.

At the end of the test you'll get a printout outlining how many calories you burn and how many calories you need to decrease in order to lose weight.  It will tell you:

  • Comparison: shows how fast or slow your metabolism is.
  • What you burn: an estimate of calories burned through lifestyle and exercise to show you how much can be accomplished through lifestyle changes and an exercise program.
  • What you should eat: calculates the range of calories that allow you to eat the most calories possible and still lose weight.
  • Target Calories, Next Test Date, Exercise Goal: we use the report to help you set an exercise goal, find out how many calories you should be eating, and determine when you should come back for testing again.



Getting started with weight loss

Nutrition

At the end of the visit, we'll discuss nutritional and exercise strategies for weight loss.  Here are some helpful links to get you started with weight loss diets:


NUTRITIONAL LINKS

Central to any weight loss diet is cutting calories.  Low carb and low fat diets work primarily by cutting calories


Exercise

Don't forget about exercise.  Numerous studies have shown that exercise is necessary to maintain weight loss. The kind of exercise you do get really depends on you, because the best exercise program is one that you can commit to and do.  An exercise program that you can integrate into your life is often a great way to get started because it doesn't take much time.  

Many people find a simple pedometer, a device you wear at your waist that counts your steps, provides great motivation to increase activity in daily life. Here's a link to more information about walking.

Exercise also helps with stress reduction and general overall health.

 



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