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4 minutes reading time (844 words)

Weight Loss for Dummies

What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

As we focus on men in the June issue of Society 805, this article addresses weight loss – a subject seldom shown through a man’s eyes. Men hear about weight loss programs in terms of dieting to “get thin” or “pretty” – that’s a real turn off to men who want to be neither!

What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

As we focus on men in the June issue of Society 805, this article addresses weight loss – a subject seldom shown through a man’s eyes. Men hear about weight loss programs in terms of dieting to “get thin” or “pretty” – that’s a real turn off to men who want to be neither!

Ever feel like you’ve “been there, done that” when it comes to losing weight… you’ve tried point systems, exercise regimens and down right starvation? Or maybe you haven’t touched any of these because they all sound completely ridiculous or overwhelming. If it’s any comfort to you, you’re not alone.

More Americans are now overweight than are not. According to The latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, 63.1% of adults in the U.S. were either overweight or obese in 2009 and the number has continued to climb.

By some predictions, 75% of Americans will be overweight or obese by 2020. All this adds up to increased weight-related health conditions, medication use and healthcare expense. But none of that means anything to the individual – you – unless you know what to do about it.

Men, in particular, struggle with HOW to lose weight. Women tend to socialize while they tackle weight… stroller clubs, gym buddies, weight watchers meetings and sharing recipes… that stuff doesn’t appeal to men in the same way. A man might think, “I have to lift weights and get buff” or “I’ll just lay off the beer and pizza for a couple weeks”. But what happens when you don’t have time to work out, or the discipline to give up the goodies and have no idea how to make a “low-carb, protein rich, high-fiber, reduced-fat, good tasting meal” … let alone do it while in a mid-day meeting or between appointments?

Being overweight puts anyone at increased risk for high blood sugar, high cholesterol, diabetes, depression, heart disease, arthritis, sleep apnea, some cancers and many more conditions that compromise your health and quality of life. Clearly this is a health issue, not just an aesthetic or lifestyle issue. With that in mind, it seems logical to work with your doctor to get the weight off safely.

Wilkes Family Medicine in Newbury Park offers a program, Take Shape for Life, that truly looks to me like a “Weight Loss for Dummies”. This program works well for men because they can “do it on their own” yet have the support of being able to turn to someone with questions without the commitment of meetings. There is no book to read, tracking of points, or weighing in at meetings. Easy, on-the-go meals are part of the plan, as is learning ‘simple, proven strategies’ to keep the weight off and then wean you off the program – this is really a no-brainer weight loss program.

The added value of working with a family physician in a weight loss plan makes sense. If one of your goals is to reduce medications that treat your weight-related conditions, working alongside your healthcare provider is really ideal because as you check-in they can make adjustments to your medications – and that’s a great motivation booster!

When asked why he has decided to put his name behind this program by offering it to his patients, Dr. Wilkes said, “The patient-physician partnership is ideal because we can assess as they go, making sure needed adjustments. The program’s simplicity and motivates patients and we have some incredible patient success stories.” Apparently all the meals are nutritionally equal so you can eat whichever one you want anytime. If you need a little boost,weekly meetings and Internet information are available, but none of this is required – and neither is exercise. That being said, a healthy lifestyle - including exercise - is encouraged.

With 71% of men in the U.S. being overweight compared to 57% of women, this is not a women’s issue – it’s a people issue. And since people’s lifestyles and reasons for being overweight vary so much, there is really no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. Offering programs that appeal to men is an important step as Americans struggle to take charge of their health.

Whatever you do, do something – and if you don’t know where to start, you might need a “no-brainer” program that lays it all out for you. A good place to begin is talking to your doctor. Find out how you might partner as you work to reduce weight– and ultimately live the healthy life you want.

Wilkes Family Medicine:

WilkesFamilyMedicine.com

805.499.4446

Sources:

  • Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, 2009
  • The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, Overweight and Obesity Rates for Adults by Gender for 2010
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