Your Efforts Make a Real Difference
Choices are something we make every day. We choose what time to get to bed, to wake up and what time to eat. These seem like small insignificant moments in an extremely hectic life, but they are choices we make every day. If you don’t go to bed early enough, you will be tired in the morning. If you don’t get up when the alarm clock rings, you will be late to work or school. The choice is yours, just as the choice for a healthy lifestyle is yours as well. Ensuring that all of your efforts to support a healthy lifestyle is paramount to your success in achieving and maintaining weight loss.
The first choice that will determine a great deal of your success is the fuel for your body. If you are fueling your body with carbohydrate dense, fatty foods, then the result is a sluggish metabolism and small amounts of weight loss. Contrary to that, a high protein, high fiber diet will help to ensure a well tuned, high rate of metabolism that will burn calories efficiently and assist the body achieve satiety. You will feel full and satisfied, as well as lose weight.
Now that you have chosen the appropriate fuel, the next choice is fluids. If you are eating properly with the high protein diet, your body needs the correct amount of fluids to assist digestion. The right amount of fluid will help with waste elimination and transport of nutrients to the cells. If you are not drinking a good amount of water or calorie free fluids, your body cannot use the fuel correctly. And taking in calorie rich fluids, like sugary drinks, will offset the balance in the body and cause weight gain.
Lastly is the choice to exercise. For each person, how much they are able to exercise is often determined by their health status. Patients waiting for knee replacement surgery are not appropriate candidates for a marathon, but they can participate in water aerobics, or swim. The choice of exercise program is patient dependent, but is ultimately the most common factor for lack of adequate weight loss. Choosing to exercise twice a week for 30 minutes a day, may be a huge step of progress for a patient who has not been physically able to exercise in the past, but once the weight is off the exercise program needs to be adapted. Increasing the exercise to a more rigorous program will enhance the weight loss and will ensure that there is no weight regain.
Remember that each and every choice you make will either positively or negatively affect your weight loss. Being mindful of each choice will help you to determine how your weight loss progresses. All of your efforts make a difference on your weight loss journey.
Written by Collin E.M. Brathwaite, MD, FACS, FASMBS
Chairman of the Department of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery and Bariatric Surgery at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island