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Diet & Nutrition | Digestive Health | Family Health | Men’s Health | Women’s Health
skinny man looking at himself as overweight man

6 Smart Tips: Lose Weight and Keep It Off

Take a long-range, big-picture view

As a doctor, a big part of what I do is help people lose weight. If you are overweight and need some practical advice, I recommend:

1. Restrict calories in a tailored program

Not all calories, or bodies, are the same. The right diet for weight loss can be different combinations of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. In my practice, I personalize the diet, working with patients in an ongoing process and adjusting based on their personality and what is medically correct for them.

2. Realize that a restrictive diet is a temporary measure

Restricting calories is only the first step and not a permanent solution. Once you lose weight, you should switch to a more moderate calorie intake balanced with regularly scheduled exercise activity.

3. Reach out for support

Unless you function better by yourself, support is key to long-term success. Find support from peers through weight management groups and/or a workout buddy, or professional help from behavioral and life coaches, psychologists, exercise physiologists and personal trainers.

4. Remember that weight loss is also about the mind

You have to be committed to the process. Losing weight is about so much more than what we eat. It’s often about how we feel about ourselves and what triggers us to make healthy or unhealthy choices. Remembering this will allow you to indulge in actions that positively change your behavior rather than pacify them with increased calories or being sedentary. (This also helps you be kind to yourself by not underestimating the effort involved.)

5. Consider the role of medication

Working with your doctor, it may be appropriate to consider appetite suppressants, such as phentermine, qsymia or lorcaserin, currently the only medications approved by the FDA for weight loss to enhance your weight loss efforts. You will have to meet clinical standards, such as a body mass index of 27 with one or more associated diseases or a body mass index of 30 or higher, with or without co-morbid disease(s).

6. Redefine exercise

Be creative in the way you move. It doesn’t have to be in a gym or structured environment. Just move more than you do now. Frequency (how often), intensity (how hard) and time (how long) are the components that matter when attempting to lose weight and keep it off. To lose weight the American College of Sports Medicine recommends moderate- to high-intensity exercise for 60 – 90 minutes, at least five days per week.

To lose weight and keep it off, look beyond the initial weight loss to a permanent change in lifestyle behaviors and know that your efforts are not in vain.

Tags: diet, exercise, healthy diet, new year new you, overweight, weight loss
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Karen Cooper, DO, Director of Be Well Moms℠ in the Women's Health Institute, is board-certified in family medicine and specializes in medical weight management.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/diane.krstulovich Diane Krstulovich

    Boo…I prefer Dr. McDougall’s ‘Starch Solution’ or Dr. Fuhrman’s ‘Eat to Live’. Eat as much as you want, whenever you want; just eat the right foods (high in nutrients) and DON’T eat the wrong foods (high in calories, low in nutrients).

    • pammyj

      Where could I find t hat?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mje1726 Mary Hawkins

    I have lost 150 pounds in 3 months…I work at it everyday,,,,,,I walk a lot wacth what I eat …and keep faith in God and my friends and family…And I eat more protein foods..,,but anyone can do it just don’t give up !!!!!!!!! Good Luck and God Bless You All

    • mamapat

      How did you do that? that is great

    • pammy

      Yes how the heck could you d o that without surgery?

    • CJ

      I’m like Pammy. How could you do that? That averages to be 12 lbs a week. That can’t be healthy.

    • mary

      what diet did u follow?

    • Deanna Long

      I had gastric bypass and did not lose 150 in three months…. 50 maybe…. Must be a typo.

    • picnicfun

      You lost 150 pounds in how long? 3 months? Sure that wasn’t 13 months or 3 years? I have to say I don’t believe you if you’re claiming to lose 150 pounds in 90 days. No, I don’t believe you are telling the truth.

  • mamapat

    what foods do you eat? I can follow a diet, I just can’t find one written down that actually works.

  • pammy j

    In order to receive a lung transplant, I am required to lose 30 pounds and since my ability to exercise is difficult, having such a hard time. Meds not an option, Thanks so much for any advice. I am 61 – it is getting very frustrating. Bread, wheat, all these crazy suggestions.

    • picnicfun

      Juicing is an option. Juicing will help your body overall and put in nutrition without much calories. Lots of veggies, limited fruit. I had to lose a lot of weight to have a kidney transplant. You can’t exercise much but do what you can in strength exercise. You’ll build muscle and that burns calories.

  • Ann

    The Specific Carbohydrate Diet explained in Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall helped me lose weight.

  • Dee

    I have Celiac Spru Disease (highly allergic to wheat, rye, barely and oats) and am also allergic to corn, milk, (chocolate too!) red dye, hydro. oils. I was diagnosed 10 years ago and am more frustrated as more allergies pop up in my body. I’d like to lose 20 lbs but find that I am already limited as to what I can have. I have 2 artificial knees, 2 rods in my back and a patch on my heart. I am also a diabetic, 62 yrs. old and very limited to exercise. Thank you! Help!

  • Justafriend

    Try Ideal Protein Diet, it’s a commercial diet and provides coaching and monitoring with weekly office visits. If you follow it you will lose 3-7 lbs per week without any exercise. But, most of their products have whey protein so it may not work for the person with allergies.

  • Arlene

    I lost 16 pounds and cannot lose another pound for the last 2 months, I eat the same food that made me lose the weight but still the weight does not go down , I cannot exercise as I have 2 bad legs and I am 80 years young, anyone have any suggestions?

    • picnicfun

      Juicing vegetables, massage therapy, light arm weights.

  • Janice M Giaco

    STAY AWAY FROM SUGAR, ITS POISON, AND IT RAISES TRIGLYCERIDES AND CAUSES HYPERTENSION -LISTEN TO DR ROBERT LUSTIG, “SUGAR THE BITTER TRUTH. LOW FAT DIETS HAVE BEEN AROUND SINCE TH 60’S AND ALL WE HAVE SEEN IS A RISE IN HTN,OBESITY AND DIABETES, YOU HAVE TO READ THE LABELS ON PREPARED FOODS BECAUSE THEY PUT SUGAR IN EVERYTHING, ESPECIALLY ‘LOW FAT’ FOODS..EATING SO MUCH SUGAR DOES NOT SATISFY YOU, THEREFORE YOU CRAVE MORE AND MORE.

  • Connie

    I lost 100 lbs in 3 months. I started at 298 and was on WW. Did not follow it to a “T” but did eat mainly veggies, 6 meals per day and never after 8pm ( 6 days per week ) also on the 7th day I ate whatever I wanted and caught myself mentally counting points and watching what I ate. Exercise was minimal, just walking as my heart Is not to great. I continued after that loss to lose, but at a slower rate. In 2yrs I gained it all back as I stopped my walking routine, let stress get the best of me etc. Being over 40 now I am back on the same routine and hope to lose again, but this time a little slower. Doing it on my own with all my knowledge of what I learned throughout my years of losing and gaining wt. This is the first time it is all about me..for my health..for my future. Think to often we do it for others, family etc…well what happens when your left alone , people move on and you have just your life to live ? Do It at your pace, play around with what works best for you and most of all, want it !