With over two in three adults considered either overweight or obese and about a third of children and teens between the ages of six and 19 considered overweight or obese, it’s no surprise that many are flocking to weight loss centers or embarking on another diet. The average dieter in America tries about four times a year. The most recent survey from the Calorie Control Council, which tracks American consumption of low-calorie food and drink shows that over half of adults were dieting in 2010 — a 33% increase from 2004! So how do you stick to a plan and have dieting success? Checking out weight loss centers is one good answer to that question.
Why Should I Be Trying to Lose Weight?
Even just losing 5-10% of your weight can help reduce your risk of developing heart disease. If you’re at 200 pounds, that means just losing 10 or 20 pounds, which often seems like a much more doable number. And if you feel good after losing 10 or 20 pounds, you may be more motivated to try and lose a few more pounds, and start maintaining healthy habits.
A Harvard study found troubling results regarding how being obese affects our health. If you’re obese, your risk of diabetes is 20 times higher and you have a much higher risk of developing blood pressure, heart disease, or having a stroke, compared to those who have a lower BMI. Researchers found a direct link between BMI and the risk of developing disease — the higher the BMI was, the greater the chances of disease. And, as we get older, maintaining our weight can be even more important — it’s easier to shed weight when you’re younger, and your body can handle some of the extra stress put upon it. But as our body ages, being overweight or obese can pose serious challenges to our overall health and quality of living.
How Do Weight Loss Centers Help?
Anyone who has dieted knows that it can be hard to do on your own — there are plenty of temptations all around. Breaking unhealthy habits can be tougher without the counsel and cheerleading of those around you, encouraging you to stick to your fitness and dieting plan, and giving you positive feedback on your progress. Weight loss centers provide support, sometimes medication, and a regimented plan that helps keep you on track.
Often, you might be paired with a coach or therapist to help you discuss how to make healthy choices — and how to continue making them after you’re done at the center. Many of these weight loss centers focus on calorie counting as part of their method. For example, to lose one pound a week — which is a safe rate to lose weight at — you should be dieting or exercising to have a 500-calorie deficit daily. According to research, you need to burn about 3,500 calories to lose one pound of fat.
Weight loss centers can offer weight loss help and advice, recommend and prescribe pills and supplements that can aid in your weight loss efforts, and in some cases, even help create a structured fitness plan.
How Can I Keep a Handle on Maintaining My Weight After the Program?
Continuing to count calories and tracking your fat intake (or both) is a good way to keep your weight steady once you’ve leveled off. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that showed that half of individuals who were able to maintain their weight loss did one or both of those things.
Getting good habits in place during the weight loss program is also important. Around 60% of dieters preferred to eat regular grocery store food, which is smart, since they’ll be able to make good choices once they go off the program and know what foods to target and what to stay away from. Exercise is also key — even if it’s only one or two times a week. Set reasonable goals for yourself that you can keep.
Losing weight isn’t just good for your self-image — it can have a serious impact on your health and quality of life.