You’ve resolved to lose weight, get in shape, and be a healthier, happier you. Congratulations! The question is, how can you meet your health fitness goals? For many people, meeting weight loss goals is accomplished by following a strict diet and exercise routine. Others join special weight loss programs.
Either way, successfully losing weight and getting healthier is going to take some lifestyle changes. What are some of these changes? To help you meet healthy weight loss goals, we’ve assembled a few healthy medical weight loss lifestyle tips.
Tip #1: Meet with Your Physician Regularly
As your diet/exercise/meal replacement plan progresses and you start to shed weight, make sure to have regular checkups with a qualified physician. During these visits, your physician can verify that your progression to your weight loss goals is healthy, and that you’re getting all of the proper nutrition you need.
This is important because, as you shed those unwanted pounds, your body’s metabolism can be altered, changing your dietary requirements. Getting a checkup once every few weeks (or immediate emergency checkups if you start to experience symptoms of tiredness, weakness, or involuntary muscle spasms) can help you stay on top of your nutritional needs so that you can be healthy while you lose weight.
Tip #2: Monitor Your Hydration
Water remains one of the healthiest things that you can put into your body, and ensuring that your body’s getting enough water is an essential part of keeping yourself healthy. So, after a rigorous exercise routine, take a few sips of water to replace what gets lost when you sweat.
As a general rule of thumb, make sure that you get somewhere between 2.2 liters (for women) and 3 liters (for men) of water per day, with a little extra intake after periods of heavy activity.
Tip #3: Set Weight Loss Goals That are Healthy
When on a medical weight loss program, it might be tempting to enter “extreme diet mode” and try to lose as much weight as possible as quickly as possible. However, fast weight loss isn’t necessarily healthy weight loss.
Losing weight too quickly can have an adverse effect on the body. One of the causes of this is that when you’re on an extreme diet that removes food, you can wind up suffering from a lack of nutrition. Your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs to survive, so you end up experiencing problems as a result. On most medically-supervised programs this shouldn’t be too much of an issue, as the doctor can prescribe vitamin supplements to replace the nutrients lost on a restricted diet.
Generally speaking, weight loss of more than 2 pounds per day is risky, though.
Tip #4: Take Any and All Nutrition Supplements and Dietary Aids ONLY as Recommended by Your Physician
When you’re on a medically supervised weight loss plan, it is vital that you follow the directions given to you by the medical professionals supervising your program. Be sure to inform your doctor of any and all medications that you may be on, including other diet supplements, pain pills, heart medication, etc.
Many medicines can have severe side effects when taken in conjunction with other medications. In order for your physician to provide you with the best way to lose weight safely, he or she needs to know about any other medications you may be on.
Also, avoid taking more than the doctor-recommended dosage of any diet aid or supplement that is prescribed.
Tip #5: Create a Plan for After the Program is Finished
For many people on a weight loss program of any kind, the hardest part of the program is keeping the weight off once the plan is over. All too often, once a person’s diet is “done” and their weight loss goal has been achieved, they balloon back to their pre-program weight or worse.
This is why it is important to have a diet and exercise plan for after the end of a medical weight loss program. By keeping track of your calorie intake, exercising regularly, and avoiding too many unhealthy foods that lead to rapid weight gain, it is much easier to stay at your ideal weight once you’ve attained it.
Tip #6: Speak to Professionals for Advice
To get the best advice for important lifestyle changes to help you meet healthy weight loss goals, be sure to consult the experts who are a part of your weight loss program (nurses, physicians, and dietitians). The professionals at Step Ahead Wellness, for example, specialize in providing advice that will help you achieve your health and fitness goals in a safe and effective manner.
In programs such as Step Ahead’s OPTIFAST program, dietitians such as Sari Greaves (our nutrition director) are available to help you form plans for life after your diet is over so that you can lead a healthy life through lifestyle modification, as well as provide helpful advice for meeting goals when you need it. Sari's experience as a dietitian is respected throughout the country, and she has even made a guest appearance on the Dr. Oz show to share her knowledge with the world.
Noëlle Lusardi, our fitness director, is here to lend a helping hand for personal training and fitness counseling. She has served as a member of the Aerobics & Fitness Association of America (AFAA) for over 20 years, and brings her considerable knowledge and experience in helping people to every consultation. With her experience, she can help you create and execute a physical activity regimen to keep you on track for losing weight and keeping it off safely.
Learn more about how you can use a healthy medical weight loss program to shed the pounds and keep them off today!