Recently the American Medical Association (AMA) declared obesity an illness. This designation may change how doctors treat obesity and lead to better coverage by insurers. After all, the price of obesity in the U.S. is costly. A 2012 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concluded that by 2030, 42 percent of adults will be obese. That study forecast $550 billion in healthcare spending from now to 2030 as a result of rising obesity rates.
People who are carrying extra pounds are more likely to develop other problems that can be life-threatening, including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer and other serious ailments. But shedding pounds can be a tough task. As anyone who has ever lost weight knows, keeping weight off requires a lot of willpower and motivation.
If your goal is to lose pounds, Health Advocate offers the following tips on how to stay motivated.
Find a support system. If you’re looking to lose weight, a weight loss support group can help you reach your goals. Building friendships with peers who understand what you’re going though can make the weight loss journey more empowering. You can also talk about roadblocks and share tips and advice. Plus, having someone (or several people) who can help hold you accountable can increase your success.
Keep a journal. Monitor your own progress. Keep a food and exercise journal to keep track of what you’re doing each day. Write down not just what you’re eating, but also mention your mood or feelings whenever you have a meal or snack. You may find that you’re reaching for that donut when you’re angry or stressed out, but not because you’re actually hungry.
The more, the better. Include your family and friends in your new healthy lifestyle. Shop for groceries together and make a fun evening of cooking healthy meals. Be active and go for walks, hikes or bike rides together. If everyone is involved in or on board with your goal to lose weight, you will feel supported, motivated and encouraged.
Give yourself a pat on the back. Be your own cheerleader. Don’t be afraid to feel good about your success. If your goal was to work out three times a week and you did so, that’s a huge accomplishment! Remember to be realistic about your goals and what is reasonable given your schedule and current health status. For example, if going to the gym has never been part of your routine, start with an activity you think you would enjoy, and just have fun!
Losing weight and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight. If you don’t see your desired results right away, remember that losing weight takes time, so keep a positive attitude and keep your eye on the prize. Additionally, if you are a Health Advocate member, give us a call—you can connect with a Wellness Coach who can give you one-on-one help reaching your fitness and nutrition goals.