How to Lose Weight

There are essential components in the treatment of obesity which may be somewhat obvious. Essentially people need to modify their behaviour and eating patterns, restrict or reduce the amount of kilojoules ingested, initiate an exercise program and undergo a process of education to ensure developed knowledge of obesity, how to keep the excess weight off and not forget about the severe associated health risks. Treating obesity is complex and requires the knowledge and skills of trained professionals to see individuals through what can be a challenging time in their life.

Assessment of Clients or Patients

It is important each patient or client is assessed in terms of their emotional stability and medical and dietary history. This is important as some client’s may have self-motivation or, alternatively, they may require additional support can be identified from the outset of the treatment. Psychological assessment should be assessed as extreme weight loss during a program designed to treat obesity can be mentally draining and many people need coping strategies implemented to succeed.

Modifying Behaviour

Anything which has been learned can be changed or worked on for future change. Initially all clients or patients should be asked to keep a food diary of food intake and patterns. Only once this has been done can specific problem areas be identified and strategies implemented to overcome them. Often nutritionists or dieticians will suggest behavioural approaches to weight control – for example,

  •  Eating at specific times and places
  •  Eating more slowly
  •  Omitting other activities normally associated with food (e.g. watching TV)
  •  Using small plates and altering portion size

Prescribing Diets

The main treatment for obesity must be prescribing a calorie restricted diet. As outlined in previous emails there are many diets available which bring about a steady loss of excess weight and help to establish good eating habits. Diets must be palatable and must be able to fit into the current framework of family food habits. Diets must also not require extra time or additional expense. There are some basic considerations when prescribing the right diet:

  •  Energy – a diet which provides the 15-20% daily reduction in kilo-joule intake leads to a gradual and healthy loss of weight. This avoids severe hunger; nervous exhaustion and weakness which is commonly found to be linked with sever weight loss regimes.
  •  Protein – it is suggested that during a weight loss program protein intake should be increased to approximately 1.5 g per Kg of body weight per day. Protein is known to improve the feeling of fullness throughout the diet.
  •  Fat and carbohydrate – many diets will drastically cut both fat and carbohydrate intake to encourage the body to use it fat stores/reserves as a source of energy instead thus increasing weight loss. One kilogram of body fat equates to approximately 32000 kilojoules. So if you have a kilojoule deficit of 4500 (meaning that you burn 4500 kilojoules more than you eat each day) you would lose almost one kilogram per week: 4500 x 7 = 31,500 kJ (31.5 MJ)
  •  Minerals and Vitamins – if the diet is extremely limited in terms of kilojoule intake, multivitamin, iron salts and calcium should be recommended. Increased vitamin and mineral intake should be a priority when prescribing diets for obese children.

Life Coach and Personal Trainer

The second most important way of treating obesity (other than changing diet) is definitely increasing or starting a thorough exercise routine. A personal trainer is simply someone who helps people exercise properly to ensure the desired outcome is achieved. Many personal trainers work through local fitness centres, personal training studios and health clubs. Others may work as a private company and are available for sessions in a client’s home, or serve as instructors for fitness classes.

Trainers are generally needed to demonstrate various exercises and help clients improve their exercise techniques. Due to the interpersonal contact between a trainer and a client versus a general gym setting, a trainer is more readily able to provide motivation and support to an individual in an exercise program, in addition to proper technical instruction. A trainer may keep records of their clients’ exercise sessions to help monitor progress, and may also advise their clients on how to modify their lifestyle outside of the gym to improve their fitness. Many people who have struggled to stick to fitness regimes in the past find personal trainers extremely helpful.

Dietary counselling offers motivation and psychological support. Weight loss success is dependant on effective self-motivation and suitable knowledge. Motivation can come from the individual’s own drive to lose weight, but often a nutritionist or dietician or life coach can help to initiate the motivation. They can provide encouragement and guidance. A counsellor will work with the individual to help them gain insight into the reasons behind their desire for food and look closely at the causes for obesity. This can prove to be a difficult experience for many people attending a counsellor as they are forced to consider past events or experiences which may have attributed to their weight gain indirectly through comfort eating, for example.

Weight Loss Hypnosis

This is a technique used by some people who often feel they have exhausted other avenues, other than weight loss surgery possibly. The reason hypnosis is such a powerful tool for weight loss is its potential to help build new healthy habits. It’s not easy to follow some things through even when we really want to. Or sometimes we do things even though we don’t want to because our desires are conscious thoughts while our behaviours are created and motivated at a subconscious level. The process of hypnosis is the natural, safe and convenient way for behaviour modification.

People can go to a hypnotist in person for treatment or can purchase audio CD systems to help them lose weight. Audio systems guide people into a peaceful and enjoyable relaxation while delivering suggestions to your subconscious mind for:

  •  Healthier eating habits
  •  Smaller portions
  •  Stopping when full
  •  Eliminate unhealthy foods
  •  Improve confidence and self esteem
  •  Motivation for physical activity

Self-help Groups

Self-help often takes place on the basis of self-reliance or of support groups where people in similar situations join together. Groups associated with health conditions and obesity may consist of patients and/or their carers, as well as physicians, other health professionals, dieticians or nutritionist and even psychologists. As well as featuring long-time members sharing experiences, support groups can become an opportunity to offer educational knowledge or the sharing of research findings relating to obesity. Those who help themselves by learning about obesity and health problems exemplify self-help, while one might better regard help in this context as peer-to-peer support.

Some people find group support guided weight loss very helpful. A self-help group can be held at a place whee the obese person attends in person, or s person can join online groups and discussion forums to seek support. These are often a valuable aid in helping the individual to continue a weigh-loss reduction program. Group sessions are effective because people can compare their progress, share ideas or problems and exchange their views.

Research has shown weight loss is greater in people who only need to lose a small amount of weight. Weight loss at the time of attending the support group can be good; however there is no evidence that weight loss is maintained once the person leaves the support group.


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