Benefits of healthy weight loss last for life

Weight loss is key when it comes to reducing the risk of disease, decreasing stress on joints, increasing energy levels and improving overall health.

And there’s a safe way to do it.

With fad diets and vogue exercise programs promising remarkable results in a short period of time, it can be difficult to resist temptation and choose the right way to lose weight and improve fitness.  But the mystery of weight loss isn’t such a mystery after all – it’s all about the choices you make every day.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number one cause of death in the U.S. is heart disease, which is linked to being overweight.  Extra pounds may lead to cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer, joint pain, osteoarthritis, tendinitis, and overuse injuries.  Furthermore, 69% of adults over the age of 20 are overweight or obese.

With the wide variety of diet and exercise plans out there, we might expect the number of overweight individuals to be decreasing - but because of fad diets and flawed exercise plans, the number of overweight individuals is actually increasing.

Weight loss programs should be approached with a team method that includes initial and periodic assessments to track progress.  Your team should include an exercise professional, certified dietician, physical therapist and medical director to make sure all aspects of safe and effective weight loss are included. 

An initial assessment of body composition, resting metabolic rate (RMR), fitness level, diet, flexibility and strength should be performed to determine where to begin and how to design an individualized program.

There are a variety of fitness tests available, but the gold standard is an aerobic capacity test to determine VO2 maximum, considered the most accurate test for cardiorespiratory health.  A flexibility and strength assessment screens for musculoskeletal abnormalities that may lead to injury during exercise.  Finally, an assessment with a certified dietician ensures your diet is well balanced and identifies problem foods that may need to be eliminated.

Losing weight the right way requires healthy lifestyle choices in both diet and exercise.  “Diet” doesn’t necessarily mean calorie restriction, nor does it mean no carbohydrates or any of the other fads that have become popular in the past several years.  “Diet” simply means there are enough calories, nutrients and vitamins to sustain life by providing the things our bodies need. 

Exercise doesn’t have to be what is seen on infomercials, with all kinds of strange equipment and sweating it out at the highest intensity level possible.  Exercise should be done daily, with plenty of variety to elevate the heart rate to at least 50% of the age-predicted maximum for 60 minutes. 

If weight loss is the goal, your food intake should be approximately 500 calories less than what your resting metabolic rate and exercise (output) requires for the day.  500 calories a day is 3500 calories a week, and 3500 calories is approximately one pound.  One pound of weight loss per week is considered medically safe.

At St. Luke’s Performance Medicine, our team of professionals includes a medical director, doctor of physical therapy, strength and conditioning coach, and certified dieticians.  We utilize the latest technologies for health and fitness assessments.  Our weight loss program includes an initial assessment of diet, body composition, resting metabolic rate, cardiorespiratory health, flexibility and strength.  We believe in objective measurement to determine your starting point, and to track your progress. 

We can help you achieve your goals. Call 936-266-3130 for more information about scheduling an initial assessment.