You may have embarked on a weight loss program before and were very successful at losing weight. It takes a lot of effort and commitment to lose 20-30 pounds. However, the majority of individuals regain the weight lost. In cases like this, a self assessment is necessary to answer the question ‘Why does this keep happening to me?‘
Performing a Self Assessment:
The length of time you have struggled with weight may indicate how difficult it may be to change long-term habits. A self-assessment provides an opportunity for you to examine past successes and failures and identify what has worked in the past and what has not. A careful review may help you identify high-risk situations that have triggered lapse in the past and help you develop rebound strategies to prevent a lapse in the future. For example, many people find that behaviors like regular exercise or eating low calorie are hard to maintain while traveling. Realizing that this has caused problems in the past may trigger you to develop solutions like bringing a jump rope or finding restaurants that offer a selection of low calorie choices.
Being overweight greatly increases the likelihood of having high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, heart attacks, strokes, sleep apnea, gall bladder trouble and certain types of cancers. Hypertension is approximately 3 times greater in overweight individuals than lean individuals. Relatively young overweight persons (20 to 44 years old) have a 5.6 times greater risk of hypertension than persons 45 to 74 years old. In the western world, 60% of hypertension cases in men younger than 45 years are believed to be due to overweight.
If you are unsure about your weight condition, try answering the following questions:
- At what age did you first experience a problem with being overweight? ________years old
- Has your weight changed over the past year? _____Yes If yes, please describe how: _____________________________________________________
- What has been your lowest weight range as an adult?
- How many serious attempts have you made to lose weight in: the last 12 months? _____ Over the last 10 years? _____
- What methods have you used in that past to lose weight? There are several methods that you may have used to lose weight: self-help program (i.e., book, magazine, tape); commercial program (i.e., Weight Watchers, Herbal Life); hospital-based program; other methods (Slimfast, supplements).
- How long ago?
- Did you lose weight? How many pounds did you lose?
- How many pounds did you regain?
- What factors do you believe were important in helping you succeed in your prior weight loss efforts?
- What were the contributing factors that caused you to regain weight in the past?
Performing a good self assessment can help you identify some of the factors that may have contributed to the weight gain. It will also help you understand what excess weight really means and what the risks are if you don’t do something about it.
Whats The Risk?
Excess weight causes increased risk for heart attacks, strokes and diabetes. This is due in part because excess weight increases LDL (the bad cholesterol), decreases HDL (the good cholesterol), increases triglycerides, and increases the incidence of hypertension and diabetes. For men under 40 years, excess weight is a major cause of high cholesterol. Results from research showed that for every 10% increase in weight, there was a 12 point increase in total cholesterol level. Risk of diabetes increases twofold in persons slightly overweight and fivefold in moderately overweight and tenfold in very overweight persons. A weight loss of only 10 percent body weight is associated with significant improvement in the above medical conditions.
What Can I Do?
We encourage you to maintain a food record. Maintaining a food record is difficult, but the longer you do it, the easier it becomes. You have already kept the food record for a period of time and focused on keeping an accurate food record, measuring portion sizes, and counting your calories.
You can also lower your risk by modifying your eating habits. You do this by learning Mindful Eating Habits. Mindful eating means taking the time to honor your food by choosing high quality, organic food, preparing it with care and eating it slowly and mindfully using your five senses to really enjoy it. It means allocating quiet time to prepare and enjoy eating your meal without rushing or multitasking at the same time.