Weight Management

Successful weight management requires a combination of solutions

Obesity is a complex disease. Because everyone is different, the right solutions will be different. That’s why it’s good to know that there are a number of treatments that can be used to help reduce body weight.

Mindfulness

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by cravings?

Fortunately, there are ways to overcome these cravings when they appear. Mindfulness is an approach to eating that requires you to get in touch with your five senses, By doing this, you are raising your awareness in the moments when cravings appear. Being mindful will help you ask yourself: am I really hungry? Or is it just the smell of the food that is making me feel tempted?

Eating & nutrition

We now know that weight loss is more than just “calories in, calories out”. In fact, the body has two different drives to eat: Body Hunger and Reward Hunger. To understand them is to understand how your appetite works.

Body Hunger
Body hunger is the drive to eat when you are feeling physically hungry. This type of hunger is controlled by hormones in the gut, blood sugar, and fat tissues. There are a few ways to combat body hunger, including: eating regularly, consuming balanced meals, and limiting the intake of foods high in sugar and fats.

Reward Hunger
Reward hunger is about eating even when you are not physically hungry. This type of hunger includes stress eating, emotional eating, and eating as a reward for positive events or in celebration for an achievement. Reward hunger can also be a response to stress or being overwhelmed. It is the brain’s way of coping with the stress or emotions being felt. To manage reward hunger, it is important to identify the things that you make you feel the need to eat, and what actual need the body is trying to satisfy.

Physical activity

We know that fewer calories in and more calories out does not always equal weight loss. But staying active has so many benefits. Increasing daily activity levels can help your overall fitness and well-being. Setting manageable activity goals can build confidence and help towards improved weight management.

Medication

Why do people achieve weight loss, only to gradually gain back the weight they wanted off? Sadly, this is a reality for so many people who have tried to lose weight. Prescription medications for the treatment of obesity, when used in combination with lifestyle modification, such as reduced calorie diets and exercise, can help patients lose weight and keep it off. In Canada, there are prescription medications available for the treatment of obesity. Family doctors can help you decide if this is a good option for you.

Bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery is a medical procedure performed on the stomach or intestines to assist with weight loss. There are three types of bariatric surgery: Restrictive bariatric surgery limits the amount of food you can take in by using a band that makes your stomach smaller. Malabsorptive bariatric surgery limits the amount of nutrients your lower intestine is able to absorb. Finally, mixed bariatric surgery procedures combine both methods of limiting food intake and malabsorption.

Talking to your doctor

Obesity is a medically recognized, chronic condition that requires treatment and support. It is important to speak to a doctor about the options that may be right for you. While talking about weight management can be difficult, doctors are there to help.