It can also negatively impact self esteem and increase mental health disorders," explained Mohsin Syed, MD, Internal Medicine Physician at Slocum-Dickson Medical Group.
"Obesity affects everyone differently based on their genetics.
A good mechanism for determining a health body weight is body mass index (BMI).
"For the general population, a BMI above 30 is considered obese," explained Dr. Syed
reminds patients not to be discouraged if they don't lose weight, making healthy food choices and exercising can improve a patient's overall health.
"Patients who exercise and diet are better off than patients who just diet."
All of the weight loss programs, low fat diets and quick fixes available can leave people confused about what to do to lose weight.
Dr. Syed notes that most of the commercial weight loss programs are good for some, but not all people.
"A good weight loss plan needs to fit into your lifestyle long-term," advises Dr. Syed
"A healthy weight loss program should focus on losing about two pounds per week.
also challenges patients to take a look at what they could do differently such as decreasing plate size or portions.
Exercise in combination with changes in diet will have the greatest impact.
"Exercise at least 45 minutes at a moderate pace every week," states Dr. Syed
An example of moderate paced exercise is brisk walking.
The recommended 45 minutes of exercise can be broken up into smaller intervals and still be effective.
Small changes such as parking farther away from work can add to your daily exercise.
Dr. Syed stresses that being more active is the most important part of a successful weight management program.
To sort through all of the diet confusion, Dr. Syed
offers this advice: "Eat a balanced diet.
Your plate should be 50% greens and fresh vegetables, 25% protein (ideally fish), and 25% carbohydrates that are high in fiber.
recommends reducing portion size, quantity of food is a big part of the problem.
"Watching calorie intake is important," explains Dr. Syed
"If you are trying to lose weight, your calories should be net negative.
recommends that individuals who are trying to lose weight eat less than 1200 -1500 calories a day.
Low or negative calorie foods such as celery can be a good snack option.
Adding high fiber foods to your diet can also aid in weight loss.
also advises adding healthy vegetables to some of your favorite foods.
For example, if you enjoy eating a hamburger he
recommends adding some extra lettuce or other vegetables to make the burger healthier and more filling.
"Lifestyle modification is very important," explains Dr. Syed
"Studies have shown that patients will gain back weight if lifestyle is not modified.
emphasizes the importance of teaching children good eating habits, because most adult weight problems start in childhood.
"For most of us, weight gain is caused by our lifestyle.
adds Dr. Syed