Improving one’s lifestyle habits is foundational to all weight management treatment modalities, whether you’re taking a new weight loss medication or even undergoing bariatric surgery.
I spend a lot of time talking to my patients to help them figure out the best mix of weight management strategies that fit their life and lifestyle habits.
If losing weight is on your to-do list, here are some tips I hope you find helpful:
1 – Know Your ‘Why’
It’s important to ask yourself why you want to lose weight. Some examples may be to improve your health, get off of medications, look better and feel better or be able to keep up with your children or grandchildren.
When the going gets tough, reminding yourself of your ‘why’ can help motivate you to stay on track.
I also recommend making a list of all the reasons you want to lose weight and referring to it as ongoing affirmation.
2 – Make a Plan to Improve Your Lifestyle Habits
Though your instincts may be to try the latest one-size-fits-all, quick-fix fad diet, know that losing weight and keeping it off is about much more than just the carbs and proteins in the foods on your plate.
Though what you eat is important, so are your lifestyle habits that relate to your eating patterns throughout the day, how active you are and how you manage stress and unpleasant emotions.
Helping individuals focus on the eating, exercise and mindset issues personal to them, their lifestyle habits and their weight struggles has been my life work.
If you’re looking for a personalized program to help you manage weight better, please check out my latest self-help book, Six Factors to Fit: Weight Loss that Works for You!
You can also take my scientifically-validated short Six Factor Quiz online here and learn more about which modifiable lifestyle habits are affecting your weight.
Weight management strategies will be easier to follow if they’re personally targeted to you and your lifestyle.
3 – Build Your Healthy Lifestyle Team
Improving your lifestyle habits should not be a secret mission.
Finding people who share some of your same values and healthy lifestyle goals can be incredibly helpful. Whether you share healthy recipes, discuss meditation apps you enjoy or do virtual exercise classes together, you don’t have to go it alone.
Changing your mindset from “I have to do this by myself” to “Let’s do this together” can go a long way toward moving you in the right direction to attain weight loss and improved health.
Weight management really is a team sport.
Make 2023 your year to assemble your professional team too.
Start by seeing your primary care provider to have him or her partner with you in your quest for better health; you can also ask if you are a candidate for any of the new weight loss medications.
If you’re struggling with healthy meal planning, following an exercise program or managing stress and unpleasant emotions, you can get expert help to manage weight from health care professionals like registered dietitian nutritionists, personal fitness trainers and health psychologists – also important team members.
Here’s to enjoying your health now and into the new year!
Robert Kushner, MD