Support Group Topics
How Do I Prevent Weight Regain After Weight Loss?
You’ve worked hard to reach your goal weight. Now that you’re there, how do you avoid gaining it all back?
To answer this question, we first need to look at the causes of weight gain and obesity.
What exactly is obesity?
Obesity is the accumulation of excess fat that presents a health risk. Many major health organizations, including the World Health Organization and American Medical Association, classify obesity as a disease. This is important, because this definition extends beyond simply weight or body mass index (BMI). There are plenty of thin people who have obesity!
How does obesity occur?
We are often told “diet and exercise” are both the cause of and cure for obesity. If we can’t keep the weight off with diet and exercise, we must be doing something wrong! Sound familiar?
If it’s that simple, how do we explain our current obesity epidemic?
A combination of biology, hormones, and the modern environment create the “perfect storm” that leads to obesity. As Egger and Swiburn (1997) said, “obesity is a normal response to an abnormal environment.”
Additionally, lifestyle factors like poor sleep and stress can impact our hormone levels and lead to weight gain. Even weight loss itself can make weight loss more difficult! The set-point theory suggests that our body has a very complex set of mechanisms in place that resist weight loss. When we diet, our body increases hormones that cause hunger, and decreases our metabolism so that weight loss becomes more difficult.
“Diet and exercise” approaches fail to take this complexity into consideration. So when you can’t keep the weight off, it’s not you that’s failing at the diet, the diet is failing YOU!
So how do I treat obesity?
If you had diabetes or high blood pressure, would your doctor prescribe you a medication and expect you to be cured? More likely, you would continue seeing your doctor for close monitoring and support.
Just like any other chronic disease, obesity requires ongoing support.
Diet and exercise are absolutely an important component of weight management. However, we now know it is more complicated than that. Because of the complex factors leading up to obesity, we need to tackle obesity management from multiple avenues.
At Eviva, we understand this complexity. We offer multiple resources to support all your needs, including:
- Board Certified Bariatricians to address medical, metabolic and hormonal issues associated with obesity
- Registered Dietitians to help you create and maintain dietary changes that work for your lifestyle, biology, and preferences
- Nutrigenomix® Testing to assess which nutrition interventions you are likely to respond to, based on your DNA
- Exercise Physiologists to guide you in integrating safe and enjoyable physical activity into your life
- MedGem® testing to evaluate your resting metabolic rate (how many calories you burn at rest)
- BODPOD® testing to assess your body fat percentage, so we can determine your risk and track changes in fat, instead of just weight, over time
- Psychotherapists to assist with behavioral change and help you address underlying challenges like stress and body image
- Board Certified Sleep Specialists to address sleep difficulties including sleep apnea, which are associated with obesity
- Bariatric Surgeons, if you choose to pursue a weight loss procedure.
Weight Loss Procedures may involve implanting devices such as a balloon in the stomach or inserting a neuroregulatory called vBloc around the vagal nerves are less invasive options. Other more effective options include the LapSleeve®, gastric bypass, and now single anastomosis duodenal switch, require a permanent anatomic change to the gastrointestinal track. These procedures are highly effective treatment for long-term treatment of obesity. It creates hormonal changes that re-set your body’s set point to a lower weight, making it easier to maintain weight loss.
So what is the single most important thing you can do to prevent weight regain? Keep following up with your medical team. At Eviva, we are here to address all the causes of obesity and provide highly individualized care. We are here to treat you, the whole you, every step of the way.