Personalization Is Key To Weight Loss

December 1, 2015

When you were growing up, did you ever have a parent of teacher tell you that you were special and that there is no one in the world like you? The good news is that they were absolutely right! This is especially true when it comes to your ability to lose weight. Mounting scientific evidence has shown that the most effective way to lose weight and improve health is through personalized weight loss programs.

Ever since weight problems started to emerge as a widespread issue, people have been searching for the holy grail solution to shed excess pounds. This has led many to pursue fad diets or weight loss supplements that claim to be quick and easy ways to achieve results. Unfortunately, none of these options has turned out to be the magic pill for weight loss. And the reality is that one probably won’t exist for some time, if ever.

It’s obvious that the cookie cutter approach to weight loss isn’t working. The obesity rate in the US is continuing to rise, which of course has a tremendously negative impact on overall health. Since each us is special and unique in our own way (as Mom said), it makes complete sense that a better approach to good health needs to be specific to each and every one of us.

And science is telling us that this is true. In a 32-week study published in the journal Obesity, participants were randomly assigned into either a personalized weight management program or a standard care program. At the end of the study, participants in the personalized programs saw significantly greater weight loss, reduction in body fat, and changes in waist circumference.

In another study of 800 people published in the journal Cell, researchers examined how the same foods had different effects on weight and health. They used changes in blood sugar levels – a key determinant in metabolism and weight management – as a primary factor in their assessment. They found that despite eating the same foods, people processed the nutrients in different ways and had vastly different blood glucose levels. Through blood tests and stool samples, scientists were able to determine that gut bacteria, dietary habits, and physically activity levels played a huge role in how the body broke down meals, which had an impact on their ability to lose weight.

Researchers took the experiment one step further and created personalized diet plans for 26 of the study’s volunteers. They did this mainly by identifying the specific foods that caused spikes in blood sugar or caused inflammatory responses for each individual and eliminated them from his or her meal plan. As expected, the results of the personalized diets showed improvement in blood sugar and gut bacteria stabilization., two factors that pave the runway for facilitated weight loss.

The takeaway here is that our health needs are specific to us. What may help one person lose weight may very well hinder another. This applies not only to the foods we eat, but the types of activities we engage in, how we choose to manage stress, and the best ways to get the restful sleep our bodies crave for optimal energy levels. The key is to find what is right for specifically for you, and your body will follow through.

So how do you know what’s right for you? The first step is to get screened and tested by a medical provider. But don’t just stop at your weight and body mass index (BMI). Know your fat percentage and body composition. Learn about food allergies, medication sensitivities or any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to weight issues. Understand if stress is getting the better of you or if your muscles need some attention. Get to know how special you really are, so you can find that right plan that can live up to your unique needs now and for the rest of your life.

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