Weight Loss Counseling: What’s It All About?

March 7, 2012

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weight loss counselingOf all the aspects of a successful weight loss program, I believe weight loss counseling is one of the most critical. Why? Weight loss counseling is where the rubber hits the road ??? where we really get to the bottom of what’s behind someone’s individual weight issue and how we can help them overcome it.

Over the years I have just about heard and seen it all. But the interesting thing is no two stories are ever the same, and that’s why I believe weight loss counseling is so important. There is no??one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss.

One of my patients, for example, is a shift worker in his mid-40s who had gained more than 50 pounds after starting his job. He was starting to develop health issues like high blood pressure and high cholesterol as a result. During counseling, we explored how working and living on a non-traditional schedule was playing into his weight gain. He wasn’t sleeping well, didn’t exercise like he used to, struggled with hunger and cravings, and would snack on junk food from the vending machine at work as a way to try and stay alert.

After identifying his particular situation, we were able to develop a plan. First, he got some light blocking shades for his bedroom and took other steps to make getting a good ???day’s??? sleep possible. Next, we planned out his meals and snacks to ensure he was eating low-calorie, high-bulk foods to offset hunger. Finally, we came up with an exercise routine he could follow despite his odd hours. Sure enough, the weight started coming off, and his blood pressure and cholesterol levels soon returned to normal.

In other cases, a health issue, genetics, stress, or a food addiction may be the cause of weight gain. Most of the time we’ll discover during weight loss counseling that there is more than one cause, combined in any possible number of ways. Each time, we tailor a plan based on the individual situation.

The frequency of weight loss counseling varies by individual as well. At my Center for Medical Weight Loss (CMWL) office, most people check in weekly or every other week to begin, then come once a month or once a quarter after they get their weight loss issues on track. It’s not uncommon for new issues to arise or for old patterns to reemerge along the way ??? and when they do, weight loss counseling helps tackle those issues, too.

Some of my patients are initially resistant to weight loss counseling, perhaps because they have an image in their mind based on stereotypes or myths about therapy. However, once we begin, these same patients usually find that weight loss counseling is very helpful, practical, supportive, and life changing.

So if you have been struggling to lose weight on your own, weight loss counseling such as that provided by CMWL physicians may be the missing piece of the puzzle. Changing old habits and learning new ones isn’t easy, but it is possible. Having an objective guide to help you stay on course as you sail into these uncharted waters makes the whole process much easier.

Dr. Michael Kaplan

Founder and Chief Medical Officer

The Center for Medical Weight Loss

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