Weight loss: key messages from an interdisciplinary team
On January 17th, I had the chance to participate to participate to an event about appetite control at Ateliers & Saveurs Montréal during which we discussed the topic of weight loss. Here are the key messages for someone who wants to lose weight.
It’s not that easy
You have probably already heard this: ‘weight loss is simple, you just need to eat less and move more’. This sentence so easily said and can be very frustrating to hear. The reality is that about 40% of Canadian adults are overweight or live with obesity[i][ii]. If losing weight was truly easy, that statistic would be much lower.
The truth is that weight loss and weight management are complex; there are several factors that are involved such as biological, psychological and behavioral factors.
5% is good
We often see online pictures of before and after big weight loss transformations. These transformations are very motivating, and it is tempting to seek a similar transformation as soon as possible.
The truth is that you do not need to have a weight loss of 30 lbs or more to start feeling a transformation. Did you know that losing 5% of our weight can already improve your health, reduce the risk of chronic disease and improve your quality of life? Setting a small weight loss goal and achieving it can already have a big impact in your life.
Slowly but surely
When motivation hits us, we are ready to do everything in the moment to reach our goal. It can be tempting to embark on a diet that drastically changes our dietary habits such as Keto or detox diets. Unfortunately, motivation and a drastic change in our diet are difficult to sustain in the long run and we end up returning to old eating habits.
To be able to maintain a long-term weight loss, it is recommended to change your eating habits slowly but surely.
Studies have shown that consulting more healthcare professionals (nutritionist, kinesiologist, psychologist and doctor) to help an individual lose weight increases the chances of success.
Motivation comes and goes. To help clients with stay motivated, health professionals such as psychologists or nutritionists practice what is called “Motivational Interviewing”. Motivational Interviewing is a communication style used to reinforce clients’ motivation and commitment to their goals.
Motivation is not a matter that must be addressed once at the beginning of the weight loss process, but rather throughout the course including the period of maintenance.
Take the time to get the support you need to help you reach your goal.
Lastly, I would like to finish with a sentence that concluded the event, perfectly said by Cynthia Falardeau: “LOVE YOURSELF”.
It is useless to compare yourself, to beat yourself up for your “errors” and / or to be mean with yourself. We can have a preconceived idea that we will become happy and well in our skin when we reach X weight. Your weight should not dictate your happiness or value. You can actually be happier and better in your skin today by changing your perspective. Treat yourself the same way you would treat someone you love.
Speakers at the event:
Dr. Banafcheh Hejazi: Family Physician
Dr. Stephen Scotland, psychologist and researcher specialized in weight control, Dominique Garrel, endocrinologist specialized in metabolic diseases
Cynthia Falardeau, Orthopedagogue and mother, success with weight loss and uses a gradual approach
Isabelle Huot, nutritionist
[i] Statistique Canada. Indicateurs de la santé, estimations annuelle, par groupe d’âge et sexe, Canada, provinces, territoires régions sanitaires.
[ii] Statistique Canada. Population par année, province et territoire.