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Rapid Weight Loss Isn’t Always the Best Goal

Personal BMI, long-term goals should drive expectations

DAYTON, Ohio (October 12, 2018) – If you’ve started on a weight loss journey, chances are you’re going to want to see big results in a short amount of time. 

But is shedding large amounts of weight at a rapid rate the best goal? It depends on your individual situation, according to C. Joe Northup, MD, a physician with Premier Surgical Weight Loss Solutions.

 “A safe rate for losing weight is dependent upon each individual person,” said Dr. Northup, who practices with Premier Physician Network.

The first focus has to be a person’s body mass index (or BMI). This determines the expectation someone should have in terms of how much weight they should lose in a certain amount of time.

“A person using a non-medical weight loss method should expect to lose one to two pounds a week,” Dr. Northup said. “Someone who undergoes surgical weight loss is going to see more rapid weight loss. Initially after surgery, someone can lose up to a pound a day.”

A person should also set their goals based on what they hope to achieve with their weight loss. People need to think about what they hope their weight loss will accomplish. Is it to get healthy enough to get off certain medications? Or maybe it’s to have more energy, he said.

“We get too worried about weight as a number versus the quality of life someone has or the healthy problems they encounter,” Dr. Northup added. “Look at your goals as more than a pants size. Think of it in terms of getting off diabetic medicine or being able to spend more time with your family. Those are the goals we really want people to set for their weight loss journey.”

There’s an adage that slow and steady wins the race, and Dr. Northup likes to apply that same concept to weight loss. It’s important to remember that losing weight too quickly can actually have a negative impact on a person’s liver or kidneys.

“The programs you see advertised that claim you can lose 30 pounds in 60 days are actually not the healthiest way to go about it,” Dr. Northup said.

Rapid weight loss not only can affect certain organ functions inside a person’s body, but also creates a shaky foundation on which to build long-term success. 

“It’s about taking time to develop long-term habits such as exercise and eating healthy that will last longer than a fad,” he said.

Dr. Northup works with patients to lose weight through both surgical weight loss and also non-surgical weight loss methods. He offers the following tips to his patients to ensure they build a plan that will last.

Plan ahead – Decide today what you’ll eat tomorrow to eliminate unnecessary snacking or the temptation to eat out more than you should. 

Do multiple meals – Our society is built on three big meals a day, but that’s not always advantageous to successful weight loss. Consider eating multiple small meals throughout the day instead.

Eat regularly – There’s a misconception that not eating will automatically lead to losing weight. This isn’t true. It’s important to eat four or five small meals a day to cut down on hunger.

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