For many people, attempting to lose a significant amount of weight through diet and exercise results in frustration and little change on the scale.  Body weight is the result of many factors, including environment, family history and genetics, metabolism and behavior. There are some factors you have no control over. However, you can change other factors. You can take steps to prevent or treat obesity, such as following a healthy eating plan and participating in regular physical activity. If these changes do not make a significant difference, medication and bariatric surgery are possible options to pursue for those struggling with obesity.

Recently, in an article published by ScienceDaily, Dr. Jessica Bartfield, who specializes in nutrition and weight management at the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care, listed the top factors working against dieters.  She said that many people underestimate the number of calories that they’re consuming and overestimate their activity and calories burned.  Other factors include going too long between meals and not getting enough sleep. For optimal energy, proper metabolism function, and to maintain a steady level of glucose in the system, it’s advised that dieters eat a healthy snack or meal every 3 to 4 hours. In terms of sleep, research has shown that people who get fewer than six hours of shut-eye have higher levels of ghrelin, which is a hormone that stimulates appetite, particularly for high-carbohydrate/high-calorie foods. These mistakes can derail even the most determined dieter.

Dr. Sunil Bhoyrul, weight loss surgeon in San Diego, commented on the article, saying: “Although these reasons for diets failing are all true, we also know that after you deposit excessive amounts of fat around your organs, there is sometimes a change in your “weight thermostat”.  The weight thermostat is part of the brain that works through hormonal pathways to preserve and maintain high levels of body fat.  (Preserving body fat had survival advantages for human being thousands of years ago who were at risk of starving to death, especially during winter months).   If the weight thermostat has been reset, there is a tendency to regain weight, despite your best efforts to lose it.”  For these people, certain medications and sometimes weight loss surgery are the best treatment options.

You can learn more about obesity, and whether you may be a candidate for weight loss surgery, by attending one of our free informational seminars or scheduling a consultation with Dr. Emma Patterson at 503 227-5050.

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