Weight Management Strategies – A Variety Of Approaches

Finding suitable weight management strategies and choosing one that you want to use to help you achieve your weight management goals is the next step toward healthy eating habits. Admittedly many people need some help once they have made up their mind to engage in weight management and different people choose different approaches. The key is making sure that any approach that you choose is both safe and effective long term.

Some popular approaches are:

Self-Help Books and Manuals

Some individuals are motivated enough and self-disciplined enough where they can set up and follow their own program through the use of books and manuals. These books and manuals are generally dieting books, manuals, and web site programs. The problem is that there are so many books to choose from, how do you know what to choose and whether it is a legitimate plan or not, the same is true of manuals and website plans. There are some warning signs to look out for that will help you to make the best choice if this is the route to weight management strategies that you choose.

• The plan should be balanced not straying too far from the new choosemyplate guidelines.

• Since there is no quick fix for weight management and weight loss, one should be wary of those books, manuals and websites that promise results.

• The plan should be rational and logical and should not be all of one food all of the time or certain types of foods that shouldn’t be eaten together at one meal.

• Beware of those books, manuals and website plans that promise not only weight loss but the cure for some disease, since weight loss and management is designed to help prevent diseases, but once you get them no food or diet plan is going to cure you, medical help from a physician is then needed, and it can be dangerous and life threatening to think that a diet is a cure all for any disease.

When taking the self-help route, you must develop specific goals for your diet, exercise and maintenance of the plan and any weight loss.

Meal Replacements

For some meal replacements usually bars and shakes are the ticket to losing weight, since they are easy and convenient often containing vitamins and minerals. Although the choices are limited both shakes and bars have become better tasting over the years and are no longer merely like eating cardboard or drinking chalk. The challenge is to develop long term weight management strategies that incorporate variety and that don’t rely on these types of products, after all weight management strategies should be a life style and an enjoyable one and eating just these types of products long term may get tiresome.

Self-Help Groups

Self-help groups provide more of a moral support role and are generally led by nonprofessionals to help the group share their experiences with their weight issues and to help relieve the sense of isolation that individuals that have a weight issue often face. These groups can help by providing understanding and acceptance of each other.

Weight Loss Programs

There are a number of weight loss programs that thanks to The Federal Trade are top quality, and these programs provide group or individual counseling and group support. The FTC requires that these programs provide certain information to their potential clients such as training of staff and the education that they possess for their role, advise the client of the health risks of being overweight and obese, advise the client about the risks of their program and products, advise the client about the cost of the program and products, and advise the client of the success and failure rates of the program. These programs also employ health educators, dietitians, physicians, and psychologists to develop and guide their programs corporately.

Private Professional Counselors

Often these private professional counselors are nutritionists, registered dietitians, physicians and psychotherapists that provide individualized approaches to weight management strategies. Some of these programs are even offered over the internet rather than face to face. For these counselors to be effective they should provide: an assessment of obesity risk, determine through interview of the client how ready they are to commit to losing weight, they should advise the client about the type of weight loss program that will be appropriate for them, they should assist in establishing the customized program for the client, and do follow-up with the client.

Prescription Drugs for Obesity

After two well known anti-obesity drugs had to be pulled from the market when they were found to cause some life threatening diseases. Recognition that obesity involves many factors has led to drugs that have multiple mechanisms of operation and that can be used in conjunction with proper diet and exercise.

Over-The-Counter Drugs/Dietary Supplements

There are nonprescription weight loss pills that contain caffeine, benzocaine or fiber. It is known that caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic. Benzocaine is known to numb the tongue reducing taste sensations and discouraging eating. Fiber pills are known to fill up the stomach and provide a sensation of fullness, but can lead to dehydration since weight that is lost is actually water weight. There are numerous dietary supplements marketed for weight loss, and there have been few studies to evaluate the effectiveness of these products for weight loss. One of the most dangerous ingredients in many supplements was Ephedra that results in deaths and heart attacks and stroke which should teach us to be cautious when using dietary supplements.


Surgery for many is a last resort for extreme cases of obesity and when all else has failed. This is often chosen for cases of morbid obesity where the BMI is 40kg/m sq or higher. The two most common forms of surgery are gastric banding and gastric bypass. Both procedures are designed to create a smaller stomach pouch and reducing the amount of food that can be taken in by making the stomach smaller. Although the success of these procedures can’t be ignored, long term success depends on how well the patients manage their eating. The procedure can be defeated by eating high calorie semisolid foods or consuming high calorie drinks that can overcome the stomach size. In time the pouch stretches and it is hoped that by that time the patient has established healthy eating habits. In Summary

For best results any type of weight management strategies needs to be individualized and should be combined with physical activity to achieve a reduction in calories.

For more information about weight management strategies click on the link to diet.com

For other information on nutrition including information about weight management strategies some great references are:

• Nutrition – Fourth Edition by Paul Insel, Don Ross, Kimberley McMahon, and Melissa Bernstein

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