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What Does It Really Take to Lose Weight?

What do most diets and weight loss programs have in common? Simple: They fail.

The unfortunate truth is that weight loss is tough. That extra rum cocktail or candy bar is harder to resist than we think, and our strategies aren’t always up to the job. That’s bad news, because being overweight has serious health consequences. If your weight and body mass index are too high, that can be a sign that you are at increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other dangerous diseases and medical conditions. (Of course, you should always talk to your health care provider, since there are so many other indications that you’re unhealthy aside from BMI.)

Here are the things you’ll need in order to achieve your healthy weight loss goals in a sustainable way.


When it comes to weight loss, what you don’t know can hurt you. How many calories are in this snack or that one? Which alcoholic beverage is better for you: rum, vodka, wine, or beer? What about non-alcoholic beverages, like soda or juice? Knowing the best and healthiest alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic beverages can help you keep from drinking too many calories. If your doctor has cleared it, it’s totally okay to indulge in an occasional cocktail. However, it’s important to smart about your cocktail and other alcoholic beverage choices.

And that’s to say nothing of the more complicated things, like the carbs that might be in that same beverage, or the fats, proteins, and micro-nutrients that matter to your body. What about body mass index, or BMI — is it useful or misleading? (The truth is, it can be both.) Where does exercise fit in? Do you need extensive training, or just fifteen minutes of movement a day?

All of this information matters. And while it’s impossible to know everything, you should work on your general awareness of weight loss best practices. As for the finer details, the most effective way to get those covered is to work with a medical professional who specializes in weight and nutrition. Only with a medical professional will you have all the information you need on all of your options, including ones like bariatric surgery (a form of weight loss surgery).


Weight loss is a big deal in the United States. It’s baked right into our culture (literally). But there’s a reason why years of clinical practice have led the experts at one weight loss clinic in Santa Cruz to focus on an overall wellness program with emotional support. Experts believe that help from a professional such as a clinical psychologist can aid weight loss. As it turns out, beating yourself up about your weight doesn’t often motivate you; it’s as likely to bring you down and have you reaching for a soda or pint of ice cream as it is to have you reaching for your running shoes or some celery. So don’t shame yourself! Instead, focus on the upside of your weigh loss journey. Build on positive goals, not negative stigma.


Another great reason to stay positive is the simple fact that this process going to take a while. When people say losing weight is a journey, they’re not wrong. As any weight loss program participant can tell you, shedding pounds the healthy way isn’t quick. Don’t expect to lose all of your weight at once, especially if you’ve taken years to put it on.

Of course, some methods are faster that other. Weight loss surgery can be relatively speedy, for example. But you’ll have to lose weight on your own to qualify for the surgery, and you’ll need to maintain a healthy lifestyle after the surgery, too. You’re in this for the long haul, so be prepared.


You have to be tough to lose weight. Again, this will take a while, and the frustration can be very real. That makes it even easier to reach for a chocolate chip cookie instead of hitting up the gym. It will take real commitment and willpower on your part for you to experience success in your approach to your weight.

The good news is that willpower can be cultivated. Therapeutic approaches, such as therapeutic meal support groups, can help.


Speaking of support groups, few things will be more valuable to you in losing weight than support from the right people. Unfortunately, leaning on friends and family isn’t always an option, and it may not be the most effective way to stay on track. You want non-judgmental support, and that’s what you’ll get from a qualified health professional and a professional weight loss program. Look for a reliable program near you, and sit down with key members of the hospital staff or private practice. Talk to the clinical psychologist and the medical expert in charge of the program. Learn about their meal plans and long-term goals. Finding the right program or private practice can put you on the path to experience success in shedding pounds for good.

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