What are the key principles of obesity management?

Managing obesity is similar to managing high blood pressure or diabetes—left unmanaged, these conditions get worse and when treatments stop, the problem comes back. This is why obesity management strategies have to be realistic and sustainable. Short-term ‘quick-fix’ solutions are not sustainable, which is why weight usually comes back.

A common belief about obesity is that there is a simple cure (i.e. lose weight).

The problem with this notion is that it does not account for the fact that obesity is a chronic disease. The overall goal of obesity management is the improvement of your health and well-being. The first step is to prevent further weight gain. In addition, even a modest reduction in body weight can lead to significant improvements in health. It’s important to look past the scale, and focus on the big picture of why a change is being made.

In the same way that each and every person is different and unique, the reasons behind each individual’s weight gain can be different. Managing obesity is even more difficult when you do not understand the root cause of your weight gain and your road blocks to weight management. Identifying and removing what is holding you back is key to making positive, successful health improvements.

Understanding the reasons why you decided to address your obesity can help you to assess what is important to you and how you will measure success within your long-term plan.

Success may mean having more energy to be active with your friends and family, improving your self-esteem, preventing further weight gain or improving overall health. Whatever your ideal “success” may be, use it to help guide and motivate you.

When setting expectations for a weight management plan, it is important to set realistic and achievable goals that work within a lifestyle that you still enjoy. You shouldn’t stress about setting a timeline for specific weight loss, or exercising excessively. Instead, focus on making healthy and enjoyable  behavioural changes that will improve your overall quality of life! Whatever weight you achieve through these changes is considered your “best” weight.

Building an enjoyable, healthy lifestyle ~ If you do not like the way you are living when you are managing your weight, it will be much more difficult to keep it off and to keep yourself from going back to the way you were living before you lost it. Work towards building a healthy lifestyle that you truly enjoy!

Additional tools to help you talk about obesity

Starting to talk about obesity management can seem difficult and overwhelming, but remember, your healthcare professional is someone who is on your side and wants to help you improve your overall health. Please visit our resources page for additional information.