Sometimes, you can follow all the weight loss advice in your newsfeed, but the scale still won’t budge. Are you the only one struggling to lose weight? Is it something you’re eating? What else should you try?
No. Maybe. And keep reading to find out.
“We’re all very different,” says Hartford HealthCare’s Edward Hannoush, MD, a bariatric surgeon who practices across Hartford County. “What works for one person is not necessarily going to work for another.”
1. As a first step, check your carbs.
The body rapidly digests carbs and turns them into fat, which equals weight gain. People with obesity are particularly affected by this process.
“Look at carbs as something you’re allergic to,” says Dr. Hannoush.
It’s not just avoiding soda or cake, either. Carbs are in fruit juices, bread, pasta and rice, and often added into benign-sounding foods like yogurt.
“Carbs are sneaky,” says Dr. Hannoush. “It’s important to read labels and get educated as to what has a high level of added sugar.”
2. For some people struggling to lose weight, diet and exercise won’t be enough.
Losing weight is complicated for most people. But for people who are obese — who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher — it’s more complicated still.
We now know that obesity isn’t caused by eating too much or not exercising enough. Rather, it’s a metabolic disorder, affecting the hormones that determine hunger, fullness and even how the body uses energy.
As a result, typical weight loss tactics may not have an impact.
“Think of obesity like high blood pressure or diabetes,” says Dr. Hannoush. “When it’s severe, diet and exercise are simply not going to be strong enough to control it. We need additional interventions.”
3. You may be a candidate for weight loss medication or surgery.
Your doctor can tell you if you’re eligible for weight loss medications like Ozempic. They may also talk to you about surgery, which can improve your metabolism along with other benefits.
Don’t put off asking about these options, says Dr. Hannoush. The right treatment can improve your health in multiple and major ways, including reducing the risk of premature death.
“Obesity is a metabolic disorder,” says Dr. Hannoush. “You’re simply seeking the correct treatment and intervention.”