Strategies to weight loss and management

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Essentials for weight management

Rachana was an office professional. She loved her job and earned reasonably well. With her hard work and dedication, she was promoted to a higher position. With more work and commitment at office, her personal health took a back seat. Slowly and steadily her weight increased from a mere 60Kgs to 75Kg in 5 to 6 years. She was chosen to travel abroad to represent her company for a seminar after 3 months. Excited and motivated she enrolled herself in a weight loss program that promised her a 10Kg of weight loss in 3 months. The results were unbelievable- Yes she did lose weight- attended the seminar and was happy. But in a short while the baggage of weight that she had lost bounced back- she gained back all the lost weight. 
Quick fixes for weight loss seldom work.  Weight loss and management is a process of adopting long term lifestyle modification to maintain a healthy body weight. Here are the strategies for long term weight loss and management….
Strategies for long term weight management: 
Weight loss is a cumulative effect of exercise, diet, lifestyle, sleep and stress management
Set realistic goals
Consult a qualified professional who can review and understand your food habits, biochemical, clinical, hormonal status, work demands, physical activity, time available for exercise. Set a realistic achievable goal to lose and maintain body weight.  Weight loss is beyond scale- achieving a healthy body composition with exercise, diet and lifestyle is utmost important.  
Exercise should be part of our daily routine. The current physical activity guidelines recommend 150 minutes (or about 30 minutes, five times a week) of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. To lose and maintain weight target for a daily activity/exercise for 60min per day. Continue exercise even if you have lost considerable weight to be fit and healthy. 
Dietary modification:  
·      Diet rich in proteins, complex carbohydrates, good fats and enriched in vitamins and minerals should be the norm even after achieving the weight loss to maintain the lost weight. 
·      Choose smaller portions of food to avoid excess calorie intake. Be vigilant and eat wisely at parties and get togethers. 
·      Consume adequate fluids- sip in fluids throughout the day. 
·      Mindful eating- identify your triggers for mindless eating. Choose healthy snacks and keep off the hunger pangs. 
Lifestyle changes are a more natural way towards therapeutic goals and should be an integral component of being healthy and fit.  Some of the lifestyle strategies that you can adopt for weight loss and management are.
·      Activity: Be active by adopting small changes like climbing the stairs, parking the vehicle away and walking to the workplace or anywhere you need to go. 
·      Shop healthy foods: Buy fresh local foods, avoid packaged, processed foods. Read food labels carefully. 
·      Cooking at home: Cook most meals at home and avoid take away meals as much as possible.  
·      Choose wisely while eating out. 
A good night’s sleep is one of the key factors that contributes to good health and also helps to maintain a healthy body weight. Individuals who get little sleep are at an increased risk of weight gain and obesity than those who get 7 to 8hours of sleep at night. 
Manage stress: 
The most overlooked aspect of weight management is stress management. Stress results in multiple unhealthy behaviors, moods which can cause overeating or skipping of meals entirely. An individual must learn to manage stress effectively to help losing weight and also maintain it for a long time. 
For many who dwindle between ‘weight loss’ and ‘weight gain’ like Rachana it is important to understand and adopt these simple strategies to achieve effective weight loss and management. 



1.     Obesity Prevention source:

2.     Institute of Medicine (US) Subcommittee on Military Weight Management. Weight Management: State of the Science and Opportunities for Military Programs. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2004. 4, Weight-Loss and Maintenance Strategies. Available from:

3.     Misra, A., Nigam, P., Hills, A.P., Chadha, D.S., Sharma, V., Deepak, K.K., Vikram, N.K., Joshi, S., Chauhan, A., Khanna, K. and Sharma, R., 2012. Consensus physical activity guidelines for Asian Indians. Diabetes technology & therapeutics14(1), pp.83-98.