A weight loss doctor is evaluating a patient
3 October, 2022

Are Weight Loss Trends All They Are Cracked Up To Be?

The holiday season is approaching as we enter the last quarter of the year, and we all know what that means. Before you know it, people will begin planning their resolutions for the new year. Every December 31st across the country, you hear people discussing their resolutions, which often include weight loss. In early January, people are using Google to search for the newest weight loss trends and the best diet plans.

Everyone knows how this goes because either someone you know who has done this, or you have done it yourself. As well-intentioned as you are, after a few weeks you slip back into your old, comfortable, familiar patterns. This cycle does not affect change because psychologists tell us that it takes at least 21 days of a consistent deliberate effort to form a new habit and even longer to break an existing habit.

It is not only that these bad habits gradually take over again; for many people no matter how well they adhere to the newest weight loss trend, their efforts do not produce significant weight loss that they can maintain.

So what can you do if you want to lose weight and keep it off? We are going to discuss this, but first, we are going to review these trends, how they develop, and if they are worth all of the hype.

What Can Influence Current Weight Loss Trends

We have all seen trends come and go in fashion, music, and culture. Trends can be driven by people, technology, and world events, just to name a few.

When looking at the weight loss trends today, many of them can be traced back to the Covid-19 crisis. Lockdowns and social restrictions closed our gyms, and our parks, and shut down our children’s sports programs and extracurricular activities. Many people were quarantined in apartments or in cities where they had very little opportunity to get outside and take a walk (if they were even allowed to leave their homes).

According to a recent study, web-based fitness videos on YouTube and Instagram spiked due to the pandemic. The demand for at-home “smart” exercise equipment rose remarkably, and sales of fitness equipment for domestic use increased by 170%.

This fitness-based weight loss trend was prompted by a health crisis and driven by consumers who sought to duplicate their experience at the gym in their own homes. Many experts believe that these fitness trends are here to stay and many people will not return to their former means of exercise. Manufacturers of “smart” exercise equipment are trying to stay ahead of this curve and have found ways to engage consumers even more by utilizing high-energy virtual trainers who provide a personal-trainer-type experience.

Covid added to the Nation’s worsening obesity epidemic as well as the mental health crisis. A study conducted in April 2020 looked at psychological factors stemming from Covid that affected the eating habits of people in four countries (over half of the participants from the United States): 36% of the participants said they ate less healthy than previously, 44% said they snacked more, and almost 30% said they had experienced weight gain.

The elevated levels of stress brought on by the pandemic have affected health-related behaviors (including dietary habits and lack of energy expenditure) leading to excess weight gain. Quarantines, social distancing, and extended periods of isolation have greatly reduced the number of energy individuals expend. People stopped going into the office for work, going into stores to shop, going to parks, and doing other activities that burned calories. Many people stopped performing regular physical activity or exercise.

The study indicated that American adults that consistently used wearable technology (a device such as a Fitbit) reported a 21% decrease in walking steps and a 46% reduction in moderate exercise.

Many individuals did not have the resources to purchase home gym equipment or were unable to find adequate ways to get physical exercise. So while the pandemic had us all paying closer attention to our health and wellbeing in some respects (including infections, handwashing, masking, and distancing), it also resulted in more mental health issues and weight gain.

Navigating Diets And Weight Loss Trends

How is a person supposed to know the best way for them to lose weight? Maybe skipping meals would work, maybe eating low fat, or not eating any meat, or maybe just eating protein would be effective, there is so much contradictory information floating around. Every day it seems there is a new diet trending, some endorsed by celebrities, or blowing up on social media sites. It is almost impossible to know what is fact and what is fiction.

If you search TikTok, the top 4 latest weight loss trends for 2022 are:

  • The Keto diet;
  • Counting Calories;
  • Low Carb Diets;
  • Eating Vegan.

What is interesting is that none of these are new concepts. One concept that nutritional experts agree upon is the importance of diet assisting with long-term weight loss or maintenance. Diets that eliminate key food groups are not healthy, especially in the long run. Also, let’s be honest – counting calories is annoying, regimented, and can turn meals into a chore.

Other trending diets for this year are:

  • The Gut Health Diet;
  • Veganism;
  • The DASH Diet;
  • The Mediterranean diet;
  • The Flexitarian Diet.

The bottom line is that eating healthy is a life-long endeavor. The best diet contains all food groups, does not create nutritional deficiencies, and is one that you enjoy so it will not be a chore but something that works for you.

How Can We Effectively Lose Weight And Keep It Off?

If you often find that you have jumped on the bandwagon of some newfangled diet trend, you are not alone. Many people are duped into believing that what may be a temporary solution can be used for long-term weight loss. How can we stop the cycle of yo-yo dieting? We must make lifestyle changes that last forever.

75% of American adults have BMI levels (body mass index) that put them in the overweight or obese categories. Undoubtedly the pandemic made things worse, but many of these individuals had trouble with their weight even before the pandemic. For most patients, there are multiple factors – some of which may include diet, genetics, or sedentary lifestyles – which contributed to their current BMI.

Research has shown that someone in the BMI category of overweight or obese for several years has a very low chance of reaching a normal BMI with just diet and exercise alone. They do not need the latest weight loss trendy diet, and no amount of exercise may lead them to this goal; they need professional guidance. They need a medical intervention to safely and effectively lose weight and keep it off.

What Is a Medical Intervention For Weight Loss?

While medical intervention can refer to invasive bariatric surgery, for the purposes of this post, we are discussing less invasive non-surgical medical interventions.

Sometimes people just need a little extra help to achieve success in their weight loss efforts. It is important to note that they are still going to have to contribute their efforts, but a non-surgical weight-loss procedure can help their hard work pay off in tangible results.

Non-Surgical Weight Loss Options

Weight Loss Medications

When used under a doctor’s supervision, prescription weight loss medications can help patients lose more weight than diet and exercise alone.

Weight loss medications are available in injection and pill form. When these medications are combined with a healthy diet and exercise program they help facilitate safe and effective weight loss. Although there are differences in the medications, many work to help patients lose weight by suppressing appetite and regulating the body’s metabolism.

Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG)

The ESG procedure substantially reduces the capacity of the patient’s stomach by reshaping it into a smaller sleeve-like pouch which is held together with a series of sutures. The procedure does not require incisions and is performed entirely endoscopically, This outpatient procedure does not require a hospital stay, leaves no visible scarring, and offers a short recovery. ESG works to help the patient lose weight in the following key ways.

  1. The patients can only eat a small amount at one time because of their smaller stomach size;
  2. The speed at which the stomach digests food is slower so the patient feels “full” longer.

Orbera Balloon

A non-surgical Orbera® gastric balloon is placed in a patient’s stomach temporarily to take up space so the patient is not able to eat as much. The balloon is placed in the patient’s stomach through an endoscope and there are no incisions made or general anesthesia used during Orbera® balloon placement.

The Orbera® balloon is meant to be used as a tool to provide a higher percentage of weight loss when combined with healthy lifestyle changes (such as dietary changes and exercise). The Orbera® balloon is removed after six months, and patients are fully supported during the entire 1-year supervised weight loss program.

Combination Of Medication and Procedure

Studies have shown that combining a non-surgical weight-loss procedure such as endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty and a prescription weight-loss medication can offer significantly more favorable results.

Patients in the study who used medication in combination with the ESG procedure lost 86% of their excess body weight while the patients using ESG alone experienced a 60% loss in excess body weight. Both scenarios offer tremendous weight loss potential that is comparable to some forms of bariatric surgery.

Patient Efforts Are The Keys To Success

Losing weight with medical assistance is most effective when patients look at the medical intervention as a tool that will push their own weight loss efforts further.

A normal person can not pick up a car to change a tire, but when they use a tool (e.g. a jack) to help them with the heavy lifting, they can effectively raise the car. They still have to put in the work of changing the tire, the jack will not do that for them.

The combination of the smaller stomach capacity, the reduction in hunger, feeling full longer, and the patient’s adherence to their diet and exercise plan will add up to substantial weight loss that can be maintained.

Forget Weight Loss Trends – Get Help That Is Proven Effective

There is no shame in asking for help and when it comes to weight loss the sooner you get help, the sooner you get healthier. Weight loss trends will come and go, and the truth is that most will only provide temporary results.

If you want to get off the merry-go-round of ineffective weight loss strategies and conquer weight loss once and for all, contact Simmons, MD Advanced Weight Loss Solutions. Set up a consultation to learn more about how non-surgical weight loss options can help you lose weight and keep it off.

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