Dr. Vashi describes what it takes for a woman to maintain long-term weight loss.
As a physician, I am struck by the concept that people confuse weight loss with weight management. Really weight management, long-term weight management is actually harder. You can lose weight very quickly, but maintaining that weight over time is very difficult.
The key to losing your weight is clearly to reduce the calories you take in, compared to what you need. Once that’s established and we are trying to maintain a healthy weight, we have to get into a long-term rhythm with physical activity, amount of calories you take in, how you use your food and that’s very difficult for many patients, but once they have come to understand that and have a program of regular physical activity, portion control, not snacking, not eating after dinner and not using food as a coping mechanism I think they have a much better chance of maintaining a healthy weight.
I make this point that I have told many of my patients. Exercise is very important, but exercise is most important for weight management, not so much for weight loss. The key element for weight loss is cutting the intake of calories, for a long-term weight management, calorie balance is important but also regular physical activity is very, very important for weight management.
About Dr. Peter Vash, M.D., M.P.H.:
Dr. Vash is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Center for Health Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is a Board Certified Internist specializing in Endocrinology and Metabolism, with an emphasis in obesity and eating disorders.