Weight Management: How Much is Really in Your Control?

Many of us who struggle with weight often find ourselves wishing for a magic wand to assist with weight-loss. It can be really hard!

Also, not everyone has the same experience with trying to lose weight. For some people, it comes off easy. For others, it feels like they have tried every tip in the book and nothing sticks. This is partly because a lot about weight is out of our control, such as our genetics and environment.

What’s in Your Control?

The following factors relating to weight management are potentially within your control, but there are of course some exceptions. In general, these are factors that you can change or improve:

  • Diet and eating habits
  • Physical activity habits
  • The amount of time you devote to sleep
  • Stress management

What’s Not in Your Control?

There are also other factors which can affect that your weight that are not necessarily within your control. In general, these are factors that you must take into consideration so you can adapt your lifestyle or health goals.

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Family history and genes
  • Where you live, work and play

Weight Management Tips for Anyone

So much in life is outside of our control. It’s possible that you may have some genetic tendencies or predispositions for weight gain. Regardless, these things do not shape your destiny. Here are some things that you can start doing today to lay the groundwork for a healthy weight:

  • Ditch the quick-fix diet approach and make long-term healthy lifestyle changes.
  • Make physical activity a lifestyle. Find activities you enjoy that you will look forward to doing. Have fun!
  • Eat most of your meals at home, self-prepared, rather than eating out.
  • Keep healthy snack options on-hand for when hunger strikes.
  • Plan your meals as much as possible so that you are less tempted to reach for something convenient and less healthy.
  • Aim for a healthy work-life balance that leaves room for self-care and outlets to manage stress.
  • Talk to your doctor about your weight and health goals. Work with them to develop a plan to meet them.
  • Take small physical activity breaks throughout the day to prevent you from being sedentary.
  • Treat your mental health as being just as important as your physical health.

For more great weight management tips that are in your control, check out this related blog post from Robert Kushner, MD, Obesity Medicine Specialist.

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