You’ve spent the better part of a month snacking on mince pies, chocolates and second helpings of Christmas pudding. Now it’s January: back to work, back to reality and time to get back to your goal weight.
At a Diabetes Insights Day last year, Dr Ralph Abraham, Clinical Director at London Medical and consultant in diabetes, lipid disorders and endocrinology, shared his invaluable advice for successful, long-term weight-loss.
He acknowledged that when your body has ballooned, it’s always discouraging. “Each year, the mountain in front of you seems higher,” he said. “Each year you are required to put in more effort – in gyms, at Spin classes, missing out on your favourite foods – and always desperate because you know how short-lived it will all be.”
But while it’s tempting to look for a quick fix, Dr Abraham believes long-term weight-loss takes time. “Think more about preventing weight regain rather than losing weight,” he said. “Consider doing a programme over a year rather than the next few weeks.”
DR ABRAHAM’S 5 GOLDEN RULES
- Have a system or set of rules – whether it’s the Ketogenic or Paleo diet – and stick to it.
- Become obsessed with food – track your food intake, count calories and examine ingredients lists. The more seriously you take your new eating regime, the more successful you’ll be.
- Time is your ally – the key to long-term success is in making small but permanent changes to your routine.
- Do it with friends or family – you’ll be more inclined to stick to your routine if you’re accountable to someone else.
- Measure the changes in your body – weigh yourself daily and check your body composition (available to patients at London Medical) regularly. Seeing those small, gradual changes will inspire you to keep going.
London Medical’s SmartWeight™ programme – which combines expert clinical guidance with diet, exercise and the latest treatments – was developed with these tenets in mind.
Whether you’re trying to get back into your skinny jeans after pregnancy or you want to reverse your diabetes, each patient’s programme is personalised for them. “We get to know you, the extent of your health problems and how much time and effort you can give to your solution,” Dr Abraham said. “We want long-term success, not a quick fix.”
Patients are prescribed a very low-calorie ketogenic diet, suitable for diabetes remission. This delivers rapid initial weight-loss which provides the patient with the motivation to push forward to the next stage. A variety of healthy foods are then slowly reintroduced to your diet as you progress. “The idea is to teach you how you can maintain your weight loss and not regain the weight you have lost,” Dr Abraham explained.
But while diet and exercise are an important part of any weight-loss strategy, patients may also be aided by the latest appetite-suppressing treatments.
Of course, the right guidance is critical. The SmartWeight™ programme is under the direction of an endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism consultant, and the patient can contact their team by email, phone or video on a regular basis.
This multi-faceted strategy has helped patients lose up to 10 percent of their body weight over the course of a year, leading to improvement in glycaemic control, as well as a reduction in blood pressure and cholesterol levels.