Struggling to be successful with your New Year’s fitness resolution?

Dr. Steven Heymsfield with LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center says if cutting calories is not working for you, undergoing behavioral counseling could help with weight loss.

“Behavioral counseling, most people think of as the little pamphlet they might get in their physicians office. What they really need, if they want to successfully lose weight, is what’s called high intensity lifestyle treatment.”

Heymsfield says many YMCAs offer an affordable high intensity lifestyle treatment, along with commercial companies like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. He says an individual must lose 5%-8% of their weight in one to two years to have successfully completed the program.

“And that doesn’t sound like a lot of weight but actually it is a weight that is consistent with promotion of good health and prevention of diabetes.”

Obesity can lead to an increased risk for diabetes, hypertension, and some cancers. Heymsfield says there is also medication for obese and overweight individuals to manage their weight. He says it’s a good idea to ask your doctor if a certain medication could benefit you.

“Those medications, when used with the lifestyle program, can get you to that 5%-8%, or even more weight loss, over that time period.”


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