I am struggling to achieve any kind of weight loss. I have yo-yoed with any diet I have been on, losing a few pounds and then gaining it completely back and then some. I just need some sort of guidance on what’s an achievable weight loss plan for a young 25 year old male. I am tired of the poor sleep, lack of motivation, breathing difficulties and overall fatigue I am facing because of my weight. BMI is 29 and as a medical student who is 2 years from becoming a doctor, a total embarrassment for my patients. I feel like a hypocrite educating patients on the importance of losing weight when I myself struggle. Any help would be appreciated.
I applaud your resolve to improve your health both for yourself and as a role model for patients. Any specific diet suggestions I might have would be like throwing any antibiotics at an unknown infection. You need to identify the cause of your weight issues so you can employ the correct intervention. So… it sounds like you rebound with the diets you’ve tried. Why is that? Sometimes people cite lack of time or money as an issue causing them to revert to old habits. Other times people may not feel worthy and self-sabotage or comfort eat. Preparing healthy foods takes effort – it has to be a priority. YOU have to be a priority. As you are currently suffering from some weight-related issues, now is the time to act before your BMI further increases.
My whole-hearted and professional opinion is that you need to find something that excites you that you’ll stick with. Seek out whatever physical activity you consider fun! I have seen people doing yoga on paddle boards on a lake in Minnesota. Think outside of the box for what you can include that isn’t just because you are “on a diet.” Same goes for foods. If salads aren’t your game, look for recipes to incorporate more fresh produce in unique ways. Maybe a tropical smoothie or an authentic stir-fry. Start with small improvements to the areas you know are a problem – desserts? alcoholic beverages? dining out? Tackle one item a week to gain success. Losing even 5 pounds to start may improve your breathing and fatigue. Feeling better should be your own positive feedback loop that no external motivation can provide.
– Debbie J., MS, RD
This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.
Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.