You’ve tried the fad diets, you’ve done the pills, you tracked your steps, counted points, and calculated macros and still your body isn’t where you want it to be. So, what’s the point and how do you actually make progress? Turns out, you need a lot more than sheer willpower.

Many people think that the reason why you’re overweight is because you’re just not doing it right. You sneak cookies, you skip the gym, you’ve fallen off the bandwagon. The truth is, there is no bandwagon, willpower isn’t getting you anywhere and there is no “right” way to do it. Weight loss is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Medical weight loss is the healthiest way to restore your body’s full function, slim down your excess fat and live a sustainable lifestyle that will support you well into your senior years.

At InShapeMD in Louisville, KY we help you reach your weight loss goals.

Main Causes of Weight Gain

Before we can even think about losing weight, we must first understand how we got here in the first place. Once you know why you are gaining weight then you will better know how to lose weight. A love for Twinkies and soda is what most people assume is the reason for gaining weight. In reality, there are several medical conditions that can cause unwanted weight gain.

We educate our customers about weight gain and loss at our InShapeMD Louisville, KY office.

  • Underactive Thyroid: This is also called Hypothyroidism and it can drastically slow your metabolism, which leads to weight gain. This can affect up to 1 in 8 women. Although it’s often treated with hormone replacement therapy, there are also natural ways to treat an underactive thyroid.
  • Diabetes: If you take insulin to manage your diabetes, weight gain may be a side effect.
  • Ageing & Pre-Menopause: As we get older, we tend to lose muscle. Because muscle is an efficient calorie burner, we burn fewer calories as we age. So, the same diet over time can result in weight gain. Perimenopause (usually around age 40), can trigger irregular hormones, which can cue weight gain in some women.
  • Steroid Treatment: If you use steroids to treat conditions like asthma or arthritis, it may increase your appetite and lead to weight gain.
  • Stress & Low Mood: Weight gain is common among those suffering from increased stress or low moods. When you are stressed, your body goes into flight or fight mode – when this happens a lot, it can surge your appetite.
  • Chronic Tiredness: If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you’re more likely to be overweight. Inadequate sleep can lower levels of leptin, which is the chemical that makes you feel full, and increase levels of ghrelin, the hunger-stimulating hormone.
  • Fluid Retention (Edema): If you’re retaining fluid in the body, this can cause weight gain. This may be caused by a menstrual cycle, standing for long periods of time, or other body functions that cause swelling and fluid retention.
  • PCOS: This is a common condition that affects how the ovaries work. The exact cause is unknown, but one of the symptoms is weight gain. Other symptoms include irregular menstrual cycles, facial hair growth, and migraines.
  • Genetics: There are some genetic components to your body composition and sometimes you may be predisposed to gaining weight through your genetic makeup. This does not mean you can’t lose weight; it only means that the cause of your weight gain may be in your DNA.
  • Certain Medications: There are several medications that can cause weight gain. The most common culprits are antidepressants, beta-blockers, and even OTC antihistamines. If you’re concerned about your medications, you can check with your doctor.

Non-Medical Reasons for Weight Gain

  • Processed Foods: Most of the food on grocery store shelves is designed to be cheap, last for a long time, and taste good. We buy it and food manufacturers make money. These engineered foods aren’t real food, and they are designed to get you hooked (and they’re really good at doing it).
  • Food Addiction: Just like alcohol, cocaine, and nicotine – you can become addicted to high-fat junk foods that stimulate the reward centers in your brain. This can cause you to lose control over your eating behaviors.
  • Aggressive Marketing: There is no law that says marketers must tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. They are very good at making you think that cracker in your hand is actually healthy.
  • Food Availability: If you live in the United States today, there is not a shortage of food. Specifically, junk food. It’s not cheaper than healthy food and available everywhere you look – without even going out of your house. You can have any variety of food delivered to your home at any time of the day with just a swipe and a click.
  • Added Sugar: This may be the biggest culprit of them all. Sugar is the worst aspect of the modern diet because it changes your hormones and biochemistry, making you hold on to your energy stores and ultimately, gain weight.
  • Misinformation: Oversimplified results, crash diets, and get-skinny-quick plans spread misinformation everywhere making it even harder for people to lose weight. It’s important to choose your sources well and be a wise consumer of information you find on the internet.
  • Meal Skipping: This is often a tactic used to lose weight that backfires big time. Nearly 20 percent of Americans will skip a meal to lose weight, but it actually packs on extra pounds because it slows your metabolism and boosts your hunger.
  • Frequent Alcohol Consumption: Drinking alcohol adds an average of 384 calories a day to your diet. When you’re intoxicated, you’re also more responsive to the scent of food and more likely to indulge.
  • Eating Too Fast: If you finish your meal in less than 20 minutes and want more, you’re eating too fast. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send the message to your brain that it’s full. We can pack in a lot more French fries in 20 minutes. Eating slowly consistently allows you to eat less and stop as soon as you’re full.
  • Too Much TV/Sitting Too Much: This one may seem obvious, but Netflix isn’t going to help you lose weight. In fact, even when nothing else changed – just watching one less TV show can save you over 100 calories per day.

10 Best Exercises To Lose Weight

All exercise is good, any time you are moving your body, you are helping to burn calories and lose weight. However, some exercises allow you to get more bang for your buck and do more in less time. Try some of these exercises to help in your weight loss journey.

WalkingIf you do nothing else, walk more. This is the best exercise for several reasons. It doesn’t require any extra equipment or skills. It is low impact, easy on the joints, and it’s easy to fit into your daily routine. Aim for 30 minutes 3-4 times a week.
Jogging/RunningJogging and running are the next natural step from walking. Both a leisurely jog or a vigorous run help to burn belly fat, which is the contributing factor to heart disease and diabetes.
CyclingEither indoor or outdoor cycling can have a tremendous impact on your health and is great for all fitness levels. It’s a non-weight-bearing exercise, so it doesn’t stress your joints and burns the same number of calories as running if you keep a moderate pace.
Weight TrainingOften, weight training gets overlooked by cardio exercise, but this is one of the best ways to build muscle – which increases your metabolism and burns more calories throughout the day.
Interval TrainingAlso known as HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training, this can be lots of things but it’s typically a 10-30 minute workout that burns a lot of calories all at once. If you’re short on time, this might be the best solution for you.
SwimmingDue to its low-impact nature, swimming is a great solution if you have injuries or pain. Swimming is fun and effective. Even just treading water can burn almost 400 calories in 30 minutes.
YogaKnown as a popular way to reduce stress, yoga can help you lose weight as well. Yoga typically burns about 150 calories in 30 minutes, but also teaches mindfulness, which can help to control overeating.
PilatesIf you’re just starting an exercise routine – Pilates is a great beginner step. Because Pilates tends to be more fun, people stick with it for longer. Pilates also contributes to strength, balance, flexibility, endurance and reduced joint pain.
Jumping RopeThis playground activity is a huge calorie burner. Start slow, jumping for 20-30 seconds at a time. Once you’ve got the coordination down, you can increase your speed and duration to burn serious calories.
StairsLet’s just start taking the stairs. They are everywhere we go, and they are great for legs and hips. Skip the elevator and take the stairs.

Best Foods for Losing Weight

You can’t outwork a poor diet no matter how much you try. Eating the right foods is the best thing you can do to lose weight. This is the fuel you put into your body. You won’t get the results from exercise if you aren’t using the right fuel first.

Main problem is most people don’t know what they should be eating. A specific meal plan depends on your personal situation, but the following foods are universally known as some of the best food for losing weight.

Whole EggsHigh in protein and good fats and keep you fuller longer.
Leafy GreensLow calories and high fiber allows you to increase volume of your meals without increasing calories.
SalmonFull of high-quality protein, healthy fat and important nutrients while keeping you full with relatively few calories.
Cruciferous VegetablesThese are things like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts. They are high in fiber and very filling but also come with a decent amount of protein.
Lean Beef and Chicken BreastLean meat is a weight-loss-friendly food because of its high protein content.
Boiled PotatoesPotatoes get a bad rap, but they actually have several properties that make them a good for loosing weight. The trick is to not deep fry them in oil first.
TunaLow calories and high protein makes this snack a winner. Hint: choose tuna canned in water, not oil.
AvocadosThis fruit is a hidden gem that is often overlooked. While it’s loaded with healthy fat, avocados also contain a lot of water and fiber – making them the perfect addition to salads or toast.
Chia SeedsThese little gems are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. They have a ton of fiber and expand in your stomach to reduce your appetite.
Coconut OilIf you’re willing to replace your cooking oil with coconut oil, you may be pleasantly rewarded with less belly fat.

Dietary Supplements That Help You Lose Weight

Eating the right foods and exercising are the best things you can do to achieve weight loss. But for some people, a little extra boost is needed to get them to their goal. There are several types of supplements that when taken correctly, can help some people lose weight.

As with taking any medication or supplement, you should ask your doctor before introducing supplements.

  • Garcinia Cambogia Extract: This pill surged in popularity after being on the Dr. Oz show, but realistically has very little effectiveness.

At InshapeMD in Louisville, KY we've seen Garcinia Cambogia Extract help many people with their weight loss journey.

  • Hydroxycut: Perhaps the most well-known and popular diet supplement, Hydroxycut comes in many forms and is easy to find. It does seem to help with weight loss, but oftentimes that weight can come back when you stop using the supplement.

You can purchase Hydroxycut at any supplement store in Louisville, KY to help with your weight loss.

  • Caffeine: This is the most naturally consumed weight-loss supplement. Most of us don’t even realize that caffeine is a metabolism booster, which can increase your fat burning abilities.
  • Raspberry Ketones: Raspberry ketones increases the breakdown of fat in the body, however their effectiveness with losing weight is undetermined.

Raspberry Ketones are great for weight loss and can be found at most stores in Louisville, KY.

  • Green Coffee Bean Extract: Green coffee beans are simply pure beans before they are roasted. Naturally, they contain caffeine and chlorogenic acid, which can both help with weight loss.

Green coffee beans contain caffeine and chlorogenic acid, which can both help manage your diet plan.

  • Glucomannan: This is a fiber found in roots. It absorbs water and basically sits in your gut, making you feel full. This leads to decreased calorie intake.

Glucomannan is a fiber found in roots that can help people feel full and eat less calories.

  • Meratrim: This is a newcomer in the diet world. It is the combination of two plant extracts and has been shown to have some effectiveness in loosing weight.

Meratrim is the combination of two plant extracts and can help people lose weight.

  • Green Tea Extract: This is a hugely popular weight loss supplement because of its antioxidant properties.
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid: Commonly known as CLA, this is a popular supplement for fat loss because it reduces your appetite, boosts metabolism and stimulates the breakdown of fat slowly over time.

Conjugated Linoleic Acids reduces your appetite, boosts metabolism and stimulates the breakdown of fat slowly over time.

  • Forskolin: There is limited data on this supplement, which is an extract from the mint family. It is believed to stimulate fat burning.

Forskolin is apart of the mint leaf family and can be used to help people lose weight.

Popular Diets for Losing Weight

We bet you could name at least five or more diets off the top of your head without even trying. There are many diets for many reasons. The most obvious is to lose weight, but perhaps you’re training for an event, reducing carbs, burning fat or even (in some cases) trying to gain weight.

The right diet for you depends on your needs and lifestyle.

Here is a list of some of the most popular weight loss diets and what makes them popular.

  • Paleo Diet: Mimicking the diets of cavemen, Paleo focuses on meats and includes zero grains, beans and dairy. Most studies show significant weight loss with Paleo.
  • Vegan Diet: Whether for moral reasons you want to lose weight, vegans don’t use any animal products whatsoever – including dairy, meat, and honey. Loosing weight is primarily due to decreased overall calorie intake.
  • Vegetarian Diet: For most vegetarians, this is simply a no-meat diet/lifestyle. Protein comes from tofu, spinach, nuts, and other sources.
  • Low-Carb Diet: The idea here is to simply limit your carbs and increase your protein. The popular Keto diet takes this to an extreme level by basically eliminating all carbs for a short period of time. This can be an extremely effective weight loss, especially when it’s sustainable and not extreme.
  • Dukan Diet: There are four phases to the Dukan diet that basically promotes the same high protein/low carb combination in a predictable pattern that is supposed to be more sustainable. Weight loss is often the result of the high protein/low carb combination.
  • Atkins Diet: This was popularized by Dr. Atkins who promoted low carb/high protein with no restriction on fats. This does lead to faster weight loss but can cause problems when used long term or in extreme cases.
  • HCG Diet: This is a hormone diet that requires HCG supplements and an ultra-low-calorie diet (500 calories a day) for 3-6 weeks before increasing calories and food intake. While this diet does help you lose weight, most studies say it’s due to the calorie reduction, not the actual HCG hormone.
  • Zone Diet: A zone diet recommends balancing each meal with 1/3 protein, 2/3 fruits and veg and a dash of fat while limiting carbs significantly. Weight loss studies here show pretty inconsistent results.
  • Mediterranean Diet: A plant-based diet that basically mirrors standard good nutrition guidelines. The benefits are well-documented and it’s easy to follow, making it popular for many.
  • Whole30 Diet: This is like Paleo on steroids. It is a food cleanse that takes you down to the bare minimum and introduces food categories again one by one to target pain points for your body.

Types of Weight Loss Programs

When it comes to weight loss programs, most people tend to fall into 1 of 4 categories: The lazy dieter, the groupie, the feeler and the really-ready-dieter.

The Lazy Dieter

These are the ones who want it done for them. They don’t have the time or the patience to decide what to eat, they just want someone to tell them exactly what to do and how to do it.

Programs for the Lazy Dieter:

    • Nutrisystem: This is as easy as opening a box and eating. Frozen meals are delivered right to your door ready to go. No counting, no prep, there’s barely any cooking. Just open and eat.
    • Jenny Craig: Jenny Craig is a trusted name in weight loss. This plan also includes food delivered to your door with the combination of a personal coach and a fitness program.

The Groupie

These are the types that want all their friends to do the same diet they are doing. They want a support system and rely on others to keep them motivated.

Programs for the Groupie:

    • Weight Watchers: One of the biggest support communities in all of weight loss. It works by assigning points to every food under the sun, each individual gets a certain amount of points each day/week and you choose what to eat and track the points. There is a monthly subscription that is not necessarily required, but helpful to get accurate tracking information.
    • Trendy Weight Loss: These typically include programs promoted by a variety of Instagram influencer accounts that promote healthy eating, meal plans, and sharing of your success.

The Feeler

This is for the person who just wants to feel better. They aren’t as concerned with the scale as they are about their mental health and wellbeing. They want to feel better about their body and their energy and are looking to enjoy life more fully.

Programs for the Feeler:

    • Noom: This is a newcomer to the weight-loss world, and it incorporates more than tracking food. It introduces a psychological element to change the way you think about what you’re eating. Noom is an app that includes cognitive behavioral therapy, health coaches, food plans, etc.
    • Weight Loss Coaching: In the world of life-coaches, these coaches provide a one-on-one approach for each client. They provide both psychological and meal planning support, but it usually comes at a very high cost.

The Really Ready Dieter

This group is serious about making a long-term lifestyle change. They want real results and are willing to do what it takes to get it. They aren’t interested in fads or get-skinny-quick schemes, they want real results from well-researched and documented sources.

Programs for the Really Ready Dieter

    • Mayo Clinic Diet: Based in scientific medical research, the Mayo Clinic’s plan for losing weight is one of the most trusted options. It’s based on a book that starts with changing your habits, then moves into losing fat and eventually a maintenance phase.
    • Medical Weight Loss: If you want to lose weight safely with the help of a medical professional, a weight loss clinic is the way to go. Medical weight loss combines the best of nutrition and psychological support along with metabolic testing, medical diagnostics and a physician-supervised plan that’s catered to your body.

This is just a small sample of the many types of weight loss programs available. Finding the type that is just right for you can be hard. Do your research, ask your doctor for advice, and listen to your body.

Benefits of Medical Weight Loss

One of the best and most effective ways to lose weight is through a medical weight loss program. It is the only system that truly works with your unique make-up to create an effective plan with the benefit of a medical team to back it up.

  • The biggest benefit of medical weight loss is the assistance from your doctor to treat your entire body, not just lose the love handles but make real and lasting change in your health.

  • The goal is to avoid surgery at all costs by using other low-risk methods first.

  • Each plan is custom, created on a case-by-case basis determined by your medical history and lifestyle rather than a blanket set of guidelines.

  • Includes help for other weight-related health problems affecting your overall health.

  • You can start to exercise safely to get the best results without hurting yourself.

  • When you plateau (because we all do) you can get real medical answers as to what is happening in your body and how to continue your progress.

  • Receive constant motivation with regular doctor visits to monitor and track your progress.

  • If you suffer from eating disorders, you can get additional help with the mental effects of losing weight.

  • If necessary, you have access to prescriptions to help with side effects or aid in weight loss.

  • Often, medical weight loss treatments may be covered by your insurance.

  • Over time, medical weight loss has proven to have more long-term success than other methods.

It’s no wonder why medical weight loss is so beneficial. Still, too many people use other weight loss methods and fad diets before coming to an actual physician for medical weight loss solutions that truly work.

FAQs About Losing Weight

Those that come from processed foods. A banana has carbs and Coke has carbs. The banana isn’t going to make you fat, but that Coke definitely will. Ditch any carbs that come from sugary, processed foods.

Most experts agree, you should eat 5 small meals a day rather than 3 large ones. This encourages your metabolism to keep burning all day long.

According to the CDC, healthy weight loss can be 1-2 pounds per week maximum. On average, aim for 5-8 pounds per month.

You can use apple cider vinegar in lots of recipes, but if you’re drinking it for weight loss, we recommend 1 tbsp per day mixed with water taken before meals. Start with 1 tsp and see how you tolerate it. More than 2 tbsp per day is not recommended.

The cost depends on the type of program you’re doing and how long the program lasts. Shorter programs may be just a few hundred dollars, while longer programs get more expensive. However, some medical weight loss programs are covered by insurance.

Find the Change

Obesity is one of the biggest health problems in the world and it’s about more than how you look in a bikini. Obesity is associated with several related conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, elevated blood sugar and a poor blood lipid profile just to name a few. Weight loss is often the best thing you can do to boost your overall health and fundamentally change the way you feel every single day.

Over the past decades, much research has focused on the causes of obesity and how it could be prevented or treated. Still, it is an individual disease and deserves individual treatment. Our team of medical professionals is here to help you start your journey to looking and feeling your best.