By Rachel Goldman
If you’re like most Americans, you’ve tried to lose weight. If you succeeded, you probably had a hard time keeping it off. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance you ended up just where you started — or heavier. Now, Northern Westchester Hospital’s innovative new Center for Weight Management, invites you to get off the diet merry-go-round and start losing weight in a new and effective way, one that can keep you at your desired weight for a lifetime. Read on to see how the center can help you reach your goal.
Why is it so hard to lose weight? Out with the old answer…In with the new.
The old answer was that weight loss was a matter of willpower. But that answer didn’t work. More Americans are heavier than ever. Today’s answer is much smarter. It’s informed by decades of research into why we gain weight, which has led to a richness of new knowledge. This has yielded a far more accurate – and nuanced – picture of the issue. Our relationship with food is very complicated. There are many possible factors at play:
Lack of time to cook meals for ourselves
Lack of time to exercise
Underlying medical conditions (typically hormonal or metabolic conditions that make weight loss hard and unsustainable)
Even side effects of medications we take for other things. I’ve seen people who’ve been struggling to lose weight for years without knowing they have an underlying thyroid condition.
Because there are multiple causes for weight gain (and regain), “any effective solution needs to address all of these. The solution needs to be comprehensive, multidisciplinary and highly personalized.
Enter NWH’s Center for Weight Management, which opened in March of 2019 at our Chappaqua Crossing campus. The center’s approach puts today’s new understanding of the many facets of permanent weight loss into practice, offering new hope for everyone, whether you want to lose a modest amount or you’re looking for major weight loss.
At the center, we’ve assembled all the pieces of the puzzle. What does that look like? Your team includes a nurse practitioner, a nutritionist and, optionally, a psychologist. We can refer you to our bariatric surgeon if appropriate, and, if that path feels right to you. Working with your primary care physician, we might manage medications you take for other conditions. We often find weight-neutral alternatives to medications that have contributed to weight gain. And if, for example, we discover a hormonal condition, we refer you to an endocrinologist.
Another innovation is that after you reach your goal, we continue to support you through individualized maintenance coaching.
So what happens when you walk in?
After a comprehensive physical exam and medical history, we identify issues you’ve had with weight loss. You receive any hormonal/metabolic testing that’s appropriate. We then set up a healthy weight-loss goal. Depending on your emotional connection to eating, a psychologist or nurse practitioner helps you develop skills to deal with your emotional triggers for overeating. We can offer you medications that help with the psychological aspect of eating, such as an FDA-approved medication for binge eating disorder. You also learn how to use cognitive behavioral therapy to successfully manage trigger situations.”
And there’s more.
You see a nutritionist for a personalized nutritional evaluation and dietary recommendations. Depending on your health situation, we can prescribe FDA- approved weight-loss medication to help with weight loss. And since activity is an important piece of the puzzle, we help you set realistic goals to increase activity.
There’s another way your plan from the center will differ from any diet plan you’ve tried.
You won’t lose as rapidly as on, say, the low-carb Keto or Atkins diet. We don’t want a 10-pound weight loss the first week. We’re making slight changes that you can live with enjoyably for a lifetime. This is a marathon, not a sprint. We’re in it for the long term.
Let’s say you’ve reached your goal weight. Now you benefit from a continuation of the services we provided to help you achieve weight loss. Maintenance coaching is personalized, like everything else at the center. It can involve regular meetings with our nutritionist, ongoing psychological support, medical evaluations, and medication to sustain your loss.
Permanent weight loss is possible for you. There are evidence-based therapies and changes you can make that can help you lead a happier, healthier, possibly longer life. We hope you reach out to us. We are there for you.
Are you at a healthy weight?
Did you know that finding out your BMI, which is based on your height and weight, is one way to see if you’re at a healthy weight?
If your BMI is:
-18.5-24/9, you’re a healthy weight
– 25-29.9, you’re overweight
– 30 or higher, you’re obese
To calculate your BMI, visit nwhc.net/WeightManagement
To learn more about the Center for Weight Management, or to schedule a consultation, call (914) 223-1720.