Losing weight doesn’t have to mean daily trips to the gym and a strict calorie allotment.
Sometimes what you need is to simply create healthy, sustainable changes in your daily life.
Dr. Nabil Tariq, bariatric surgeon with Houston Methodist Surgical Associates, helps patients discover new ways to lose weight and keep it off.
“With the right plan and support, you can make changes to improve your health,” Tariq said.
Here are five small steps to help with weight loss:
Eat slowly. Eat your meals more slowly and without distraction, such as watching TV. Your body will be better able to pick up on signals from your brain that you are full, which will help you eat less.
Watch your portion size. Trick yourself into easy portion control by using smaller plates, bowls and silverware, making it appear as though you’re eating more than you actually are. If you work, prep your meals. Most of the food available at a workplace is high calorie and high fat and you can really cut down on calories if you bring your own healthy meal. It will likely taste better too.
Emphasize protein and fiber. Reaching for protein or fiber-filled foods, like chicken or apples, can help you feel satisfied for longer than with other foods. Incorporate more plant based proteins in your diet like chickpeas, beans and lentils. They have fiber and protein and have minimal to no fat in them.
Drink plenty of water. It’s calorie-free and helps you feel full so you’ll eat less but don’t skip meals — skipping meals can lower your metabolism and lead you to make poor food choices when you get very hungry.
Add movement to your day. Physical activity burns calories and boosts your mood. If you’ve never exercised before, start slow. Try going for a brisk walk every day, and work up to 30 minutes of moderate exercise three or more days a week. Try using a free app on your phone to count your steps, it can help motivate you and help you set progressively higher targets.
“If diet and exercise alone haven’t resulted in permanent weight loss, you may benefit from weight management services,” Tariq said.
Houston Methodist offers several weight-loss surgery options to patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 and higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher with obesity-related health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea. Types of bariatric surgeries offered include gastric sleeve and gastric bypass procedures.
“Weight-loss surgery is a powerful tool,” Tariq said. “However surgery alone can’t do it all. Patients still need to make healthy lifestyle changes to succeed long term. We can help them do that.”
Talk with your doctor to learn if weight-loss surgery is a good option for you. To explore whether bariatric surgery is an option for your weight loss journey, call Dr. Tariq’s office at 281-275-0860 to schedule an appointment.
Bariatric surgery seminar
Weight-loss, or bariatric, surgery isn’t right for everyone, but learning about it and talking to your doctor can help determine if it’s right for you. Join Dr. Nabil Tariq on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m. in the Brazos Pavilion Conference Center for an interactive seminar. Registration is required. To register, visit events.houstonmethodist.org/bariatric-sl or call 281-274-7500.