When we’re carrying a few extra pounds, we often make a resolution to head out to the gym a bit more or cut back on the chips. But when we’ve been overweight or obese for a long time, it can be much harder to find the solution. You may have tried lots of popular diet plans. Perhaps you even bought a subscription to your local gym. If it hasn’t worked, don’t give up. There is an answer for you.

First you need to identify what the problem is. Excess weight is caused by consuming more food than we need. We do this for a number of reasons. One of the most common is simply not knowing what a portion size looks like. It is unlikely you will receive a proper portion from a restaurant. They will fill your plate, so you are happy you are getting value for money. But your body doesn’t need anywhere near that amount to maintain your weight.

Another common reason for being overweight is not being active enough. Most of us work in offices all day. This means we are seated for eight hours. When we get home, we often sit down to catch up with social media and watch television. Not only does this not burn off the food we’ve eaten, but it can cause the metabolism to slow. This will make it even harder to find the energy to get up and get moving.

30oz sirloinImage: flickr.com

It’s also much easier to get into the habit of snacking on the sofa or at our desks. This lack of engagement with our food means we don’t feel satisfied. Then we will eat some more. It’s very quick and easy to eat far more than we need. If you are up and about walking, it’s unlikely you’ll feel like eating. If we’re active and busy doing something physical, you are distracted from the thoughts of food. You’re not likely to crave or feel hungry when you’re exercising.

Feeling hungry is one of the worst sensations. The stomach growls and we can even feel a little nauseous and faint. If you often feel hungry and then eat to satisfy the sensation, you could be expanding your stomach capacity further. You’ll feel less satisfied with the amount you’ve eaten, and choose to eat more.

Gastric band surgery is one solution to this problem. If you feel empty and hungry even after you’ve eaten, a gastric band can reduce the size of your stomach, so you feel very full on very little. As you continue to be unable to eat much, the pounds will fall off. Having surgery is a big deal. But when you’ve exhausted all other options, this can stop you from suffering hunger.

Cosmetic surgery is far more socially acceptable these days and is considered safer than ever. Gastric band surgery is performed for health reasons, not beautification. If you choose to have a gastric band surgery, then you will be in good company. Lots of people who have health problems because of their obesity have become well thanks to the gastric band. Losing weight is essential for conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. The gastric band is one solution that can make the difference for you.

Of course, eating less won’t be enough if you don’t burn off what you’ve eaten. An active lifestyle is essential if you want the band or any other type of weight loss to work. You need to increase your metabolism, and regular activity throughout the day is a great way to do that. You may find it helps you sleep a lot better at night as well. If can help skin complaints caused by poor circulation. Best of all, it can get you feeling fitter, stronger, healthier, and more energetic.

So how can you improve your lifestyle in this way? Take opportunities to walk. Start with a five-minute break every hour away from your desk. Walk to the restrooms, or walk to reception to check if you have mail. You could walk up to the roof to take a photo of the view, or down to the coffee vendor on the street outside. A walk to the water cooler can help keep you hydrated. Regular cups of water can help prevent hunger too. Find your excuses, and then head out.

If you can walk to work, this is an ideal way to fit in some extra activity. You could take a walk to the park in your lunch hour and enjoy a healthy wrap while you’re there. Engage with your food when you do eat. Look at it and savor the flavor with every bite. Don’t read or watch any screens. Instead, sit and enjoy the food. You’d feel fuller and satisfied if all your senses were engaged with the meal.

Zumba at People's Park Davao CityImage: flickr.com

Pick a class to join. It might be something relaxing like Yoga, or it might be something fun like Zumba. Aim to attend once a week at first. Perhaps a friend will join you to make it more of a social event. If you like to sing or play music, you should also join a group or class. Playing a musical instrument is not only quite an energetic activity, but it stops your mind thinking about food. When you are at home in the evening, practising your instrument is more active than watching TV.

Other things you can do in the evening include stepping in front of the TV. Buy a little stepper machine and place it in front of the TV. Next time you watch a thirty-minute program, commit to stepping the whole time. If your weight makes it harder for you to be active, then you could step through the commercial breaks instead. These machines are very quiet, and they’re a great way to tone and strengthen your legs.

Weight loss is within your grasp, but it will take the right lifestyle changes to achieve. It’s about a mindset for some people. You do need to have that ‘can-do’ attitude to win this war. But start one battle at a time. Don’t forget, nobody wins a war in isolation. Get your friends and family on board to support you. Good luck.