Obesity Fitness Expo 2017: The skinny on fat loss: An approach to weight management based on current research- Robert G LeFavi- Armstrong State University, USA
Success of fitness professionals can be impacted by their ability to properly advise clients on dietary methods for healthy body composition. Recent research has shed new light on the efficacy on a previously proposed weight management regimen and on a new dietary concept, both of which point health/fitness specialists in a similar direction. This study will describe the historical and scientific framework of fat loss strategies over the past 70 years and highlight successes and failures therein. A weight loss strategy that appears to have had consistent success will be evaluated, along with recent work in the field. A new concept of weight management will be explained, which will assist in the understanding of the most current research. The result will be a new strategy enabling health/fitness professionals to engage clients desiring a reduction in body fat with yet another weight management tool with which to work.
The most important element of an effective weight management program must be the prevention of unwanted weight gain due to excess body fat. The military is in a unique position to approach prevention from the first day of an individual's military career. Because the military population is selected from a group of individuals who meet specific criteria for Body Mass Index (BMI) and body fat percentage, the primary objective should be to foster an environment that promotes maintenance a healthy body weight and overall body composition of an individual military career. There is significant evidence that losing excessive body fat is difficult for most individuals and the risk of gaining weight is high. From the first day of initial training, an understanding of the root causes of excessive weight gain must be communicated to each individual, as well as a strategy for maintaining a healthy body weight as a lifestyle. Aside from the obvious need to increase energy expenditure over intake, none of the strategies that have been proposed to promote weight loss or to maintain weight loss are universally recognized as having any utility in weight management. The effectiveness of individual interventions is poor, and there is little evidence of the effectiveness of combinations of strategies, with results varying from study to study and from individual to individual. Recent studies that have focused on identifying and studying individuals who have been successful in weight management have identified some common techniques. These include self-monitoring, contact with and support for others, regular physical activity, development of problem-solving skills (to cope with difficult environments and situations) and prevention skills/limitation of relapses. However, an additional factor identified among successful weight managers, which is generally not included in weight management techniques, is individual preparation, i.e., a strong personal motivation to succeed in management weight.
Although obesity drugs have been available for more than 50 years, the concept of long-term treatment of obesity with drugs has only been seriously advanced in the past 10 years. Evidence that obesity, as opposed to being overweight, is a pathophysiological process of multiple etiologies and not just a problem of self-discipline is gradually being recognized- obesity is similar to other chronic diseases associated with alterations in biochemistry from the body. Most other chronic diseases are treated with medication and it is likely that the primary treatment for obesity in the future will be long-term medication. Unfortunately, the current drug treatment for obesity produces only moderately better success than diet, exercise and behavior modification in the medium term. New drugs must be developed and combinations of current drugs must be tested for their short and long term efficacy and safety. As the drugs have been shown to be safe and effective, their use in less severe obesity and overweight may be warranted.