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Weight Management

Weight management is the utilisation of diet, nutrition, exercise and psychology to help you reach and maintain a healthy body weight. Being underweight or overweight can be a contributory factor to a variety of health problems and diseases. Weight management employs a number of physical and psychological methods to help you reach your ideal weight.
Weight Management

In This Article
History of... How Does It Work?
A Typical Appointment Treatment Time / Cost / Number Of Sessions
Is It Right For You?
The roots of weight management stem from the need to diet to lose weight which was uncommon before the early 19th century. However, observing a strict diet has probably been around for thousands of years and in the early 11th century William the Conqueror began a liquid diet because he found he was too overweight to ride his horse.

It wasn't until the modern era that healthcare experts gained a true understanding of the relationship between food and weight. Other factors such as the nutritional value of food, the importance of physical activity and psychological behaviour were not attributed to weight gain or weight loss until the 19th and 20th centuries.

During the 1890s, American chemist Wilbur Olin Atwater studied the nutritional components of foods, specifically proteins, fats and carbohydrates. During the same decade, doctors who had thought obesity incurable began to develop progressive theories of the disease such as a lack of thyroid hormone. By the end of the century, the first weight loss products appeared often containing laxatives, purgatives and even arsenic or strychnine.

The World's first dieting plan is attributed to Dr. William Harvey in 1850 who advised a patient to lose weight by eating a low carbohydrate diet. By the 1920s and 30s, dieting emphasis shifted to what foods were eaten and when, rather than quantity consumed. After food rationing and shortages during the Second World War, it wasn't until the 1950s that dieting re-emerged.

Today, weight management has developed into a combination of physical, nutritional and psychological methods as a means to maintain, or return to, a healthy weight.

Weight management utilises a variety of methods to help people maintain a healthy weight. Weight issues can arise from physical, emotional or psychological conditions causing individuals to reach an unhealthy body weight.

Obesity, which is defined as being twenty per cent over your ideal weight, can trigger a number of health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoarthritis, stroke and cancer.  Being underweight can also be a health problem. Psychological disorders such as anorexia nervosa can cause a person to be dangerously underweight leading to health problems such as heart irregularities, osteoporosis and anaemia.

Most weight issues are commonly caused as a result of eating the wrong foods in too great a quantity. Dieting is the usual route for returning the body to its healthy weight but there is equal importance placed on the nutritional value of food as well as physical activity. Once an ideal healthy weight is achieved, it then requires management to ensure you maintain a health lifestyle, eat responsibly and get plenty of exercise.

Be prepared
There are various practitioners working in the field of weight management including nutritionists, dieticians, nutritional therapists, hypnotherapists and psychotherapists. Practitioners may also specialise in other methods which can help in maintaining a healthy weight such as fitness instructors or personal trainers.

It is advisable for anyone considering visiting a weight management practitioner or therapist that you check they have undergone thorough training and have accreditation with a relevant governing body or professional association. Before booking an appointment, you should also consult with your GP.

What to expect
Your first session is likely to include an assessment of your current medical health. This may include a number of questions and tests such as:
  • Medical History
  • BMI Calculation
  • Weight History
  • Waist Measurement
  • Dieting History
  • Blood Pressure
  • Physical Activity
It is important to be open and honest during this assessment. If you have any chronic medical conditions make your therapist aware of them as this could affect your treatment programme.

Your therapist will then begin to suggest methods that will be beneficial to you in managing your weight such as foods that should be eaten or avoided. They may recommend a specific diet and the use of supplements aimed at helping you achieve your ideal weight. They may also suggest lifestyle changes such as relaxation or exercise.

You may also be asked to keep a diary of what foods you eat or changes you make to your lifestyle and their results. This can then be taken to your next appointment so the practitioner can make any adjustments should they be required.

Expect your initial appointment to last from 45 - 90 minutes practitioner gains an understanding of your problem. Subsequent appointments will usually last around 30 - 45 minutes.

Costs of session vary depending on the methods and therapies used for your weight management. Prices can also be affected by your location and whether the practitioner visits you at home. Always check costs before making an appointment.

The number of sessions you'll require depends on your progress and any alterations needed. Changes you make to your diet and lifestyle are generally long-term and continued consultation with a practitioner can be beneficial.

Maintaining a healthy weight is vital for the body to function properly. Diet, nutrition and exercise play a major role in your physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing so getting the right balance is imperative. A trained professional can help you overcome any issues that are preventing you from managing your weight correctly.

This therapy or modality may help with:

Back Pain Blood pressure Calcium Deficiency
Gastroenteritis (stomach flu) Men's Health Issues Obesity
Osteoporosis Sciatica Spinal Injury
Stress Weight Management Womens health issues

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