Integrated Approach to Weight Loss
An Innovative Way to Stay Healthy and Lose Weight
Two-thirds of American adults are overweight; one in three are considered to be obese.
An integrative approach can be an effective strategy for losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight.
"This is a transitional time in medicine. New therapies and treatments, once called alternative, are emerging to meet the needs of our physical, mental and spiritual health. Good health is more than your physical health because you are more than just a body," says Dr. Brent Bauer, director of complementary and integrative medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
"This blending of the best of conventional and alternative medicine is known as integrative medicine."
In response to the publicís growing interest in integrative therapies for common conditions, Mayo Clinic and a lifestyle company called Gaiam teamed up to produce Mayo Clinic Wellness Solutions, a series of 10 DVDs that offer an integrated approach for treating 10 common health conditions.
Each DVD includes an action plan specific to that condition. For weight loss, the action plan combines exercise, nutrition, stress reduction, yoga and meditation. Here are a few highlights from the DVD:
To lose weight and successfully keep it off, itís important to increase your level of physical activity. Pace yourself at first, but as your body grows stronger, your goal should be 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week.
"Regular, old-fashioned exercise is one of the most important steps you can take to fight disease and enjoy life. The merits of exercise, ranging from preventing chronic diseases to boosting your confidence, are hard to ignore," adds Dr. Bauer.
For most of us, technological or industrial advancements such as elevators or escalators, driving, and riding lawnmowers are great conveniences, but they keep us from getting the exercise that we need. Simply planning a 30-minute brisk walk four days a week can help keep you healthy and double your rate of weight loss. Steady aerobic exercise is important for any successful weight loss plan.
"What you put in your mouth every day has a direct effect on how you feel and how your body functions. By consistently making healthy food choices, you are showing you care about yourself," adds Dr. Bauer.
Healthy nutrition is an important part of an integrated weight loss plan. With all the convenience foods available, many of us donít eat enough healthy foods that have the vitamins and nutrients we need.
Dr. Donald Hensrud, chair of preventive medicine at Mayo Clinic, says good nutrition starts with smart shopping at the grocery store. He offers these tips to shop healthier:
Eat before going shopping so youíre not tempted to buy more than you need.
Prepare meal plans and make a list prior to shopping so you come to the store with focus and direction.
Shop primarily around the perimeter of the store where the healthiest food is usually located.
A healthy diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. When buying produce, remember different colors equate to different nutrients, so aim for a colorful diet.
For example, broccoli contains anti-cancer properties. Blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants of any food. Frozen vegetables often contain more nutrients than their fresh counterparts because they are frozen right after they are picked.
Meditation and Yoga
Yoga can be a healthy part of an integrated weight loss program because it can help strengthen your body and increase flexibility. Meditation can help the body and mind relax so you achieve a higher level of peacefulness and a more restorative rest.
Guided meditation and practicing yoga through direction from a DVD can help lead users through the proper steps so they can get the maximum benefit. On the Mayo Clinic Wellness Solutions DVDs, Gaiam yoga master Rodney Yee presents yoga and meditation programs designed specifically for each health condition.
An integrated approach is important in achieving weight loss and in the treatment of many types of conditions.
Additional topics from the Mayo Clinic Wellness Solutions DVD series include arthritis, back pain, diabetes, fibromyalgia, heart health, high blood pressure, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome and menopause.
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