COVID Update: Masks are still required in health care settings, even if you’re fully vaccinated. Read our FAQs.

The Truth About Weight Loss

How to lose weight and keep it off

A successful weight loss program may start with a healthy diet and exercise, but these tips can help you reach your goal.

Much of the popular wisdom surrounding weight loss is based on misinformation, says Robert Bonakdar, an integrative medicine specialist at Integrative Medicine. For example, how many times have you been told that if you take in fewer calories than you expend, you’ll lose weight, and if you don’t, it’s because you lack willpower?

“We see patients who have followed the book on restricting calories and increasing activity but still don’t reach their goals,” Dr. Bonakdar says. “That’s because it’s not that simple. If it were, we wouldn’t have shelves of self-help books.”

Three Tips to Successful Weight Loss

Successful weight loss depends on controlling a host of factors involving your mind (stress, sleep and mood); body (hormones and nutrients); and home and work environments, Dr. Bonakdar explains. He says that beyond a healthy diet and exercise, anyone attempting weight loss needs to:

1. Track progress. People who track daily food choices and activity, either through written diaries or via smartphone apps, have more success. There are a number of tracking tools available, including this one from the Department of Agriculture.

2. Find support. Attempting weight loss with a friend or family member or joining a support group can help you succeed.

3. Sleep well. A recent study found that those who were sleep deprived ate about 200 more calories than those who got more than seven hours a night. “In a recent study, which used electronic tracking of habits (including exercise and sleep) as well as regular support, participants lost three times more weight than those who followed a traditional weight loss program,” he says.

If you’re having trouble losing weight, the “Fit and Trim” program at Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine can help. It’s an individualized 12-week program that combines lessons on nutrition, exercise and stress reduction with support groups and online monitoring tools to help you reach your goals.

For more information, or to schedule a consultation, call 1-800-SCRIPPS (1- 800-727-4777).