Advice about diet and exercise is a dime a dozen. Your friend next-door or an account on social media commonly suggests tips and tricks. There are also plenty of myths about dropping pounds. Following evidence-based guidelines is the best approach, this means the information is backed by experts. The Med Spot loves to dive deep into science. We provide weight loss guidance based on lots of research.
Obesity and COVID
Most people are familiar with some of the risk factors of COVID-19 infection. One of these risk factors is obesity(1, 2). Obesity is linked to impaired immune function and may triple the risk of hospitalization due to COVID (3). New research also shows that individuals who underwent substantial weight loss experienced less severe cases of COVID (4). Severe cases included intensive care unit admission, need for mechanical ventilation, or death. Groups studied both experienced the same incidence of infection. However, the group that underwent weight loss experienced lower risk of hospitalization, lower risk of need for supplemental oxygen, lower risk of developing severe diseases 12-months after COVID-19 infection. Obesity is a modifiable risk factor. This is a good reminder about the importance of addressing weight loss concerns with diet and exercise (5,6,7). Heart, lung, and GI system health all benefit from improvements in body composition.
Steady Loss and Maintenance
Healthy weight loss is considered to be 1-2 pounds per week. The rate of 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week is considered to be the optimal pace of loss in order to maintain results. If weight is lost too quickly the likelihood of maintaining results decreases. A gradual steady loss of weight is also important related to the benefits for your metabolism. The resting metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories while at rest. If weight is lost too quickly the resting metabolic rate may be depressed (8,9). It is suggested that for the 6 months following a weight loss program exercise, healthy diet, and lifestyle modification continue to allow for maintenance of results and adaptation of metabolic rate (10, 11).
Importance of Sleep, Nutrients and Exercise
Continuation of exercise, including cardiovascular activity and weight bearing activities is important for maintenance of a healthy body composition. The results from a weight loss program are best maintained when combined with a workout routine, healthy diet, and adequate sleep . Not all diet programs are created equally. Although awareness of calories is important, counting calories alone is not the solution. Nutrient dense foods and nutritional meals to nourish the body and healthy activities are key.
The path to achieving a weight loss goal is not only about the outcome of seeing fewer pounds register on the scale. Instead of a resolution for the new year we suggest the concept of setting an intention. By setting an intention, focus can be placed on aligning a journey with our values. Embarking on new daily habits and prioritizing health can be the best way to care for your Self. The Med Spot team is here to help reach your weight loss goals in the present and pave the path to wellness for the future.
- Obesity, Race/Ethnicity, and COVID-19. Updated November 8, 2021. Accessed January 15. 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/obesity-and-covid-19.html
- Alice Tamara, Dicky L. Tahapary, Obesity as a predictor for a poor prognosis of COVID-19: A systematic review,Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, Volume 14, Issue 4, 2020, Pages 655-659, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsx.2020.05.020. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871402120301399)
- Aminian A, Tu C, Milinovich A, Wolski KE, Kattan MW, Nissen SE. Association of Weight Loss Achieved Through Metabolic Surgery With Risk and Severity of COVID-19 Infection. JAMA Surg. Published online December 29, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2021.6496 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamasurgery/fullarticle/2787613
- Childs, C. E., Calder, P. C., & Miles, E. A. (2019). Diet and immune function. Nutrients. 2019 Aug 16;11(8):1933.
- Nieman, D. C., & Wentz, L. M. (2019). The compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defense system. Journal of sport and health science, 8(3), 201-217.
- Jones, A. W., & Davison, G. (2019). Exercise, Immunity, and Illness. In Muscle and Exercise Physiology (pp. 317-344). Academic Press.
- Josephine Connolly, Theresa Romano, Marisa Patruno, Effects of dieting and exercise on resting metabolic rate and implications for weight management, Family Practice, Volume 16, Issue 2, April 1999, Pages 196–201, https://doi.org/10.1093/fampra/16.2.196
- Gomez-Arbelaez, D., Crujeiras, A.B., Castro, A.I. et al. Resting metabolic rate of obese patients under very low calorie ketogenic diet. Nutr Metab (Lond) 15, 18 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12986-018-0249-z
- Cooney C, Daly E, McDonagh M, Ryan L. Evaluation of Measured Resting Metabolic Rate for Dietary Prescription in Ageing Adults with Overweight and Adiposity-Based Chronic Disease. Nutrients. 2021;13(4):1229. Published 2021 Apr 8. doi:10.3390/nu13041229
- Martins, C., Roekenes, J., Gower, B.A. et al. Metabolic adaptation is associated with less weight and fat mass loss in response to low-energy diets. Nutr Metab (Lond) 18, 60 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12986-021-00587-8