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The power of hope in the weight loss process

As a obesity medicine clinician, I have found that if you provide individuals with a sense of hope, to help remove their frustration and disillusionment about losing weight, they can make the necessary behavioral changes and be very successful.

Granted, this can not be a false hope, a deception or a hype inflated misleading promise, because that will destroy their hope and leave them feeling like a failure stranded and depressed.

I witness this scenario many times in my practice, where hope is replaced with despair. Working with overweight patients, it is important to be realistic and not promise impossible or unrealistic treatments. Significant and legitimate weight loss from fat, and not water, is really a slower process than most would want, nor is it easy. But it is possible and achievable for most who work at it and not only hope for it to happen.

There are several weight loss tools that are legitimate and available to help: FDA approved medications; programs for behavioral modification; coaching programs, whether in person or digitally; bariatric surgical procedures; and other non pharmaceutical agents. Agents or programs that are valid and have been clinically tested to be safe and effective give the individual something they can believe in and work with.

This belief imparts a sense of hope that weight loss success is possible. When this optimistic belief is based on a legitimate metabolic reality, it becomes a powerful and motivating force that can carry an individual through dark and troubling times.

Honest hope, not fanciful wishing or unrealistic expectations, is a powerful therapeutic force and is not something to be tampered with or neglected. Perhaps the famous American playwright Tennessee Williams said it best, hope is that

"long delayed but always something that we live for."

When your hope becomes your belief, belief in your ability to change the things that you want to change, then things can happen, even including weight loss.

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