Jan 12, 2018 in Medicine

Weight Loss Program

Design of a Weight Loss Program

For human beings, good health and overall wellbeing are a part of the fundamentals of life, thus being determinant factors of a long and fruitful life. Unfortunately, due to the advancements brought about by science and technology, human beings have been able to attain a better and more luxurious lifestyle. However, these two gains come at a price as an increase in lifestyle is associated with illnesses and diseases that continue to be recorded especially in the developed world.

Being fundamental for a state or legal jurisdiction’s overall socio-economic and positive political growth, the wellbeing of its citizens is a priority as it is espoused by the myriad of social-welfare programs initiated in addition to present social security funds/ initiatives. In addition to this, there is the constant promotion of sports and other healthy social lifestyle activities among citizens, as per set priorities. Schooling programs are combined with extra-curricular activities ranging from music to sports and art, each of them being fundamentally tailored to meet all the prerequisite facets of human socio-cultural lifestyle.

Science and technology, as aforementioned, have enabled people to produce more than is enough for personal as well as commercial purposes. An addition to this has been the development of various vaccines, antidotes, and medicines, which have enabled people to eradicate most of the once life-threatening diseases. Through innovations and discoveries, people have been able to live their life to its fullest for the last two centuries (Gordon-Larsen, Nelson, & Popkin, 2004).

With an easier life, people have over-utilized these enhancements espoused through such lifestyle diseases as obesity, associated strokes and heart diseases, diabetes and hypertension among others. On my part, I cannot say that I am innocent as pertaining to the above. Having gained 35lbs. over the last 10 years, I have been advised to seek either medical health or nutritionist’s advice. I saw it fit to pay a visit to my doctor who upon performing some checks and medical examinations found that I was healthy medically, the weight gain being because of both the reduction of physical activity over time and my eating habits.

He was unwilling to prescribe me any diet prescriptions such as pills and instead advised to develop a self-help regime/ program aimed at losing the aforementioned 35lbs. in the best and healthiest means possible. Accordingly, the design of such a program would entail aspects such as the use of motivational research based on behavioral and cognitive theories pertinent to better psychological and physical health.

Motivational research pertains to the application of psychology to the overall study and thus planning of consumer behavior, especially during the planning/ formulation of sales or/ and advertising campaigns. Applying both techniques/skills and knowledge from the social sciences, specifically sociology and psychology, marketing firms are able to understand and therefore influence human/ consumer behaviors and attitudes.

The aforementioned two theories, though being distinct, are combined for the purpose of studies and related research in the field of behavioral sciences. Behaviorism as an associated aspect to the aforementioned behavioral theory focuses on the external behavioral traits of human beings, while disregarding the inert mental processes involved. On the other hand, there is the cognitive theory approach, which puts emphasis on the fundamental importance of the inert (internal) brain process of thought (Høifødt, Strøm, Kolstrup, Eisemann, &Waterloo, 2011).

Combining the two theories aforementioned produces the field of  Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). From the early 1960s, the complimentary utility of the two theories of cognitive or behavioral therapy in a variant of therapies contributed immensely to the future blend of the two. Therefore, although the two forms of therapies continued to develop individually on parallel paths, with time the two unique approaches were to be merged into the scientific field of CBT.

CBT as a psychotherapeutic approach addresses a host of issues such as maladaptive cognitive processes and behavioral traits in addition to dysfunctional emotions through the utility of explicit goal-oriented and systematic procedures, regimes or programs. Therapists working with patients displaying a variant of symptoms often blend both theories to produce the above approach. Thus, the above approach acknowledges the presence of behavioral traits/ characteristics, which human beings are unable to control through the utility of rational thought.

Acting as a problem-focused approach in addition to being action-oriented, the therapist/ practitioner uses the above approach in assisting his/ her client in dealing with present problems using specifically tailored strategies. Effective in treating eating disorders, it has passed various evaluations as proof of its efficacy producing evidence-based treatment methods, thus receiving advantage as the best approach method over other methods like psychodynamic treatments.

Focusing on behavioral therapy broadly entails either behavioral or psychoanalysis, especially as a combination of the two. Through a focus on behavioral traits or a combination of these with human feelings and thoughts, therapists are able to mitigate or resolve negative resultant effects. With the composite disciplines of CBT, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), and Habit Reversal Training (HRT), it is an effective means of preventing behavioral characteristics that are negative in resultant effects.

ABA puts its focus on the existent conditioning of human being’s operations through positive reinforcement to change or modify the existent behavior. The above fact comes after the performance of a Functional behavior assessment (FBA). CBT, as it has been mentioned earlier, pertains to the analysis of both feelings and thoughts composite to the existent health conditions, both on physical and psychological levels. HRT on its part utilizes the presence of variants of treatment methods/ programs in treating negative behaviorally influenced illnesses (Beck, 2001).

Cognitive therapy (CT) pertains to a therapeutic approach that belongs to others within CBT. Through the identity and hence change of dysfunctional behavior, thinking patterns and emotional resources, CT enables patients to overcome existent difficulties or ailments. Through aiding patients in their development of skills, patterns, or programs, which aid in modifying existent beliefs, medical practitioners are able to thus help patient identify the presence of distorted thinking patterns, behavioral changes, and the resultant effects, which impact their relations with the general society.

Through testing present beliefs in addition to patient-therapist collaboration, treatment is able to work and produce the desired results. Through testing personal assumptions in addition to questioning imprinted thoughts, practitioners are able to aid their clients in expelling such unrealistic and unhelpful ideals, which may be a part of the problem at hand. Through the utility/ practice of the mood repair strategies (positive activities), therapists aid their patients in altering the self-built beliefs and behavioral traits present that are inclusive of the reduction in the overall avoidance of certain beneficial activities by a person.

If a person is able with time to undo such negative thought processes in addition to their resultant dysfunctional behavioral traits, then one is able to undo these negative feelings and hence concentrate on positive future growth of one’s physical and mental health and well-being. Through motivational research, I will focus on a number of available nutritionist and weight-loss data or materials existent in the process of my designing a good weight-loss program.

It is evident on the basis of existent research and data collected that when dealing with diet or weight-related issues, the problem is not only physical, as pertaining to the outward bodily presentation, but also psychological, i.e. related to the existent beliefs, socio-cultural and religious ideals present in a given social entity. As pertaining to healthy eating, I can say that the kinds of foods I have been consuming, though healthy and nutritious, have not been in the recommended proportions (Wilson, 2005).

Dieticians focus on the balanced aspect of meals in addition to a balanced lifestyle that is enhanced through constant physical exercise, cleanliness (body, foodstuff, and surroundings), and overall mental health. The kinds of meals I have been taking have mainly been composed of processed foodstuffs, which are not wholesome and therefore lacking in some nutrients. Though eating fruits and vegetables in addition to lots of intake of fluids, the kind of sedentary and comfortable lifestyle I have been leading is also a causal factor.

Thus, first, I would incorporate some changes in my dietary intake to have fewer carbohydrates and proteins with increases in the portions of vegetables, minerals, and fluids. Another issue would be the initiation of constant scheduled check-ups as advances in age portend the presence of health risks due to the body’s overall capacity in self-sustenance diminishing. By tapping into the available data and evidence, I would focus on the aspects of cognitive therapy as it would primarily aid in psychologically enabling me to deal with my weight issue.

Many of the resultant health issues are primarily rooted in the inbuilt perception that some foods are better, more nutritious and, therefore, more valued than others. Unfortunately, in the contemporary industrial arena, many of these foodstuffs are either processed or chemically enabled, thus posing a potential danger to the overall health of people. Another aspect is the constant bombardment by the variants of the food industry advertisements purporting to the advertised foodstuffs being the best both nutritionally and in health terms (Wilson, 2010).

With the recognition of the above, I would then focus on categorizing my goal (weight loss) into either long-, medium-, or short-term goals. Then, I would breakdown my program to smaller succeeding and complementary phases/ parts, which would work in tandem with my overall goal of change in both behavioral traits and perspective. This would necessitate a partial change of lifestyle, in effect necessitating the presence of more exercises or physical activities aimed at developing and thus positively changing one’s image and expectations.

The development of one’s overall esteem is vital as it aids in mitigating or alleviating stress levels, especially during the fitness program/ regime. With self-esteem and confidence prevalent, I will be able to live my life with integrity and fullness, finding the necessary motivation from my changed lifestyle and resultant effects on relatives, loved ones, and the society in general. Because self-motivation is a hard ideal to pursue and maintain, I will initiate new goals after accomplishing the already set goals I have.

Goals are always dynamic; hence, there is the need for behavioral therapy aspects in the fitness/ weight-loss regime I will initiate. It is fundamental to note that behavioral change is a hard aspect to achieve when faced with ever-present fads and advertisements, which bombard our media on a continuous basis. Eating habits and lifestyles in general are enhanced by the present socio-cultural and at times religious ideals, thus I should prepare one that is considerate of the above in relation to the social setting I am in.

In keeping track of my progress, I will create a fitness regime that entails a number of workout days, roughly 4-3hr gym or cardio-vascular activity 4 days every week. Four days will be spread throughout the week, except Sundays that will be the days to spend with family and God (Church). Seeking guidance from my physician, nutritionist, and a gym instructor, I have been advised to be doing short, continuous, but physically exerting activities being spaced by longer periods of lesser physical activity (Berkman, Lohr, & Bulik, 2007).

As an example, I have decided on initiating both jogging and swimming lessons primarily as the drivers of my weight loss to be interwoven with some gym sessions and the consumption of less well-balanced meals. In the gym, jogging on track machines for a rough 30-45 minutes would enhance my cardio-vascular bodily functions as it would enable me to breathe easier; break down the formation of body fats, which primarily contribute to my weight gain; and enhance wholesome cell activity as jogging entails the utility of all composite prerequisite muscles of movement, coordination, and balance.

Swimming sessions would also aid in strengthening the above advances as it is described as the best form of cardio-vascular exercise. It should be noted that with the increased physical activity, the inclusion of the above activities in addition to my daily routines and job requirements would take its toll on my body strength and stamina for a while. Another issue may be the hindrance from those people or activities whose time I have instead focused on physically enhancing myself. The above may be in the form of friends whom I work and socialize with in addition to family time. This issue will however be addressed by my knowledge, albeit limited, of the positive aspects of cognitive therapy. In addition, it will be vital in enabling me to understand and therefore increase my persistence in my weight-loss program as my weight loss will be very slow and physically exerting. Through recognition that I have a weight problem and the fact that such weight cannot be extracted within a few weeks, I will need to put focus cognitively on the fact that such gain loss will not come instantly.

In addition, I acknowledge the power and resultant effects of the foods and drinks / beverages industry’s marketing might and ability. Through various fads and advertisement, a constant factor in contemporary television viewership, the aforementioned industry is able to entice millions of people unfortunately to not so healthy eating habits and foodstuffs. I will need to understand this and instead pay more visits to my nutritionist for further consultations on the best food patterns. As a husband and father, this will also necessitate making decisions on the alteration of my family food eating patterns.

With the knowledge of behavioral theory in addition to the aforementioned CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy), I will be able to slowly direct my family and me towards new and positive aspects of physical fitness enhanced by a balanced diet. Timeframes are important as such, an endeavor requires not only the will and strength to carry on, but also persistence and a positive attitude towards achieving one’s set of goals. Through weight measurement and regular visits to my physician, I will be able to keep track of my progress.

I estimate a loss of about 4-5lbs. in a month after regulating myself to the new lifestyle through the weight-loss program. Thus, for the first 2-3 months, I may even gain weight to be shed-off once I am in full participatory capacity in the initiated program. It should be noted that the above is based on a hypothetical accountability of my estimated progression being affected by a variant of other factors such as the presence or absence of disease, family and friends’ overall support in addition to my set goals and determination to achieve them (Wilfley, Kolko, & Kass, 2011).

In conclusion, though my work and family engagements may come in the way of achieving my set goals in addition to the overall socialization aspect of the family life in terms of foods to eat, activities to engage in, and other biases, I am determined to correctly adjust my program to achieve my set goals. This will be especially so through the enhancement of my determination/ will in continuing the program in addition to introducing my family to the routine of constant exercise, good eating habits, and a positively-enhanced lifestyle.

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