Spring is in the air, and as the temperature rises, so too does the desire to get back in shape. For a growing number of Americans, however, the road leading back to a healthy weight can be so steep it may seem impossible.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that in 2010, 69 percent of adults were overweight with almost 35 percent classified as obese. For the one-third of American adults struggling with obesity today, the hardest step can be finding a weight-loss program that helps address their long-term health. With so many miracle weight-loss solutions advertised, it may feel to know where to turn for help. Dr. Brian O'Byrne of EIRMC offers the following advice:

"Keep in mind that numbers don't lie. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines overweight as being 10 percent over the ideal body weight. The easiest guide used to define obesity is the body mass index (BMI). The BMI is a simple calculation using your height and weight. Determining an individual's best options for medically supervised weight loss often begin by checking their BMI.Finding out what your own BMI is a good way to know where you stand personally.

A healthy BMI is defined as 18.5-24.9. For individuals with a BMI above the average range, often times the best remedy is good old-fashioned exercise. Doctors will frequently prescribe exercise as a type of medical treatment rather than prescription medications or more invasive surgical procedures. However, committing to an exercise plan is sometimes easier said than done, which is why many doctors in Bonneville County refer many weight loss patients to exercise physiologists. These medical professionals, like the ones at EIRMC, act as personal trainers and weight loss coaches to ensure that the patient benefits from a medically sound, personalized exercise program.

Exercise physiologists help the patient by:

  • Evaluating the weight loss patient's overall health, especially the patient's cardiovascular condition and metabolism.
  • Performing exercise stress tests to determine the patient's level of fitness.
  • Creating personal exercise plans to improve strength, stamina, flexibility and overall health, all while meeting medical weight loss goals.

The benefits of an active lifestyle are no secret exercise physiologists and doctors alike understand that physical activity helps treat and prevent many weight-related diseases, like diabetes, heart conditions, cancer, sleep apnea and osteoarthritis.

In addition to the support that exercise physiologists offer, having a registered dietician on your side is another crucial step to losing weight. Not only does a dietician stay up on current and accurate nutritional information, they can customize a food plan tailored to your specific needs and they'll be there to make sure you follow through with it.

Dieticians, exercise physiologists, as well as weight loss counselors, are there to ensure that you lose weight in a healthy and effective way. There's never a "one size fits all" solution when it comes to medically supervised weight-loss, but taking proactive steps is the best way to minimize serious health issues.

To make an appointment with an exercise physiologist or a dietician contact The Wellness Center at EIRMC: 535-4200