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Making Life Safer - A New Beginning Hi there, I’m Aisling Connolly, Clinics Director here at Motivation Weight Management and welcome to the Making Life Safer video series. Over the past 25 years I have consulted with thousands of clients all over the world and in that time I’ve noticed one characteristic that is present in many of them. And it’s this. Not only do they suffer from being overweight but they also have what is called comorbidity. Comorbidity is the presence of an additional medical concern co-occurring with their overweight diagnosis.

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Alarming Facts - Making Life Safer Just before we talk about the practical and easy to implement advice that we have to help you lose weight, we feel it is our responsibility to make you aware of the alarming medical facts that link overweight and obesity as a major risk factor for poor outcome if you have contracted Covid 19. Before I list the top 6 alarming facts it’s important to explain a term that you are going to hear a lot more and that is comorbidity. I mentioned it in the first video and comorbidity is where you have two or more disorders or illnesses occurring in the same person. Why is comorbidity important? It’s so important because more and more individuals are being treated with multiple coexisting diseases. It’s now the norm rather than the exception. What has comorbidity got to do with Covid-19? Clinical research shows that patients who present with COVID-19 and any comorbidity yielded poorer clinical outcomes than those without. Also, the more comorbidities a patient had the poorer their clinical outcome. Ok, but what’s that got to do with obesity? Generally, over time, obese patients are at risk of developing some of the following diseases: insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes , hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, sleep apnea, gall bladder disease, gout and osteoarthritis. I hope you can clearly see the link between comorbidity, Covid-19 and obesity. It is important to point out that prior to Covid-19, comorbidity and obesity were just as dangerous a combination, as heart disease which is directly linked to obesity, is one of the biggest killers worldwide with an estimated 18 million deaths annually. And bringing it closer to home, some 10,000 deaths in Ireland each year. To The Top 6 Alarming Facts Over 70% of people admitted to ICU are either overweight or obese and you are 7 times more likely to be put on a ventilator. People with a BMI between 30-34 are 100% more likely to be admitted to ICU. You are 7 times more likey to die from coronavirus if you are obese. Being obese is a more significant predictor of a bad outcome than type 2 diabetes or heart disease, it’s almost up there with being over 80 years of age. Generally, with obesity there is a lot of abdominal fat and that pushes back up on the diaphragm giving the lungs less room to be able to move and to breathe. Remember, Covid-19 is a respiratory disease that is concentrated in the lungs. Obesity has a negative impact on our immune systems and is now known to switch off the part of the immune system that mounts the initial response to Covid-19. In addition, a healthy immune system tries to remember an infection so that the next time that you get it you deal with it in a calm way. Obesity acts as a block so the immune memory is reduced. I know that all sounds pretty grim but don’t worry, the good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce your BMI to within a healthy range. You can improve your BMI within a few weeks by improving your diet. If you increase your level of physical activity by just 5% you will improve your immune function by 5%. If you have good blood sugar control then your outcome is more likely to be good.

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Let’s turn our attention to BMI or Body Mass Index to give it its correct name. Your BMI is an estimated healthy weight for your height. If you’re 14 stone or 89 kilos and a 6ft tall man, you’re probably a healthy weight, but if you’re the same weight and much shorter than that, like a 5ft tall woman, you’re going to be overweight. One thing is for sure, the ideal weight certainly isn’t one size fits all! Calculating your BMI lets you know if you’re a healthy weight for your height, or if you’re over or underweight. Doctors use it most often, to check whether they need to tell patients to gain or shift a few pounds. The World Health Organisation outlines that a person with a BMI of 25 or above is overweight. Figuring out what your BMI number is does not require too many calculations on your part. A BMI calculator like ours will do all the hard work for you, and all you need to know is your current weight and height. You type your details in, and let the calculator do the rest of the work. Remember the BMI scale is only a guide and does not take into account if you carry a lot of muscle like a rugby or hockey player. Another good way to check if you are at a healthy weight is to take half your height in inches, your waist size should be no more than half your height in inches. For example if you are 5 foot 4 inches tall which is 64 inches, then half that means your waist should be 32 inches.

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Improving Your Immune System - Making Life Safer When your immune system is called into action to fight a virus it creates memory cells and these cells remain in the body holding specific information about each threat the body has been exposed to! Our immune system has a memory so it can more easily fight the virus the next time it appears. The Centre for Disease Control reports that obesity, diabetes and excess body fat causes an imbalanced immune system leading to increased risk of bacterial and viral infection. So if you are overweight, what can you do to improve your immune system? It’s all about leading as healthy a lifestyle as possible. So, if our first line of defense should be a healthy lifestyle, where do we begin? We know that every part of our bodies, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies. I’m going to list 10 healthy-living strategies and my advice to you is to roll them, one by one, into your daily routine. Before you know it, you’ll be losing weight and feeling happier and more energised. And most importantly, building your immune system defences. 1. Losing weight and eating a diet with the essential protein, carbs, fats, fruit and veg. 2. Getting exercise. We know that exercise stimulates the immune system cells that fight disease (antibodies and white blood cells ) so they can act more quickly 3. Not smoking. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 4. Too much sugar suppresses your immune system so reducing sugar including carbohydrates is recommended. 5. Avoiding alcohol, or drinking only in moderation as alcohol interferes not only with your immune system but acts as an inhibitor to weight loss. 6. Getting enough sleep (8 hours). A good night's sleep is essential to maintaining your immune system. 7. General hygiene, washing your hands - as often as you can 8. Minimising stress. Meditation or relaxation techniques such as yoga are proven to strengthen immune systems. 9. Getting the correct vitamins and minerals, certain herbs can also boost your immune system. The recommended vitamins are: Vitamin B,C D, and E, recommended minerals are Zinc, Iron and Magnesium and herbs like turmeric, garlic and ginger can also help to boost your immune system 10. Drink water - the easiest of healthy lifestyle tips. Aim for approximately 2 liters per day. So, the ball is in your court

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If I can ask you one question: What would you prefer: to lose weight quickly or to lose weight slowly? Think about it! The latest clinical research shows that losing weight quickly results in better outcome for both continued compliance with the diet and long-term weight maintenance Clinical research presented at the International Congress On Obesity showed that there are four factors that predict successful weight loss: 1. The speed at which you lose weight fast weight loss is better than slow weight loss 2. The type of diet you go on protein diets proving better than conventional diets 3. Rapid change of habits rather than slow change of habits 4. Regular follow up with a professional weight loss consultant rather than a DIY plan Fast weight loss is proven to be important for success as feeling and seeing results reinforces motivation. There is something hardwired in our DNA when we see REWARDS and in this case it’s a shrinking waistline, we respond positively and this is critical to losing weight A word of caution. There are some who suggest that losing weight slowly is the best approach. This belief that there is more likelihood of being able to maintain lost weight has been proven totally wrong as one is likely to lose interest through lack of reward or no real sense of achievement. Think about it, if you have only lost a half a pound or a pound of fat after a weeks dieting and exercise you are going to feel somewhat despondent. I’ve been practising as a weight loss consultant for 25 years and in my experience with thousands of clients, fast weight loss is the most efficient and effective approach for continued compliance with your plan and more importantly weight maintenance. The energy, the enthusiasm, the excitement and joy are all palpable when clients are losing weight fast. It is important to know that fast weight loss is very safe once you are consuming enough protein to protect your muscle tissue. The bottom line is fast weight loss gives better results! Not only that, you’ll be well on the way to getting your BMI into a healthy range.

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The importance of protein - Making Life Safer For weight loss to occur there has to be a calorific deficit. This causes your body to automatically use not only its fat reserves but also its muscle tissue for energy. It’s absolutely critical that you protect your muscle mass. Your muscle mass is the weight of the muscles in your body in kilograms or pounds. If you don’t consume enough protein you will experience muscle loss resulting in loose flabby skin, and an ever-present feeling of hunger and low levels of energy. Your immune system will be compromised. Let’s just go back over this again for a few seconds. In the normal process of losing weight, your body will burn fat reserves but it will also turn to your muscles for energy. Have you ever seen a friend or colleague that looks gaunt while they are losing weight? This is because they are not eating enough protein to protect their muscle mass. Did you know that your heart is a muscle so it needs to be protected when losing weight. As do other organs. Protein is the main building block for our bodies but it is also a great agent for weight loss as it has a thermogenic effect, meaning it speeds up metabolism and that helps offset the decline in metabolic rate which occurs on most low-calorie diets. In addition, protein has great properties that are fantastic for weight loss: It helps satisfy our cravings for sweet or salty treats And it is more quickly sensed by the brain than carbohydrates or fats which helps satisfy those pangs for junk foods or treats. It is also vitally important for our bodies and having healthy bones, hair, nails and skin. So, in the greater context of Making Life Safer consider the importance of protein as you look to lose weight and get your BMI to a number that you are happy with. At the end of the day, it’s all about looking after number one - YOU!

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No 1 Reason People Quit Their Diet:The Scales - Making Life Safer The weighing scales is such a negative instrument and in my experience it is the number one contributing factor that causes people to quit their weight loss programme. Also, the scales are wrong every 2 out of 3 times you weigh yourself. You can retain as much as five pounds or 2.2 kg in water in any given week. Think about how often it has happened to you, that a week of perfect dieting and exercise has led to a weight gain on the scales? Your immediate reaction: anger, frustration, despair and thoughts of quitting. On the other hand, I'm sure there were plenty of times where you deviated from your diet a few times and the scales went down. The drop in weight would reinforce your negative behaviour. Therefore, your behaviour in either case is reinforced by an insensitive machine that didn't ask, whether you were wearing different clothes, when your last bowel movement was, how much sleep you had, whether you drank more or less water ,whether you performed exercise or where you were in your menstrual cycle. Another area where the scales affect most people is when they know that they have gained weight for example after a holiday or most recently as experienced by many, a lockdown. They sometimes fear coming into the clinic because of what the scales will say. They feel guilty and worry what we might think about their weight gain. We always say at Motivation we don’t do guilt, you are completely accepted the way you are. Again, over the years we have told numerous clients that they do not have to worry about getting weighed and just come back to the clinic for a friendly encouraging visit and some positive reassurance. They can get on the scales whenever they are ready. We always say the focus is not on the scales it's on you. I want to leave you with this thought. Making Life Safer is intended to provide whatever help we can to enable you to find a path to a lighter and healthier you. Ditching the weighing scales should be one of your main considerations on this path.

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The Magic Pill To Lose Weight: Making Life Safer How do we know who to believe when it comes to advice on dieting? In my experience most, clients come to our clinics on their first visit feeling very frustrated, angry and depressed. They tell us that they have feelings of guilt and that they feel like a failure as they have tried so many programmes and lost weight only to put it back on again. Not a week goes by without hearing about the latest fad diet or quick fix that promises magical results without having to put in any effort. The truth is unfortunately, there is no such thing as a quick fix or magic pill to solve the problem. If there was and if dieting on its own worked then no one would be overweight. And more importantly, we would have no compromised immune systems placing you at risk of serious illness. You've seen the claims: lose 30 pounds in 30 days, lose weight while you sleep. Steer clear of any weight loss programmes that guarantee dramatic results without changing your eating habits and behaviours. In short if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Don't fall into the trap by believing that there's a magic pill or Chinese tea that will give you amazing results, they simply don't exist. Steer clear of carb blockers, stimulants and appetite suppressant pills as they offer false hope and you will only be wasting your money. The bottom line is it takes a deficit of 3500 calories or 500 calories a day for 7 days to lose one pound of fat Let's look at the false claims that some companies use that may mislead you. let's take the "lose 30 pounds in 30 days" claim. The average person’s Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which is the amount of calories a person burns with no activity ranges between 1500-2000 calories. So, let's say for example a person's BMR is 2000 calories. If they ate absolutely nothing every day for an entire week they would have a deficit of 14,000 calories per week divided by 3500 to lose one pound of fat which equals 4 pounds of fat loss in a week. If you lose any more than that it's usually water. So, as you can see it's absolutely impossible to lose 30 pounds in 30 days. If claims are being made about a product or program be sure to look for scientific evidence before investing in it. Remember your body is the most valuable piece of equipment you have, so look after it and don't abuse it with dubious products or hazardous nutrition. Our clinical studies show that due to our unique approach to weight management, 86% of our clients maintain their weight over a period of four years. This is a phenomenal result when compared with conventional diet programmes which show a maximum of 6 percent maintenance rate after just one year. The main reasons that 94% of dieters fail to lose weight or regain the weight once they have lost it is that most people only follow a diet without addressing the root cause of the problem. Dieting alone will only give short-term results as you are merely treating the symptoms not the actual cause. For you to be successful long-term and keep the weight off there must be 2 treatments. The first treatment is the physical part of losing the weight and following a healthy eating plan is appropriate for that. But there is not a diet on earth that will allow you to keep the weight off if you don't look at the habits, behaviours and attitudes at the root cause of your weight. At Motivation our motto is it's not just what you eat it's WHY. So, it's not only the food that's the problem it's also the thoughts that we have before we eat that's the real problem. You may eat because you’re stressed, anxious, bored, emotional or upset. You may use food as reward or comfort. Therefore, the second and more important part of the treatment is the behavioural or psychological part and that is the part that most conventional programs fail to address. Our founder Dr Maurice Larocque developed the unique concept of mental weight. The metal weight behavioural questionnaire is a short online questionnaire that our clients complete in our clinics or from home which helps to determine the emotional triggers and what's really behind your weight problem. This evaluation helps you to see what may be sabotaging your efforts to lose weight and we tailor a programme to your needs and provide you with motivational tools to help you change your habits and behaviours. It takes anywhere from 4-21 days to change a habit. In the same way habits are learned over a lifetime through repetition they can also be unlearned and replaced with good habits through positive re-programming with the help of a professional. That’s it, we’ve come to the end of the Making Life Safer series. My one hope is that you found some nuggets of wisdom in the videos that will help you in your particular circumstances, whatever they may be. Please take care and thank you for your time and attention.

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Meet The Founders

Motivation Weight Management

Aisling Connolly is the co-founder of Motivation Weight Management Clinics.  Motivation Weight Management Clinics is an Irish company that was first established in 1995 by Paul and Aisling Connolly. It was while working with his father Dr. Declan Connolly at a previous weight loss clinic in Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin that Paul recognised the problem that clients were having maintaining their weight following weight loss.  Further research on the psychology of the overweight led Paul to North America where he attended several obesity conferences. These included a lecture on ‘Mental Weight’ presented by Dr. Maurice Larocque, a world-renowned French-Canadian expert on obesity and weight management. Paul recognised that Dr. Larocque’s unique concept and behaviour modification programme held the key to helping people to reach but more importantly maintain their desired weight. Having developed and perfected the successful clinic model over a period of 5 years, Paul and Aisling opened the first Motivation Weight Management Clinic in Dawson Street, Dublin in 1995. There are now 19 clinics throughout Ireland. 

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