The Real Secret to Weight Loss Might Surprise You

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The Internet is chock-full of get-thin-quick fixes—like “secret” weight loss pills, miracle five-minute fat-blasting workouts, and inch-trimming wraps. It can be difficult to lose weight—and easy to be wooed into choosing the path of least resistance. But these seemingly simple methods can cause more long-term harm than good. Pills can damage your metabolism; intense workouts can lead to injury—stopping your efforts dead in their tracks; and the too-good-to-be-true wrap uses dehydration to slim your midsection, thighs, or arms. Dehydration is worth a trim waist, right? Wrong—dehydration changes your blood chemistry, reducing the oxygen your body’s systems need to function properly. Furthermore, it can wreak havoc on your brain and kidneys (among other complications). Even the wraps themselves can prove toxic to your health as some are coated in mercury and contain PVC—both of which can leach into your body through your skin (yuck!).

If you’re trying to lose weight, your best option is a solid and consistent exercise plan combined with positive dietary changes. This slow-but-steady approach doesn’t have to be boring, and with the help of a professional, the payoff can be exponential. But personal trainers are expensive, and gyms might be overwhelming—especially if you’re new to the fitness scene. You may be wondering, “Well, that’s just great—what other options exist?” The answer could surprise you: Physical therapists are musculoskeletal experts who can create a custom plan to help you gain strength, increase flexibility, and best of all—lose the lbs. PTs can help prevent injuries, while holding you accountable through regular and recurring appointments.

Physical therapists know how the body works—they’re doctorate-level experts for crying out loud—and they want to help you achieve your goals. A physical therapist is qualified to do everything a personal trainer does—and more. You can learn how to exercise with proper form, measure your goals, and prepare yourself to continue your weight-loss journey outside of the physical therapy clinic.

A lot of insurance plans will even cover up to eight weeks of conditioning in a physical therapy setting—cha-ching!—saving you big bucks. If your insurance does not cover your visits, most clinics have cash-pay rates and payment plans to help you manage the costs. Another benefit of training at a PT clinic is state-of-the-art equipment. Some clinics offer specialized testing—like VO2 and resting metabolic rate tests. These tests get down to the nitty-gritty, detailing exactly how many calories you burn at rest and analyzing your peak performance range. The end result is an accurate, holistic picture of how many calories you need to consume and how your body performs during physical activity—and that means no more guessing games on how much to eat or how hard to work out.

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22—wait, scratch that; we aren’t talking about Taylor Swift. What I meant was: I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling that being fit and healthy doesn’t have to be unrealistic. When you see a physical therapist, you have an expert on your side—one who can use his or her extensive expertise and advanced fitness equipment to create a specialized weight-loss plan. Ditch the wraps, stop taking the pills, and chill-out on the burpees—instead, get PT to reach your weight loss goals.

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