Lifestyle Changes Lead to Weight Loss

Take in fewer calories than you burn, and you will lose weight. While this equation makes weight loss seem simple, it can be tough to stick with the lifestyle changes needed to accomplish this goal especially if you are faced with losing a significant amount of weight. New studies are showing that, with the help of medical weight loss supervision, it is possible to make the changes needed to lose weight and become healthier even if you are severely obese.

In one study that included 442 overweight or obese women, the subjects were assigned to one of three groups. One group attended a weight loss program that included group meetings; the second participated in a telephone-based program; the third group received no special intervention. While the women in the third group only lost an average of four and a half pounds over the course of the study, the women on the first two groups lost between 14 and 16 pounds.

In another study, two groups of severely overweight patients were enrolled in a medical weight loss program. One group began moderate exercise right away; the second began after six months. And, while the first group began to lose weight more quickly, the second group caught up as soon as exercise was introduced. By the end of the study, the group that started exercising later had lost an average of 22 pounds each, while the group that exercised from the start lost around 27 pounds each. Besides the weight loss, both groups showed improvements in their health. Members of both groups reduced abdominal fat, which has been linked to heart disease, and also lowered their chances of developing diabetes.

These studies suggest that the lifestyle change and support provided by medical weight loss programs can provide an effective alternative to bariatric surgery for the some of the 14% of Americans who are severely obese.