Evaluating Your Weight Loss Options
The old adage to lose weight is to “eat less and move more.” If it was this simple, then no one would have trouble losing weight. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Obesity is pervasive in our culture. Approximately two-thirds of U.S adults are obese, another third are overweight and the rate of children who are overweight or obese is growing daily.
Thanks to the increasing rate of childhood obesity, more people are growing up without knowing what it feels like to live at a healthy weight. The longer someone struggles with obesity, the more challenging it becomes to lose weight.
How to Lose Weight
Long-term weight loss requires sustainable changes to your lifestyle. This includes a combination of dietary changes, behavioral changes and even some psychological changes. The goal of a medical weight loss program is to guide you through those changes in a manner that makes sense, helping you gradually adjust to a healthier way of living as you lose weight.
There are thousands of weight loss plans that claim they hold the key to successful weight loss, but these claims are not always valid. Six in 10 Americans have tried some sort of diet plan to lose weight, and the success rate is typically low. Many people lose weight at first, then gain it back again in a process that is known as yo-yo dieting.
You understand your lifestyle needs, dietary and exercise habits better than anyone else, so as you evaluate your weight loss options, you can determine what type of program will work best for you.
Consider components like:
- Length of time on the program
- Long-term effectiveness
- Health impact
Knowing Your Options
Conventional Diet Programs
These are home-based programs that do not involve any oversight or supervision from a physician. They typically involve highly structured diet plans that are to be followed for a short period of time. Many diet programs do not mandate long-term dietary changes, and so they cannot offer long-term weight management.
Medical Weight Loss Programs
Medical weight loss programs aim to break the cycle of weight loss and re-gain by introducing long-term lifestyle changes and medical support that encourage lasting weight loss.
Many medical weight loss programs include:
- Meal replacement products to substitute for conventional foods
- Low or very low calorie diet plan
- Nutritional counseling
- Personal fitness training
- Health monitoring
- Guidance and support from an obesity medicine specialist
Weight Loss Surgery
This is the most extreme form of weight loss support. Weight loss surgery encourages weight loss by making physical changes to the stomach or digestive tract. These changes are often permanent, and restrict the amount of food you can comfortable eat at one time, thus helping you to eat less and lose weight.
Types of bariatric surgery include:
- Gastric bypass surgery
- Lap Band surgery
- Sleeve gastrectomy surgery
- Duodenal switch surgery
Each one of these operations is associated with a collection of medical risks and surgical complications. Long-term weight loss is not guaranteed through surgery, as lifestyle changes are still necessary to help you lose weight.