Has anyone ever told you that losing weight is easy? All you have to do is burn more calories than you eat. What could be simpler? It’s like 1+1=2. But for millions of people, diet+exercise=frustration, disappointment, and self-anger. Losing weight is anything but easy, and for some people, more intense methods than diet and exercise are necessary. Is medical weight loss for you? What are the pros and cons of using drugs or having surgery to slim down?
There are generally two avenues to explore for weight loss: drugs and surgical procedures. Let’s take a look at available drugs to determine if they are right for you. Perhaps one of the most well known is Xenical. Approved in 1999 in the treatment of obesity, today Xenical is available in a lower dose OTC version, Alli.
This drug works by decreasing the amount of fat that the intestines can absorb from food, and many people think that it is a “diet pill” in that it will help them shed unwanted pounds rapidly. In reality, weight loss is not quick, and Alli helps to add to the pounds that you lose. Without diet and exercise, though, it does nothing to effect weight. Xenical is also known to produce oily spotting and difficult-to-control bowel movement side effects no one wants to experience!
Another weight loss drug, Meridia, can also help decrease body weight by five to ten percent, aiding weight loss efforts by suppressing appetite. Popular products like this and Hydroxycut can have side effects including headache, rapid heart beat, and insomnia. Are there better alternatives? Try supplements made with natural ingredients, including acai berries or Hoodia. These have been used with success and can be a sustainable part of a weight loss program.
Surgeries have become a popular among those who need to lose a substantial amount of weight. Bariatric surgery, or metabolic surgery, can include procedures like gastric bypass and laparoscopic gastric banding. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have opted for these surgeries not only to lose weight, but to help alleviate health problems associated with conditions like diabetes, lipid disorders, and sleep apnea. This can be very successful, and dramatic weight loss is possible. But weight can be regained; surgery is not a one-time cure. It needs to be followed by good diet and exercise. Many people regain the weight, or more, or substitute other addictions for food (including alcohol).
In general, if your body mass index (BMI) is over 35, you may be a candidate for metabolic surgery. If you have less to lose and surgery is not a viable option for you, you can find help with supplements, thyroid boosters, and carb and fat blockers. In either case, you have to make a commitment to lasting change and to making sure any weight you lose is off for good.
Your options depend on the weight that you have to lose, as well as what has and hasn’t worked for you in the past. It may be diet and exercise are not helping and that you need to change how your body absorbs fat. It may be that you need a procedure to reduce the size of your stomach so you cannot eat as much. It may be that you can do something as simple as take Hoodia to curb appetite. What will work for you? There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to weight loss. Recognizing what your body needs is crucial.
Weight loss is not easy, but it can be easier if you have the right tools at your disposal. Speak with your doctor, do your research, and make your goal a reality.
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