Treatment Options for Obesity

Treatment Options for Obesity

If you want to be successful in your efforts to lose weight, you need to set realistic goals for yourself.

The only way to deal with obesity is to lose unwanted pounds. You have several options to achieve this goal. You can go on a diet and implement lifestyle changes. You can also use prescription medicines or have a bariatric surgery.

Realistic Weight Loss Goals

What is a realistic goal for losing weight using a diet plan and changes in lifestyle? Here are a few goals you can set for yourself.

Try to reduce 5 to 10% of your body weight in six month’s time.
Lose weight at a slow rate, at least 1 to 2 pounds each week.
Focus on maintaining your weight after losing 10% of your body weight before trying to lose weight further.

Options for Treating Obesity

Lifestyle Changes That Positively Impact Obesity

The major culprit of obesity is overeating. People overeat for a variety of reasons including boredom, fatigue, feeling anxious or stressed or even feeling happy. Some people also eat too much when they eat too fast, eat mindlessly or eat just to please somebody. There is also a tendency to overeat after going on a too-strict diet or having a long gap between meals, which makes a person overly hungry.

In order to address the issues mentioned above, below are some suggested lifestyle habits that you should have to help you lose weight.

Get adequate sleep.
Be conscious of the times or moods that make you eat more.
Take note of your feeling of hunger or fullness before, during and after eating.
Your diet should be healthy, so include enough calories and make sure to add variety.
Eat lots of high fiber fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
Include regular exercise routines in your daily schedule.
Look for a weight-loss support group that you can join.

Medications for Obese People

There are only a handful of prescription drugs that the Food and Drug Administration approved for obesity. Some of these drugs are Belviq or lorcaserin, Qsymia or phentaermine/topiramate, Contrave or naltrexone/bupropion and Xenical or olistat and Alli. Belviq, Qsymia and Contrave are recommended for adult use only, while Xenical is approved for adolescent and adult use.

If you would like to try these prescription drugs, it is best to get your doctor’s advice. The drugs may have varying mode of action and different side effects.

On average, a person may lose 3 to 9% of his or her body weight as a result of using these drugs. But studies show that among the four drugs, using Qsymia led to more weight loss.

Remember that in order for any weight loss medication to be effective, it is recommended to have a reduced-calorie diet plan and routine physical activity along with the drug intake.

Weight-loss medications that have been approved for short term use only have limited benefits. When the drugs intake is discontinued, the individual tends to regain the lost pounds again.

Surgical Treatment of Obese People

For a more drastic weight loss results, some people go for a surgery known as bariatric surgery. However, different individuals may have varying results.

Types of Bariatric Surgery

The most common bariatric surgery is the roux-en-Y gastric bypass. What this surgery does is reduce the size of the stomach to as little as a walnut and attach the middle part of the intestines directly to the stomach. With these changes, a person is limited in the amount of food he or she eats.

The second surgical procedure is called laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. In this surgery, the doctor divides the stomach into a small upper pouch and a large lower pouch by placing an inflatable band around it.

The small pouch limit the amount of food a person eats each time. If necessary, the band can be readjusted to make the upper pouch smaller.

The third more recent type of surgery is sleeve gastrectomy. In this surgery, the doctor removes 80 percent of the stomach. With a tube-shaped stomach, the person can only eat a little amount of food.

Reading Resources
Endocrine and Nutritional Management After Bariatric Surgery; Hormone Health Network.
Gastric bypass surgery; Mayo Clinic.
How Are Overweight and Obesity Treated?; NHLBI.

Photo credits: “Obesity Med2008” by James Heilman, MD – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

Categories: Health
Tags: obesity

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