Managing Obesity

The main treatment for obesity is a combination of healthy diet and physical activity. And although fad diets, weight loss pills, and cleanses may produce a short-term weight loss; maintaining a healthy weight can only be achieved with regular exercise and a healthy, low calorie diet as part of a regular lifestyle.

Healthy, long-term weight loss needs to be attained gradually with a combination to the following factors:

  • Nutrition knowledge
  • Maintain healthy eating habits
  • Regular, daily physical activity
  • Eating for physical (energy) not for emotional reasons
  • Creating a weight loss support system (i.e., join a weight loss program)

Certain prescription medications (i.e., like appetite suppressants) prescribed by a doctor may also help the patient get started on a  healthier lifestyle path, however, drugs are not a long term solution to treating obesity. In addition, these medications will not work unless healthy diet and lifestyle behaviours are adopted in combination with medications.

In severe response to obesity, surgery may be recommended by a doctor, but only in extreme situations where the individual’s health is at serious risk. Surgery is only an option if a disease is impacting efforts to lose weight or if all other attempts to lose weight have been unsuccessful.

The most common and promising weight loss surgery is Bariatric surgery. This weight loss surgery is only recommended for severely obese people with a BMI exceeding 40-percent and who have failed to lose weight by means of exercise, diet modification, and medication. Bariatric surgery reduces the volume of the stomach with either an adjustable gastric band or a banded-type gastroplasty, which both quell hunger by reducing the length of bowel that comes into contact with food and creating a feeling of “fullness” faster. Again, weight loss surgery is a last resort as complications are quite common. And again, following surgery the patient must be committed to long-term follow-up with a doctor, as well as the steadfast maintenance of a healthy diet and regular exercise program in order to achieve any sort of long-term success.

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