The healthiest course of treatment for obesity is the slow weight loss option via consuming fewer calories and increasing activity level. Frankly for most, becoming physically active and eating less is the only sure way to lose weight and keep it off.
However, for some these lifestyle changes aren’t enough. So, drugs and surgery are two other options for weight loss. Yet, both of these obesity treatment options only play a supporting role to healthy lifestyle changes.
Whether you’re obese or overweight, goal setting and establishing realistic healthy habits are vital components for losing and maintaining a healthy weight. Although for a very few, the cause for being overweight may be in part due to some other health related aspect, e.g. hypothyroidism or side effect of certain drugs. In this instance, treatment must incorporate that facet of your weight gain situation as well.
The healthy habits option begins by following a healthy eating plan. This plan needs to provide your body with the nutrients it needs and enough calories to sustain an active lifestyle.
Generally, a healthy eating plan increases the intake of fruits and vegetables, and lowers the intake of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium and added sugar. Reviewing food labels, avoiding processed food, reducing portion size and eating foods that are heavy with natural water content are ideal weight loss habits to embrace.
Once you’ve established a healthy eating pattern and it has produced a little weight loss, start slowly increasing your physical activity. If you’re obese and you’ve been inactive, you’ll need to begin moving more gradually and build intensity over time.
If you suffer from another health condition, such as heart problems, diabetes or hypertension, or suffer from symptoms during activity, like chest pain, breathing difficulty or dizziness, talk with your health care provider about any limitations that may need to be imposed prior to setting your goals for the physical activity option.
Being physically active not only offers weight loss assistance, but will benefit you in numerous other ways, for instance:
- slows bone loss
- maintains joint flexibility
- strengthens muscles & heart
- awards you with more energy
- improves cardiovascular fitness
- reduces risks of breast, uterine, colon cancers
- helps you relax, sleep better & cope with stress
- lowers heart disease, heart attack, diabetes risks
The physical activity option doesn’t mean you must go to a gym and perform certain routines. What it does mean is to get moving more. Doesn’t have to be all at once, even short time blocks throughout your day treats obesity.
Obesity treatment requires that you change behaviors or habits related to food and physical activity. Some options that may help you adopt healthier habits are:
- work with a nutritionist or dietitian
- go for a walk rather than watch TV
- biofeedback, psychotherapy may help
- keep records as a source of inspiration
- meet up with friends for an activity rather than a meal
- take cooking classes that emphasize healthy eating recipes
- reward yourself with something tangible when goals are met, but not food
Taking a weight loss drug is a treatment option for obesity, particularly if you BMI is above 30. Prescription only Orlistat and OTC Alli are two drug options available, neither of which will exclusively resolve your obesity health condition. These drugs are only a booster and healthy lifestyle changes are necessary for weight loss over the long run.
Surgery is an option for those categorized as extremely obese after other treatment options fail, the two most common being banded gastroplasty and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Essentially, the first option decreases your stomach’s storage capacity, thus you’ll be compelled to drastically limit your food intake at one time. The other option causes food to bypass the part of the small intestine where most calories are absorbed, thus reducing the amount of energy available for fat storage.
With the drug and surgery obesity treatment options, you’ll likely need to supplement your diet with multivitamins and minerals to counter potential nutritional deficiencies.