Weight Loss Options
There are more than 50 million people in the United States who are actively trying to lose weight, and there are virtually thousands of weight loss plans available to accommodate each and every person. However, not all of those weight loss plans are effective.
Your Weight Loss Choices
There are four primary categories that just about every weight loss program will fall into. When you are ready to lose weight, consider each of your options and weigh the pros and cons against your own lifestyle.
When considering programs, make sure you consider details like:
- What is the average weight loss achieved on this program?
- What tools are you given to encourage success?
- What makes this program different from your past weight loss attempts?
- How long does the weight typically stay off?
- Are any health complications associated with this weight loss program?
Non-supervised diet and exercise programs are the most common, and the most basic, of all weight loss options. This program requires a high level of personal motivation and self-accountability. Approximately 80 percent of these diet programs fail to provide lasting results.
Home diet programs are not always safe. They often call for calorie reduction without any supplements, weight loss medications or vitamins to make the process comfortable or wise, as you could face a nutritional deficiency if you aren’t careful. Before making any drastic changes to your diet, you should consult with an obesity medicine specialist.
Weight loss supplements are different than medications. They are not approved by the FDA and have not undergone any standardized testing to ensure their effectiveness. Instead, most supplements are marketed as natural or herbal based medicine. In addition to often not being affective, some supplements can be a threat to your wellbeing.
Medical weight loss programs are physician driven diet and exercise programs that incorporate additional methods to encourage weight loss. These programs often include weight loss medications and sometimes offer meal replacement products—often including shakes, bars and prepared meals that are low in calorie. While more effective than home based programs, medical weight loss programs often fail to make long-term adjustments to a person’s dietary style, which often results in weight re-gain down the road.
Weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, is the most effective method for weight loss currently available. This method is recommended for those who are obese and have not been successful through other methods, or who are struggling with obesity related diseases.
There are four primary forms of weight loss surgery:
- Gastric bypass surgery
- Sleeve gastrectomy surgery
- Lap Band surgery
- Duodenal Switch surgery
Each of these operations encourages weight loss by reducing stomach capacity. Gastric bypass and duodenal switch surgery make further, permanent changes to the digestive tract by re-routing the small intestine. Of these surgeries, Lap Band surgery is the safest, offering maximum weight loss at the lowest possible risk.