The healthiest and most effective treatment for obesity is lifestyle changes, such as eating a balanced diet and increasing physical activity. However, for severe obesity, other options exist.
Reducing calories and eating healthier are essential to weight loss. Reviewing what you’re currently eating and drinking is the first step to determining how many calories you need to cut from your diet.
Eating foods that provide a large portion size with fewer calories can also help. Foods such as fruits and vegetables should be incorporated into every meal.
A diet focused on lean sources of protein, whole grains, and plant-based foods will make your overall diet healthier and reduce your caloric intake while keeping you feeling full.
You may also consider restricting foods such as sugars, unhealthy fats, and carbohydrates.
The key to success is to make sustainable changes over time. Crash diets rarely work, and they can be dangerous.
Increasing physical activity and exercise are vital components of fighting obesity. You should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week to prevent further weight gain and maintain weight loss.
Aerobic exercise is the most effective way to burn calories and shed weight, but any extra movement will also help to burn calories. Try taking the stairs instead of an escalator, walking your dogs for an extra 10 minutes, or parking further away from the entrance to a store.
Behavior modification programs are designed to help you lose weight and keep it off by making conscious lifestyle changes. A therapist will examine your current habits to determine if there are any stresses, situations, or factors contributing to your obesity.
Through counseling and support groups, you can address the behavioral and emotional issues related to your over-eating. You’ll learn how to monitor your activity levels and diet, cope with food cravings, and understand your triggers.
Weight Loss Medication
While weight-loss medications exist, they aren’t meant to be used in place of diet, exercise, and behavior changes. Your doctor will consider all possible side effects and your health history before prescribing a medication.
The problem with weight-loss medications is that they don’t work for everyone, and the effects can wane over time. There’s also the risk of regaining some or all of the weight you’ve lost.
Endoscopic procedures don’t require an incision, but you will be put under anesthesia. Flexible tubes and tools are inserted through the mouth and down to the stomach.
The most common endoscopic procedures for obesity are:
- Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty — Stitches will be placed in the stomach to reduce the amount of volume your stomach can hold at one time. Eating and drinking less over time will help you lose weight.
- Intragastric balloon for weight loss — A small balloon is placed in the stomach and then filled with water to reduce the amount of room in the stomach. You will feel full after eating a small amount of food.
Weight Loss Surgery
Weight-loss surgery should be thought of as a last or lifesaving resort. Bariatric surgeries limit the food you can comfortably consume, but it also decreases the absorption of food and calories which may lead to a nutrient deficiency.