CHANGING YOUR LIFESTYLE
An active lifestyle and plenty of exercise, along with healthy eating, is the safest way to lose weight. Even modest weight loss can improve your health. You may need a lot of support from family and friends.
Your main goal should be to learn new, healthy ways of eating and make them part of your daily routine.
Many people find it hard to change their eating habits and behaviors. You may have practiced some habits for so long that you may not even know they are unhealthy, or you do them without thinking. You need to be motivated to make lifestyle changes. Make the behavior change part of your life over the long term. Know that it takes time to make and keep a change in your lifestyle.
Work with your provider and dietitian to set realistic, safe daily calorie counts that help you lose weight while staying healthy. Remember that if you drop pounds slowly and steadily, you are more likely to keep them off. Your dietitian can teach you about:
- Healthy food choices
- Healthy snacks
- Reading nutrition labels
- New ways to prepare food
- Portion sizes
- Sweetened drinks
Extreme diets (fewer than 1100 calories per day) are not thought to be safe or to work very well. These types of diets often DO NOT contain enough vitamins and minerals. Most people who lose weight this way return to overeating and become obese again.
Learn ways to manage stress other than snacking. Examples may be meditation, yoga, or exercise. If you are depressed or stressed a lot, talk to your provider.
MEDICINES AND HERBAL REMEDIES
You may see ads for supplements and herbal remedies that claim they will help you lose weight. Some of these claims may not be true. And some of these supplements can have serious side effects. Talk to your provider before using them.
You can discuss weight loss medicines with your doctor. Many people lose at least 5 pounds (2 kg) by taking these drugs, but they may regain the weight when they stop taking the medicine unless they have made lifestyle changes.
Bariatric (weight-loss) surgery can reduce the risk of certain diseases in people with severe obesity. These risks include:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Sleep apnea
- Some cancers
Surgery may help people who have been very obese for 5 years or more and have not lost weight from other treatments, such as diet, exercise, or medicine.
Surgery alone is not the answer for weight loss. It can train you to eat less, but you still have to do much of the work. You must be committed to diet and exercise after surgery. Talk to your doctor to learn if surgery is a good option for you.
Weight-loss surgeries include:
- Laparoscopic gastric banding
- Gastric bypass surgery
- Sleeve gastrectomy (less common)
- Duodenal switch