Losing weight and keeping the weight off is a common challenge for many people. When you have tried on your own to reach your goals without success, trying a medical weight loss option can be the right choice for you.
A low- or very low-calorie diet may not seem like a medical weight loss option, but this type of caloric restriction is best prescribed by a physician. Sometimes, these diets may be 800 to 1000 calories per day, and without medical supervision, you risk severe nutrient deficiencies or you may not be fit enough to adopt such low calories. One of the benefits of a low-calorie diet is you learn to feel satiated by bulking your meals with healthier foods and develop better eating habits. In addition to eating better, your doctor might prescribe nutritional supplements, appetite suppressants, and encourage you to perform certain physical activities.
The gastric balloon is an option for people who need the extra push to adopt a healthier lifestyle, but may not want surgery or need to lose weight before bariatric surgery. You will swallow a pill containing the balloon and once the doctors have confirmed the pill is in the stomach, it will be inflated. The balloon takes up room in your stomach so it is harder to eat your usual servings of food. You are only allowed to have the balloon for six months before you have another balloon inserted or have the balloon removed entirely. If you have the balloon removed, your doctor will give you dietary guidelines to follow, which can help maintain your weight loss or allow you to lose more weight.
The most extreme option for medical weight loss is bariatric surgery. All types of bariatric surgery rely on food restriction, but some also reduce the number of calories you absorb. Gastric bypass creates the most food restriction, because your stomach is surgically reduced to the size of a small pouch. Other procedures give you a slightly larger stomach. Depending on your current health and the amount of weight you need to lose, your doctor may recommend the gastric sleeve, because it is the least invasive and only decreases the size of your stomach. If you need more help, the gastric bypass or duodenal switch can be used since both procedures cause malabsorption and may result in faster weight loss during the first year.
Although you might prefer to lose weight on your own, there is nothing wrong with needing help. With several medical weight loss options, most people can find the right option for their needs and goals.