Excess weight or obesity is no longer considered a lifestyle problem but is now classified and treated as a disease by the World Health Organization. Obesity is part of a spectrum of metabolic problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It further leads to multiple conditions such as risk of heart attack, stroke, shortness of breath, joint pains, fatty liver, infertility, depression, and multiple cancers. Above all, the quality of life suffers enormously. Hence, it is very important to maintain a healthy weight and know your weight loss options if you are obese.
Losing weight: What are the options?
There are several options for weight loss including medical, endoscopic and surgical. However any technique of weight loss works only if you maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine after you have achieved your target weight loss. While a healthy diet is high-protein, low-carb and fiber dense, the minimum recommended workout to maintain weight is at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, five days a week.
Medical weight loss
The medical options begin with first making sure that you do not have a treatable condition such as hypothyroidism or another hormonal disorder causing weight gain. There are medicines approved for weight loss which a doctor can prescribe. The individual is closely monitored for side effects while on these medications.
If you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 30 and 35 and are having difficulty in losing weight with just lifestyle measures, you maybe a candidate for endoscopic procedures such as intragastric balloon or endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty.
In this procedure, a saline-filled silicone balloon is placed in the stomach, which helps in weight loss by limiting how much you can eat. It also makes you feel fuller faster. The balloon can be left for upto a year if you are tolerating it and can typically help lose 10 -15 Kg weight. This is a non-surgical method of achieving weight loss.
Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty is a procedure in which the stomach is endoscopically sutured internally. This reduces the size of the stomach and helps lose weight by limiting how much you can eat.
If your BMI is more than 38 or more than 33 with weight associated medical problems such as diabetes or hypertension, then you should consider Bariatric surgery. Apart from weight, it also helps in treating several other obesity related health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, fatty liver, asthma, sleep apnea, arthritis, infertility and PCOD. Bariatric surgery is the most effective long-term, proven method to achieve substantial weight reduction and improvement in associated health conditions.
Whatever be the weight loss journey one follows, a long-term, sustainable change can only be brought about if one makes life-long changes by incorporating healthy diet and lifestyle measures.