When Your Doctor Prescribes Weight Loss
When your health’s at risk, it’s time to get serious.
Medications for Weight Loss continued...
Medications for weight loss are not for everybody, though. If you have high
blood pressure or heart disease, sibutramine is not a safe choice. Orlistat may
interfere with the absorption of some vitamins and medications. Be sure to
check with your doctor before taking any form of orlistat.
Experts recommend you stay away from any supplements for weight loss that
have not been approved by the FDA, such as ephedra or ma huang, as they may
have serious health consequences.
Finally, remember that even if you and your doctor decide to use medication
to help with your weight loss, it’s still essential for you to follow a healthy
eating and exercise plan.
Surgery for Weight Loss
If your BMI is 35 or higher, you might be a candidate for weight loss
Options that you can discuss with a doctor who specializes in bariatric
surgery are banded gastroplasty and gastric bypass surgery.
In banded gastroplasty, a band is placed around the upper portion of your
stomach to limit the amount of food it can hold at one time.
For gastric bypass surgery, a small stomach pouch is created with a bypass
around the area of your small intestine that absorbs the majority of the food
These procedures carry with them the risk of serious side effects and will
require a lifelong commitment to diet and exercise for you to remain healthy.
But if your weight is causing significant harm or risk to your health and you
haven’t been able to lose weight with diet and exercise alone, surgery may be
the best option for you.
“Most patients who come to see me who need to lose 100 pounds or more don’t
want surgery because they’re scared,” Apovian says. “I don’t think anyone
should be pushed into surgery, but I do think people should look into it as a
viable option. It will take away years of frustration, of losing weight and
gaining it back. For people whose health is at risk, perhaps due to diabetes or
hypertension, in one year they can lose all the weight they need to lose with
How Can I Stay Motivated for Long-Term Weight Loss?
For starters, pat yourself on the back for making the commitment to lose
weight for health reasons. The road to weight loss can be long and frustrating,
so be sure to take time to recognize your hard work.
Remind yourself why weight loss is important to you. Perhaps your goal is to
stay off blood pressure-lowering medication, or maybe you want to be able to
play baseball with your kids in the backyard.
Finally, remember that there are thousands of individuals out there who have
been able to lose significant amounts of weight and keep it off. The National
Weight Control Registry has more than 5,000 members who have lost 30 pounds or
more. Try visiting the registry’s web site to read success stories and find out
what worked for other people.
Just think, in a few years you, too, could join the registry as a successful
"loser" and serve as an inspiration to others.