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When Your Doctor Prescribes Weight Loss

When your health’s at risk, it’s time to get serious.

Diet and Exercise continued...

Regardless of the food program you choose to follow, remember that exercise is just as important as diet for weight loss. Before beginning your exercise program, be sure to consult with your doctor to make sure the activities you’re planning on are safe for you. While joining a gym or your local YMCA is a great option, remember that walking is a great way to get exercise – and it’s something you can do anywhere.

“I recommend that people get a pedometer,” Apovian tells WebMD.  “People should try to do 4 miles a day for weight loss, or about 10,000 steps.”

Medications for Weight Loss

While there aren’t any medications that cause weight to fall off overnight, there are some prescription drugs available that may help a bit with your weight loss.

“The medications we currently have can help you lose about 10% of your body weight,” Apovian says. These include sibutramine, a medicine that helps control appetite, and orlistat, which helps block the absorption of some fats and vitamins. Orlistat is available in both prescription and over-the-counter formations.

There are also many drugs in the pharmaceutical pipeline that may be more effective than currently available ones, enabling people to lose 15% to 17% of their body weight.

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 surgery. 

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