If you're considering weight loss surgery, prepare to make changes that last a lifetime.
"When you're seriously overweight, it affects your social life, your health," says Atul Madan, MD, chief of bariatric surgery at the University of Miami School of Medicine. "This surgery helps people get past their cravings. They're much healthier, their social interactions get better. It affects them in so many ways."
But bariatric surgery is only one tool to help achieve weight loss. You’ll still need to...
Every major system in your body feels the stress of excess weight. The heart is the most obvious victim -- as cholesterol builds, blood pressure rises, and arteries get clogged. Also, the blood loses its ability to clot which increases stroke risk.
Fat Ups Male Hormones
Overweight women have higher levels of male hormones, which ups their risk of heart disease. Those hormones also cause male pattern balding, some excess facial hair, and acne.
Overweight people often suffer from sleep disorders. The most dangerous is sleep apnea. With sleep apnea, you stop breathing many times during the night. This makes your oxygen level drops-- which affects the heart, blood vessels, stroke risk, and diabetes risk.
The sheer impact of excess weight on your lower body creates lots of problems. You're at higher risk for bone-thinning osteoporosis. You develop hip and back problems. Overweight children will develop fragile bones, so they're at even higher risk for these problems.
Start Now: Lose Weight
Diet changes and exercise -- that's what it takes to lose weight. You've got to make lifestyle changes that fit into your daily routine.
Running, walking, biking -- all are great types of weight-bearing exercise. They will help you lose weight. Start here: Find time during the day --10 minutes here and there -- for walking. It all counts!
You Can Do This!
It's never too late to lose weight. Plenty of success stories prove it -- you can, too! But diet alone won't do it. To lose weight and keep it off, you've got to exercise, too. Put on your walking or running shoes -- and just do it!
SOURCES: CDC. Steven Lamm, MD, NYU School of Medicine. Brunilda
Nazario, MD, WebMD Senior Medical Editor. Isadore Rosenfeld, MD, Rossi
Distinguished Professor of Clinical Medicine, NYU Weil Cornell Medical