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Glossary of Weight Loss Terms


Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). The level of essential nutrients required to adequately meet the known nutrient needs of practically all healthy persons, according to the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences.

Restriction Operation. In this type of weight loss surgery, food intake is restricted by creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach where the food enters from the esophagus. Examples of restriction operations include adjustable gastric banding and vertical banded gastroplasty.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RGB). The most common gastric bypass procedure performed in the U.S.

Saturated Fat. A type of fat most often found in animal food products including milk, eggs, meat, and butter. Saturated fat is also found in vegetable products such as coconut and palm oil. Studies show that too much saturated fat in a person's diet increases heart disease risk. There is some controversy regarding plant based saturated fats, such as coconut; as it may act more favorably than animal based saturated fats

St. John's Wort. There is limited research indicating the supplement's effective use for weight loss.

Serotonin. A neurotransmitter found in the brain that affects mood and appetite.

Sibutramine. A common prescription appetite suppressant. It was sold under the brand name Meridia, which was removed from the market in October 2010.

Vertical-Banded Gastroplasty. A restrictive operation in which a band and staples are used to create a small stomach pouch.

Very Low-Calorie Diet (VLCD). A short-term weight loss diet, VLCDs may be commercially prepared meals of 800 calories or less or low-calorie meal plans. These diets are low in essential nutrients and require vitamin/mineral supplementation.

Weight Cycling. The repeated loss and regain of body weight. When weight cycling is the result of dieting, it is often called "yo-yo" dieting.

Xenical.See Orlistat.

Yerba Mate. Also known as Paraguay tea, this strong central nervous system stimulant is often sold as a dietary supplement. It has not been proven to cause weight loss.





WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on September 21, 2012

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