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Obesity Treatment

Treatments for obesity (source: The Mayo Clinic) Obesity treatments have two objectives: To achieve a healthy weight. To maintain that healthy weight. People who are obese are often discouraged because they think they have to lose a lot of weight before any benefits are experienced. This is not true. Any obese person who loses just five to ten per cent of their body weight will have significant improvement in health - this would mean between 12-25 pounds for an obese person who weighs 250 pounds. It is important for patients to realize that a small drop in weight is a good start and a great achievement. Experts have found that obese people who lose weight slowly and constantly, say one or two pounds each week, are more successful in keeping their weight down when they have reached their target weight. According to the Mayo Clinic, successful and permanent weight loss is best achieved as a result of increased physical activity, changing how and when you eat, and modifying your behavior.

Some patients may be prescribed medication, while others might undergo weight-loss surgery. Dietary changes The Mayo Clinic advises obese people to reduce their total daily calorie intake and to consume more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It is important that your diet is varied - you still need to feed yourself, and should continue to enjoy the tastes of different foods. The consumption of sugar, certain refined carbohydrates and some fats should be reduced significantly. Ideally, you should work with your doctor, a dietician, and/or a well-known weight-loss program.

Trying to lose weight quickly by crash-dieting carries the following risks: You may develop health problems You will probably experience vitamin deficiencies You chances of failure are significantly higher People who are seriously obese may be prescribed a very low calorie liquid diet. These must be done with a health care professional. Physical activity The more you move your body the more calories you burn. To lose a kilogram of fat you need to burn 8,000 calories (1 pound of fat = 3,500 calories). Walking briskly is a good way to start increasing your physical activity if you are obese. Combining increased physical activity with a good diet will significantly increase your chances of losing weight successfully and permanently! Try to find activities which you can fit into your daily routine. Anything that becomes part of your daily life, weaved into your existing lifestyle, is more likely to become a long-term habit. If you use an elevator, try getting off one or two floors before your destination and walking the rest. You could try the same when driving your car or taking any form of public transport - get off earlier and walk that bit more. If any of your regular shops are within walking distance, try leaving your car at home. Several surveys indicated that the majority of urban car trips outside the rush hours are less than a mile long - we can all walk a mile, and should! If you are very obese, are unfit, or have some health problems, make sure you check with a health care professional before increasing your physical activity.

Prescription medications for losing weight Prescription medications should really only be considered as a last resort. If the patient finds it extremely hard to shed the pounds, or if his obesity has reached such a point as to significantly undermine his health, then prescription drugs may become an option. According to the Mayo Clinic prescription medications should only be considered if: Other strategies to lose weight have failed The patient's BMI is over 27 and he also has diabetes, hypertension, or sleep apnea. The patient's BMI is over 30 There are two approved drugs a physician may consider, Sibutramine (Meridia in USA/Canada, Reductil in Europe and much of the world) or Orlistat (Xenical). Bear in mind that as soon as you stop taking these drugs the overweight problem generally comes back - they have to be taken indefinitely. Some patients may not respond to these drugs, while others may find their beneficial effects may lessen somewhat after a few months.

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