Obesity and Treating This Complex Condition

Obesity has become an increasingly troubling issue around the globe. With the number of affected people multiplying at an alarming rate, the world health organization declared obesity a global epidemic in 1977.  

Obesity was not always regarded as a medical condition. It was regarded as a choice. social stigma and blame just added to the psychological impact of this condition. Today, due to the advances made in the field of medicine, we have a better understanding of this chronic disease. 

We now know that obesity is not simply about energy imbalance (caused by consuming more calories than is being used). It is a complex interplay of a wide range of factors including environmental and genetic along with lifestyle.  

As we get a clearer picture of obesity, the number of treatment options available for long term management of this condition has also increased. With a little bit of research, you can find the treatment best suited for you and your treatment goal. Read on to know more about the various treatments for obesity. 

Dietary changes

Making changes to your diet is vital for long term management of obesity. Stay away from diets that promise drastic weight changes. These can in fact case more harm than good by permanently slowing down your metabolism. Keep the following points in mind while forming your diet plan: 

  • Cut down on calories: Gradually decrease the number of calories you consume in a day based on your requirement. Start by reviewing your current consumption and where you can cut back. 
  • Choose what you eat: Certain foods especially those with a lot of processed sugar (candies, sugary drinks etc) are high in calories but low in nutritional value. Say no to the cravings and opt for healthy sugars such as fruits. Add a lot of fibre to your diet as well. Swap red for white meat like chicken and fish. Drink plenty of water.  

Lifestyle changes

Increased physical activity is key to long term sustainable weight management. Around 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity is recommended to prevent further weight gain or to maintain the loss of a moderate amount of weight. If you want to shed a few extra pounds, you would need to do at least 300 minutes of moderate intensity exercise in a week. You should also complement this by making healthier lifestyle choices, like walking whenever you can. If the grocery store is around the corner for example, just walk to it rather than driving down. 

Weight loss medication 

In case diet and exercise doesn’t seem to be working and/or you are at the risk of developing chronic conditions as a result of obesity such as diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnoea, your doctor might recommend weight loss medication. This medication is NOT an alternative to diet and exercise. Be aware of any over the counter weight loss medications as they can cause more harm than good. Your doctor would prescribe medications based on your general health and weight loss goal. 

Endoscopic procedures 

There are several endoscopic procedures available for weight loss. They are usually suited for people with a BMI (Body mass index) greater than 30. In this procedure, a flexible tube (endoscope) is inserted into your stomach through your mouth. Then, depending on the procedure, your doctor can stitch a part of the stomach to make it smaller or place an inflated balloon in your stomach to limit food intake. These procedures are minimally invasive and can result in 5%-20% loss of body weight. 

Weight loss surgery 

Bariatric surgery, commonly called weight loss surgery is a range of procedures done to limit the intake or absorption of food. It is recommended when other weight loss treatments prove ineffective or if BMI is too high (greater than 40). Common weight loss surgeries include gastric bypass surgery, adjustable gastric banding, gastric sleeve and biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. These procedures can result in as much as 35% of body weight.

Weight loss surgeries have serious risks associated with them so it is important to carefully choose the best hospitals for bariatric surgery in Gurgaon with experienced surgeons for the best outcomes.

No matter which weight loss treatment you opt for, exercise and diet will remain key factors to determine the success of the procedure. Join local weight loss groups to get support and encouragement through your weight loss journey. 

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