Those who are struggling with clinical obesity are often tempted to turn to weight loss surgery as their first option. However, before you make this drastic choice, you should make sure that you have pursued all of your other options.
The Natural Way
The natural way to lose weight is to increase your caloric output while decreasing your caloric intake. Of course, this is easier said than done, and it does not lead to rapid weight loss. For some, losing weight the natural way does not create change fast enough to help with the serious health problems that come with obesity.
If you do try to go the natural route to deal with your obesity, you need to focus on eating fresh foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be a staple of your diet. You also need to eat whole grains, not refined grains. At least half of your grains should be whole grains. These help you to feel full and do not cause the blood sugar crashes common with refined grains. For your protein, choose poultry and lean meats. Eat more fish, as it contains healthy oils that your body needs. Beans, nuts, and seeds are alternative healthy sources of protein.
Increasing your caloric output is also essential to natural weight loss. If you are significantly overweight, this can be difficult, but even a brisk walk is considered exercise and will help. Make it your goal to spend 30 minutes in some sort of activity every day whenever possible. As you lose weight, increase the intensity of your workout. Keep it varied in order to encourage yourself to stick with it.
Weight Loss Drugs
Another alternative to weight loss surgery is taking a weight loss drug. There are both prescription and over the counter weight loss medications available. They work by either suppressing your appetite or blocking some of the fat that you eat from being absorbed into your body. These work in conjunction with lifestyle changes to help you lose weight more quickly. However, they can have uncomfortable side effects, so make sure you do your research before choosing to use weight loss drugs.
Weight Loss Surgery
If natural weight loss methods are not working fast enough and you are not able or willing to use weight loss drugs, you may need to consider weight loss surgery. However, this is only an option if your body mass index is 40 or higher. You may qualify if your BMI is 35 or higher if you have a serious health complication that is caused by your weight.
Gastric bypass is one weight loss surgery option. In this procedure, the physician will create a small stomach pouch by stapling the stomach and attaching the resulting pouch to the middle part of the small intestine. This limits both the amount of food you can eat by making the stomach smaller, and also the amount of calories your body absorbs by bypassing part of the small intestine. Portions of the stomach and intestine are removed, making this a permanent change.
Another popular weight loss surgery is the Lap Band surgery. LapBand is a gastric banding device that is placed around the stomach laparoscopically. It creates a small stomach pouch, thus limiting the amount of food that is eaten. Many patients choose Lap Band surgery over gastric bypass because it is far less invasive and does not permanently change the digestive system.
A third, rarely used option is a biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. This creates the small stomach pouch and connects it to the last part of the small intestine, bypassing most of the small intestine. It is rarely used because it puts patients at risk of malnutrition when compared to other weight loss surgery options. If you are considering weight loss surgery, be sure to discuss each of these three options with your doctor in detail so you can choose the best one for your body's unique needs.
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