weight loss for obese patients

Weight Loss Advice For Obese Patients

Advice For Obese Patients

Obesity is classified by doctors into various types, according to body mass index (BMI). It includes: mild obesity (BMI > 30), morbid obesity (BMI > 40), super-obesity (BMI > 50), and super-super obesity (BMI > 60). An estimated 61.3 million American adults (30.5 percent) are obese, while 6 million American adults are morbidly obese. (Source: US Census 2000; NHANES III data estimates) Obesity leads to an increased risk of hypertension, raised blood-fats, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular problems, metabolic disorders, as well as a number of other weight-related conditions. In addition, the quality of life experienced by obese patients may be affected by mobility problems, as well as a range of psycho-social issues – not least, the social stigma of not being a “normal size”, as well as a feeling of helplessness about their ability to control their weight.

Bariatric Surgery Option

Now that weight loss surgeries, such as gastric bypass, are beginning to be classified as “medical” rather than “cosmetic” procedures – and thus covered by medical insurance – an increasing number of severely obese patients are turning to this treatment option. According to the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity, gastric bypass leads to significantly better weight loss results than conventional dietary treatments. However, bariatric surgery is no easy answer to obesity. Not least, because of the drastic diet which patients must follow for life. In addition, there very few follow-up studies into the long-term results of bypass surgery. Also, the definition of what constitutes “successful” surgery only extends to weight loss maintained for the relatively short period of 5 years. Since many stomach bypass operations lead to irrevocable alterations in the digestive tract, assessments based on this 5-year period may yet prove premature. Lastly, due to the costs and qualifying criteria involved, bariatric surgery is unlikely to develop into a genuine option for the seriously obese population. More probably it will remain a “last chance” for patients with severe co-morbidities.

Non-Surgical Treatment Of Obesity

These may be divided into two types: closely supervised weight loss programs run by hospitals or other health care centers, and regular commercial programs. The former include programs such as Health Management Resources (HMR) and Optifast. Both involve low-calorie dietary regimens, behavior modification, physical activity and individual or group counseling. The drawbacks are cost, along with the need for weekly attendance at the center concerned. The latter include center-based programs such as Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig Inc., or online programs like ediets or Anne Collins weight loss program. Regular commercial programs are cheaper than supervised ones, although they cannot compare support-wise unless they offer online community support via a well-managed forum.

Weight Loss Tips If You Are Obese

1. Success Is Totally Possible

Whether you opt for surgical or non-surgical options, do not believe the voice inside your head that says you can’t lose weight. Over the past 24 years I have seen hundreds of obese individuals normalize their weight and change their whole life in the process. Just last week on my forum, we celebrated the success of another member who lost her 100th pound. She has another 30 pounds or so to lose, but already her life is transformed. A superwoman? Not at all. Just someone who was totally depressed with being overweight. Yes, it takes patience – after all, losing 100 pounds takes 12-15 months of steady dieting – but anyone can do it, including you. And don’t believe anyone who tells you different.

2. Diets Not Essential To Reduce Obesity

For most people, losing a relatively modest amount of body weight can improve many of the problems associated with obesity, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. As a result, some doctors recommend a less formal approach to calorie control. Instead of following a specific diet plan, they suggest the adoption of certain healthy habits.

For example, you can reduce your calorie-intake by about 200 calories a day by taking a moderate 30 minute walk, and switching from (say) whole milk to skimmed milk. This saves 73,000 calories a year – the equivalent of 20 pounds of body fat. Over five years, this adds up to 100 pounds of fat.

So if you hate dieting but need to reduce weight, consider making a couple of small lifestyle changes to reduce your calorie intake and increase calorie expenditure.

3. You Need A Reason To Lose Weight

What specific benefit will you get by losing weight? If you can’t answer this question, don’t bother dieting. Because unless you have a clear incentive to keep you dieting and exercising when boredom sets in, you won’t succeed. Anything that commits you in advance to attaining your weight loss goal, makes a great incentive, so why not book an expensive beach holiday, or buy some fab clothes to fit the leaner shape you want to have at the end of your diet program.

4. Focus On The Long Term Benefits Of Losing Weight

Whether you’re trying to reduce weight, save money or pass exams, it’s vital to be positive about making short term sacrifices. For example, most weight loss diets require you to limit your intake of fatty or sugary foods. Faced with this, you have a choice: either you can focus on the “deprivation” involved in giving up these yummy foods, or you can focus on the benefits you will get by not eating them. Sadly, many dieters choose to feel deprived. Result? Before long they see their diet as a burden and a bore. This is why so many of them quit. If you really want to reduce your obesity, you must avoid this trap and appreciate the longer term benefits you will get by normalizing your weight.

To put it another way, you must become more greedy. Don’t be content with a few mouthfuls of fatty meat, pizza or cheesecake. Aim higher! Aim for greater self-confidence that comes from having a great shape. Aim for a healthier, less tiring life, in which you are not burdened by an extra 100 pounds on your body. Aim for more opportunity to enjoy new clothes and a new social life.

5. Get Proper Support To Lose Weight

If you suffer from severe obesity and you want to start managing your weight, your first priority is to find support. Join a diet-group at work, or an exercise class, or go to weight management meetings. Or join an online weight loss discussion forum. Getting encouragement from others makes all the difference between success and failure. If you have difficulty finding support, try my own community weight loss diet program. It’s totally inspirational.

More Information

For more facts and advice about obesity, along with options for weight management, see below.