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- Introduction to weight loss
- How do you lose weight?
- How fast should you expect to lose weight?
- The no-diet approach to weight control
- An example of a successful no-diet weight loss program
- What about special diet plans (fad or extreme diets and popular diets) and weight loss programs?
- When should weight-loss medications or surgery be used?
- Why is weight loss important?
- 12 tips for successful weight loss
Quick GuideHow to Lose Weight Without Dieting: 24 Fast Facts
What about special diet plans (fad or extreme diets and popular diets) and weight loss programs?
Many people prefer to have a set of rules to follow when dieting. Others may crave the emotional support from attending counseling sessions or meetings. Diet products, fitness and nutrition books, and health services have become a billion-dollar industry, so there are obviously many people looking for help with weight control. Before you jump on the latest diet bandwagon, remember that organized diet plans and programs can only result in weight loss if you burn more calories than you consume. No dietary supplements, exercise devices, combinations of foods, or specific patterns of eating will change this fact.
Some examples of popular diet plans and programs include the Atkins diet, The South Beach Diet, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Body for Life, Dr. Andrew Weil's diet plan, and the Ornish diet. All of these diets have their proponents, and all of them have been successful for some people. Because one's appetite, eating habits, and preferences vary widely among individuals, before you decide on a diet plan, ask yourself if the plan sounds realistic to you. If the plan involves rigorous measuring of portions and calorie counting, are you up to the task? If you're forbidden to eat certain foods, will you develop cravings for them? Do you feel that you will feel comfortable adhering to the diet guidelines? Will the diet's requirements fit easily into your daily schedule? Finally, consider that once you've lost the weight, you may regain the weight if you return to your previous eating habits, so any weight-loss plan should be something you can live with for a long time.
Remember that the most successful weight management comes from dietary changes and healthy eating choices that will stay with you over time, not from diets that leave you feeling deprived or result in binge-eating episodes.
When should weight-loss medications or surgery be used?
Although medical treatment (for example orlistat [Alli, Xenical]) is available, they should only be used by people who have health risks related to being obese. Doctors usually consider medications to be an appropriate treatment in patients with a BMI greater than 30 or in those with a BMI of greater than 27 who have other medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high blood cholesterol) that put them at risk for developing heart disease. It is not recommend that medications be used for cosmetic weight loss or to lose small amounts of weight.
Weight-loss surgery is also available for people with severe obesity whose attempts to lose weight through other medical treatment methods have failed. Most experts agree that bariatric surgery, or surgery to promote weight loss, should be reserved for the morbidly obese (those who have a BMI greater than 40) or those with a BMI of 35 to 40 with obesity-related health problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, or severe sleep apnea.