Weight Loss is a Billion Dollar Industry
Weight loss is a $3.8 billion industry in the United States and $295.3 billion worldwide. Go to your local grocery store and find the diet and supplement aisle. You will find countless pills and potions made by various companies that all promise to help you lose weight. Turn the TV on at 3 in the morning, and you will find infomercials promising weight loss. They use similar pills, potions, and exercise programs. People spend a lot of money on these supplements, shakes, and systems, yet how many truly find success?
Despite all the Dietary Products and Programs, Obesity Still Prevails
Most people know that all the promises made by diet companies are mostly hot air. So why do so many people buy into those supposed weight loss guarantees? The fact is that a majority of these supplements are not assessed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That means there is no evidence that these supplements even work. Also, many supplements sold in grocery stores, health food stores, and online marketplaces are associated with significant health risks.
A study conducted in 2019 published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that 1,000 experienced issues related to dietary supplements between 2004 and 2015. Of the thousand analyzed, 166 of them were hospitalized. A whopping 22 of them died.
About exercise programs, many of them are effective at building muscle and burning calories. Scientists have determined that these programs largely fail to work because consumers of these programs tend to eat more to compensate for the calories burned. Resting metabolic rates can also decline the more pounds you lose. If exercising makes you hungry, you eat more, and your metabolism slows, you gain weight instead of losing.
Why is Weight Loss So Difficult?
The human body is designed to hold onto fat to protect against times of food scarcity. This makes losing weight difficult for most of us. Other factors hindering weight loss include genetics, ethnicity, age, hormones, and social factors. Diet and physical activity also play an important part.
Anyone who has ever attempted to lose weight knows there are no shortcuts to slimming down. We are told you merely have to eat less and move your body more. But committing to cut calories and enter into a regular fitness routine takes major willpower many of us lack.
Obesity is still a worldwide epidemic, with the Worldwide Health Organization (WHO) estimating that 39% of adults aged 18 were overweight in 2016, and 13% were obese. That amounts to 1.9 billion adults who were overweight and 650 million diagnosed with obesity.
But all hope is not lost. Bariatric experts have devised ways to simplify weight loss than merely cutting calories and getting exercise, which, as we have established, is not always a straightforward path to long-term weight loss.
Bariatric Science to the Rescue
Individuals who are affected by obesity have healthy and effective weight loss options. Medically supervised diets and weight loss medications are two such choices. They can help you shrink your waistline and improve your health.
It should be noted that obesity is not only about being heavier than you should be. Obesity wreaks havoc on your health. It will make you more susceptible to over 65 illnesses, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and several types of cancer.
Losing as much as 5% of your excess weight can drastically reduce your chances of contracting these illnesses, including reducing your likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke. Medically supervised diets and weight loss medications are effective means of losing this or even greater amounts of weight.
Read our article: What is Morbid Obesity & How Does it Affect You?
Medically Supervised Diets
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a medically supervised diet, also known as a physician-supervised diet. A medical provider, registered dietician, or bariatric specialist prescribes these customizable options.
The costs associated with these programs vary widely with insurance. Sometimes, it covers some or all of the fees associated with treatment. Insurance providers are highly likely to cover the costs if you suffer from obesity comorbidities such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Before you are prescribed a medical diet, the physician will administer a physical exam before you are asked about your weight loss efforts and psychological history. The doctor wants to know that you are healthy enough to tolerate sustained weight loss and have attempted and failed to slim down through diet and exercise alone. The psychology question is meant to assess if mental issues such as habitual overeating or chronic stress prevent weight loss.
Pre-Packaged Meal Replacements
One of the major reasons most diets fail to work is that they see the dietary changes as torture. They may stick with the changes for a little while before they reach for anything that tastes good, and that’s when the eating plan usually goes off the rails.
Pre-packaged meal replacement plans take your mind off of choosing what to eat and when. Everything is planned out for you. There is no cooking, meal planning, or assessment of the proper portion sizes. The meals are also designed to taste good and be good for you.
The main purpose of these plans is to teach you how to eat healthily. It will also teach you how to make the lifestyle and behavioral changes necessary to facilitate long-term weight loss. By choosing one of these proven weight loss programs, you can transition to a healthier, self-prepared nutrition plan while taking advantage of the provided education and support.
These pre-packaged programs include Medi-Fast, New Direction, OPTIFAST, Advanced Health System, and Health Management Resources.
The medically supervised diets work in phases. It will allow you to move from pre-packaged meals to self-prepared foods slowly. Eventually, you will have a healthy, regular diet for sustained weight loss.
Please read our article: Medically Supervised Diets for Significant Weight Loss: How They Work.
Medical Diet Benefits, Risks, and Considerations
Significant weight loss is the largest benefit you can receive from a pre-packaged meal plan. Your results may vary, but you can generally lose as much as 50 pounds throughout 18 to 24 weeks.
The biggest risk is keeping up with your results. To be successful with one of these programs long into the future, you need to remain strong as you move to foods you prepare yourself without breaking your commitment to sustained weight loss.
Tips for Making a Medical Diet Work for You
You are likelier to make the necessary dietary changes by keeping to regularly scheduled doctor appointments, keeping a food journal, and getting healthy support from family and friends.
Weight Loss Medications
You may have heard that there is no magic pill for weight loss. While that may be true, there do exist certain medications that can make weight loss easier. Committing to the necessary lifestyle changes to lose weight successfully would be best. However, effective medicines can give you an edge when dropping the excess pounds.
There are several FDA-approved weight loss medications on the market. One of the most popular of these is called Wegovy GLP1.
Wegovy (semaglutide) is an injection given once weekly aimed at individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater, indicating a sufferer of the disease of obesity. You may also qualify for this weight loss medication if you have a BMI of 27 or greater and suffer from a weight-related illness.
Wegovy works by binding to receptors in the brain to regulate appetite and caloric intake. Since you feel less hungry and consume fewer calories, you lose the necessary weight to improve your health considerably.
Some individuals find the cost of Wegovy prohibitive, with the injections costing as much as $900 to $1400 per month. This has led many obesity sufferers in the States to order from Canadian pharmacies to find cheaper alternatives.
But one cheaper alternative may be even more effective than semaglutide. Mounjaro is a weight loss drug that costs around $75 with a coupon, which is much cheaper than Wegovy. But does it work?
Whereas Wegovy tends to lead to around a 15% weight loss, Mounjaro (tripeptide) leads to 21% to 22.5% weight loss, according to studies cited on Drugs.com.
Medication Benefits, Risks, and Considerations
Significant weight loss is the primary benefit of the current batch of weight loss medications. With 15% weight loss attributed to Wegovy and up to 22.5% weight loss associated with Mounjaro, using these remarkably effective drugs amounts to a loss of 45 and 67.5 pounds, respectively.
It should be noted that Wegovy is FDA-approved while Mounjaro is not. The FDA has granted Mounjaro fast-track designation for approval, with a full review of the application expected sometime in 2023.
As far as risks, weight loss medications – like most medicines – can have side effects, including nausea, headache, diarrhea, and vomiting. Serious side effects can include acute kidney injury and hypoglycemia. Talk to your doctor about these side effects. This will help determine if any weight loss drugs listed might be right for you.
How Do You Find the Right Weight Loss Medication?
We have only mentioned two weight loss medications that could be effective at helping you lose weight. Other popular drugs include:
Saxenda (liraglutide): This medication is primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes but can also facilitate weight loss in some patients. Liraglutide is meant to be injected subcutaneously, similar to Wegovy, in that it controls your hunger to facilitate rapid weight loss.
Contrave (naltrexone-bupropion): This medicine is also used to control your appetite and reduce your food intake. Contrave is taken by mouth along with a low-fat meal twice daily.
Alli or Xenical (Orlistat): Orlistat works a bit differently when compared to the weight loss drugs we have mentioned so far. Drugs like Alli and Xenical work by blocking the enzyme that breaks down fat in the foods you eat. The undigested fat then passes through bodily waste. You still need to watch what you eat when taking Orlistat because the enzyme is ineffective at blocking the absorption of calories from sugar and other non-fat foods. The medicine is taken orally with food or liquid at least one hour before a meal up to three times daily.
These are just a few weight loss medications doctors and other health experts currently prescribe to patients. Your doctor will determine which medicine is right for you by assessing your health, weight loss history, whether you are taking other medications simultaneously, and your weight loss goals.
Schedule a Consultation to Lose Weight Safely and Effectively Finally
The Greek mythological character Sisyphus is forced to roll a boulder uphill for eternity. That is what weight loss feels like for those who have become obese or morbidly obese and have tried everything under the sun to lose weight using traditional means.
Diet and exercise, and even supplements and exercise programs, fail to work in many cases. When you feel discouraged that you have attempted all that you can to slim down but to no avail, bariatric science has you covered.
By visiting a bariatric specialist like Doctor Babak Moeinolmolki of Healthy Life Bariatrics, you can determine if you are a viable candidate for a medically approved diet or the current batch of weight loss medications. Doctor Moeinolmolki can assess your candidacy during a discrete consultation at our accredited surgical center in Los Angeles, California.
You can finally lose weight by using a physician-supervised diet or weight loss drug. It will put you on the road toward a healthier and longer life.
Schedule your consultation with Doctor Moeinolmolki by dialing (310)881-8503.