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In recent years, many developments have been made in the field of obesity management. Exercise and a healthy diet still remain the top recommendations among medical professionals, but options for obesity management have extended to include surgery, weight loss pills or injections, and therapy. Therapy options range from informal support groups to strict lifestyle rehabilitation clinics.
According to most medical and fitness professionals, the best way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight is by eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise. The simplest formula for weight loss is that the calorie intake, or how many calories a person eats per day, must be lower than the calorie expenditure, or how many calories that person burns in the same day. For weight maintenance, those numbers must be equal.
Some obese patients find it extremely difficult to achieve any weight loss with simple diet and exercise. Weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, includes procedures such as gastric bypass and gastric banding. With gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is divided, and only a small portion of the stomach remains functional for digestion. In gastric banding surgery, a band is implanted around the stomach, which also leaves only a small part of the stomach available to hold food. These procedures can help dramatically with overeating, though they require drastic lifestyle changes.
Weight loss pills or injections are other popular options for obesity management, though the effectiveness of these methods is sometimes questionable. Many weight loss pills are available without a prescription, though all but a slim few lack a scientific backing and FDA approval. Some weight loss clinics offer injections, often of vitamins thought to aid in weight loss, but these are rarely effective without the strict diet and exercise plans that these clinics also recommend.
Support groups and therapy can be invaluable tools for those struggling with obesity. Peer support is frequently a deciding factor in whether or not a person is successful with sticking to a weight loss plan or obesity management lifestyle. The advice and support of a therapist can often help resolve or eliminate emotional issues which may lead to emotional eating, a problem that plagues many obese individuals.
In extreme cases, where the individual seems to be incapable of losing weight by him or herself, weight loss rehabilitation may be a necessary approach. Rehabilitation clinics teach and reinforce on a daily basis the healthy habits that will lead to weight loss success. Weight loss rehabilitation involves restriction from junk foods and excessive amounts of food, and, much like drug rehabilitation, essentially forces the individual to live a healthier lifestyle for a period of time until good habits have been established and progress has been made.