The best tips for treating obesity may include a diet and exercise plan along with prescription weight loss medication or possibly weight loss surgery. Some people who are obese also benefit from regular sessions with a weight loss therapist to help them make the necessary behavior changes for successful weight loss. Obesity support groups may also be helpful because some people tend to work harder toward a goal when they are in constant contact with people who have a similar goal. Not all methods of treating obesity are recommended for everyone who is obese. For example, weight loss surgery is a serious undertaking that may not be recommended for people who aren't well above the obesity level on the standard BMI (body mass index) scale.
Eating right and exercising are considered the two healthiest options for treating obesity. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean meats along with whole-grains and low-fat dairy products may promote weight loss when they replace foods high in fat, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. In addition to replacing unhealthy foods with healthy foods, an obese person trying to lose weight might want to consider replacing many of his calorie-laden beverages with water. Regardless of how a person eats, successful long-term weight loss is typically not achievable without exercise. People who are obese can replace much of their fat with muscle if they make an effort to exercise three to five times per week for at least 30 minutes at a time.
In some cases, people who are obese have a very difficult time changing their eating habits in order to lose weight. Doctors can prescribe appetite-suppressing medications to make dieting easier, but these should typically be considered a short-term solution. Prescription weight loss medicine may be able to help a person get a jump start on her weight loss, which might be just the motivation she needs to keep it up on her own after she is through with the pills. Many doctors will only allow their patients to take appetite-suppressing pills for a short period of time because they tend to be addictive in nature. Patients with high blood pressure or other heart problems might be unable to take many types of weight loss pills and are instead often prescribed fat-blocking medication, which can also help with weight loss.
People who are very obese may be candidates for weight loss surgery, although only a doctor can make this determination. Gastric bypass is the most common type of weight loss surgery performed, and it is typically only done on severely obese people who have tried and repeatedly failed to lose weight with other methods. This type of surgery is also normally reserved for obese people whose weight is causing an immediate, critical threat to their lives. There are some circumstances where a person might have gastric bypass done without fitting into any of the above categories, but it is not very common.
Treating obesity can be incredibly difficult because a person who is obese has typically developed bad eating habits over a long period of time, and these cannot normally be undone overnight. This is why therapy and obesity support groups tend to be so helpful. Obesity is often a problem that has more to do with a person's mind rather than with his body, and treating it usually involves starting there. Anyone can lose weight quickly if they alter their eating and exercise patterns for a certain length of time, but the weight will most likely come back very quickly if a person has not truly made a lifelong commitment to good health.