When Medical Weight Loss is a Solution For You
Previously Posted on KSL.com. Click here to view original article and take a quiz.
With the new year in full swing, your goal of reaching a healthy weight may be suffering as your motivation wanes. However, losing weight is not always about motivation — in fact, it may not matter.
“There comes a point where people lose the ability to lose weight and keep it off,” says Daniel Cottam, a doctor at Bariatric Medicine Institute in Salt Lake City.
If you are finding it hard to lose weight, take a look at two options for medical weight loss.
Surgical medical weight loss
Weight loss surgeries, called bariatric surgeries, change your digestive system so you eat less food, which leads to weight loss. Some insurance companies cover the procedures, which can help prevent or cure heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and other health problems.
In fact, heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, according to The Heart Foundation. Additionally, eliminating Type 2 diabetes will, in turn, reduce your chances of having a heart attack, according to the American Heart Association.
To determine if you’re eligible for weight loss surgery, it’s helpful to know your body mass index, commonly called BMI — a measurement based on height and weight. If you have a BMI of 40 or higher and efforts to lose weight naturally have not worked, gastric bypass surgery, the most common type of bariatric surgery, is an option. Additionally, if you have a BMI above 35 combined with a health problem such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension or severe sleep apnea, you may want to consider surgery.
Non-surgical medical weight loss
Surgery alone is not a cure-all, and you should be aware of the nonsurgical steps to a successful procedure. One step is to surround yourself with support.
“A lot of people use food as a coping mechanism for stresses in their life, whether it’s marital or work or whatever, they … deal with the stress by eating,” Cottam says. “When you perform surgery on someone, you take away the ability to deal with that stress with food.”
To deal with stress and stay on track, take advantage of professional counseling and support groups. A support group allows you to decompress with others going through the same journey, while a professional counselor can help you privately deal with issues you encounter along the way.
Another step to a successful medical weight loss is to maintain healthy habits. This could include seeking nutritional guidance, both through classes and individual instruction, to help you learn proper foods to eat that you’ll find tasty. You can also learn exercises you’ll enjoy, so you keep doing them for life. While diet and exercise may not have been your friends in the past, you will find them helpful when it’s about maintaining instead of losing weight.
“A lot of people use food as a coping mechanism for stresses in their life.” To deal with stress and stay on track, take advantage of professional counseling and support groups.
“Diet and exercise are great for weight maintenance but not good for weight loss,” Cottam says. “When you get 80 pounds overweight, if you tell someone to diet, exercise, that’s useless advice to them.”
That means that you can forget the difficulties you’ve had in the past, and instead focus on the future. This includes finding the right place for your bariatric surgery, a place that will respect you and guide you through your journey to a healthy weight and a healthy heart.
Take this quiz to see if you may qualify for medical weight loss.