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Obesity and Weight Loss Article Continued from Previous Page - Common Lose Weight Tips  

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Dr. Minocha  is a practicing gastroenterologist and author of "Natural Stomach Care: Treating and Preventing Digestive Disorders with Best of Eastern and Western Therapies"

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If you love sweets and canít bear to give them up, eat sweet fruits or sugar-free yogurt.

Quick Weight Loss Fad diets are frequently a failure. They frequently result in periods of little eating alternating with overeating. Then when you go off the diet, all the weight comes back, often with a few extra pounds. Crash diets can be dangerous because of the risk for lack of essential nutrients.

The U.S. government is studying the two very popular diets: a low carbohydrate encouraged by Robert Atkins and an opposing diet advanced by Dean Ornish.

Preliminary results suggest that neither may be a healthy way to lose weight. Until the final results are in, it is safer to stick to tried and tested weight loss strategies.

Common Sense Weight Loss Ideas:

Always tell your doctor before you begin any weight loss or exercise program. You can also join organizations, such as Overeaters Anonymous.

Do not get hung up the ultimate target weight or expect fast weight loss. It is easier to lose weight by concentrating on losing five pounds at a time.

Donít go to the grocery store hungry, otherwise youíre more likely to buy sweet or fatty foods. Stay away from samples. They are processed foods and likely heavy on saturated fats and salt, which may not be good for your figure, heart  or overall health.

Reward yourself with non-food incentives during times of success. How about a walk in the park or going out to a movie with friends. Similarly, when depressed, think of what non-food alternatives may elevate your mood. Reading a tabloid or a trashy novel? Sex?

Overcome Obstacles to Exercise

  • If you do not have enough time, take short walks. Take stairs for one or two flights of stairs.

  • If you feel alone, join a gym.

  • During bad weather, go walk in the mall.

  • For get-togethers, plan active events like picnics, camping and hiking.

  • While traveling, walk between terminals at the airport, rather than using moving sidewalk or train. Use the fitness room at the hotel.

Obesity Clinics:

These clinics specialize in sensible weight loss. A multidisciplinary team performs the initial evaluation. A body scan may be done to determine the body composition. This allows the experts to individualize the diet and exercise plan for each patient.

If an obese patient doesnít respond in a month, weight loss medications may be started. Only your doctor can determine if the benefits outweigh the risks.


Medications ("weight loss pills or diet drugs") are useful as an adjunct but not as the sole treatment. Until recently, Redux (Fen-Phen) was a very popular weight loss remedy but has been abandoned because of cardiac toxicity. Phentermine, a component of Fen-Phen is still available but most physicians do not recommend it.

Currently used drugs include Xenical (orlistat) and Meridia (sibutramine). Xenical leads to weight loss by causing malabsorption of dietary fat. It can cause diarrhea, oily stools and gassiness. A fat soluble vitamin supplement is recommended one hour after taking Xenical. About 40-50% of patients have an average weight loss of about 5 percent of their body weight, which can be maintained as long as the drug is taken.

Meridia is recommended if patients cannot tolerate Xenical. It may also be used in addition to Xenical. Side effects include hypertension. About 25% of those who take Meridia have a weight loss of 15-20 pounds. Patients regain the lost weight after the drug is withdrawn.

Weight Loss Surgery:

Surgery may be an option in severely obese patients who have failed medical treatment. There is controversy whether such criteria should be relaxed for those whose livelihood depends on their appearance, e.g. movie stars.

Several types of operations are available and some can be performed laparoscopically. Gastric banding and

stapling has fewer side-effects but is also less effective than the bypass procedure, which can have significant physiologic and metabolic consequences. A combination of a short bypass plus gastric banding/stapling is usually performed.

Donít assume youíll go from size twenty to size eight. The weight loss operation is meant to provide a more functional status and not necessarily slim down to size petite. If the surgery allows a person to get out of the house and walk, it should be considered a success.

"Surgery is not a cure," says Mathias Fobi M.D., an obesity surgeon from Hollywood. "It is meant to give patients a tool to control their eating habits".


Liposuction improves the body shape and curves, but is not helpful against obesity. Some very imaginative operations have been devised, like removing fat from one place in the body and then repositioning at another site in the body, for example penile enhancement.

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Quick Weight Loss Caution: You should always start and conduct any and all lose weight diets or weight loss diet regiments under advisement of your licensed health professional.  If you experience fast weight loss much easier and faster than you had expected, do inform your doctor. It may signify a coincidental onset of an underlying illness. Please also read other advisements below about this obesity & weight loss information article

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This is meant to be an informational exercise and NOT a medical consultation. Your doctor is the only one who can best assess your situation and offer you medical advice.

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