If you have tried dieting and are still struggling to lose weight then it might be worth seeking medical advice and trying other weight loss treatments which are available. If your weight is having an impact on your life and you really can’t lose weight by yourself, then seek medical help and look into the range of treatments available. We offer a variety of weight loss treatments.
Who should consider weight loss?
Weight loss for health reasons should be considered by anyone who is medically overweight or obese. Whether or not a person is overweight can usually be determined by their BMI.
Anyone with a BMI of 18-25 falls within the normal range, whereas those between 25 and 30 are classed as overweight, and those who are 30 and above are considered obese. Within this definition there are further sub categorisations; for example, those with a BMI of 40 or more are categorised as Class 3, or severely obese.
BMI alone will never be used to determine an individual’s health risk in relation to their weight or to diagnose obesity. Doctors will generally use it alongside an examination of a patient and other factors, such as waist circumference. As a guide, men with a waist size of more than 94cm, and women with a waist of 80cm+ are more likely to develop obesity related illnesses.
Causes of excess weight
In general, excess weight is caused by eating too much of the wrong foods and moving around too little. This is especially true in our modern world due to many people sitting at desks at work all day and the prevalence of cheap, convenient junk foods. Genetics are a factor as well.
Some medical conditions can cause people to gain weight or to find it difficult to lose weight too, as well as certain medications. Mental health issues such as food addiction or low self esteem can also play a part.
Why lose weight?
It’s important to maintain a normal, healthy weight in order to avoid health problems linked to obesity. For example, 80% of Type 2 diabetes sufferers are overweight or obese, proving that weight is certainly a factor in developing this particular condition.
There are a number of other issues which can be caused or worsened by obesity too, such as coronary heart disease, some kinds of cancer (specifically breast cancer and bowel cancer) and strokes. As well as this, excess weight can cause physical issues in everyday life (such as being unable to walk very far or getting out of breath quickly), and can also have a negative impact on mental health, leading to depression and/or anxiety.
How to lose weight
Before considering losing weight, make sure you consult your doctor to ensure you choose the most appropriate option for your individual circumstances and health. If you are overeating due to an emotional problem, have any pre-existing conditions or believe you are gaining/retaining weight because of a medical issue or prescription, consult your doctor about the best way to deal with it.
There are a couple of lifestyle changes you can make to help you lose weight. Firstly, focus on your diet. There are a plethora of plans out there which promise fast results, but the best way to reduce your weight long term is by making lasting changes to your lifestyle. Try to cut out sugars and junk food like chocolate or crisps, swapping them for healthier snacks like fruit, veg and nuts. Drinks matter too. Cut back on sweet, fizzy drinks and calorific alcoholic drinks, replacing them with flavoured water or low cal alcohol like vodka with soda. Avoid fruit juice if you can, as it is full of sugar and doesn’t provide as many nutrients as a whole piece of fruit.
Eat better at mealtimes and get into the habit of cooking for yourself and pre-preparing your own lunches to avoid the lure of convenient, processed foods. You could even try reducing portion sizes or using smaller plates to trick your mind into thinking you’re eating more. Focus on eating more protein, whole grains and good fats. Don’t be too strict on yourself, though. Banning certain foods can make you crave them more, so give yourself a bit of leeway and allow yourself a treat here and there.
Along with a good diet, you need to exercise in order to maximise your weight loss. There are many different kinds of exercise you can try, varying from outdoor team sports like netball or football to gym exercises or classes like yoga. Choose a few pursuits that appeal to you and try them out. Booking a regular time with a buddy or signing up to a class or league can help motivate you to make the time for exercising. The same is true of joining a gym or booking a session with a personal trainer.
If you’re struggling to lose weight on your own, look into local support groups. Sharing your weight loss journey with others in the same position can help keep you motivated and help you overcome any struggles you face along the way.
If you have tried to lose weight using these traditional methods and are still not seeing results, you can speak to your doctor about medical alternatives which could help. If your BMI is 28 or higher, and your doctor is satisfied you have attempted to lose weight on your own, they may prescribe you with weight loss tablets.
Xenical is the prescription strength version of these tablets, and contains the generic ingredient orlistat (which can also be the name of the medication). Xenical tablets work to block fat from being digested, causing around a third of consumed fat to pass through the body. They can be extremely effective in helping with weight loss, provided they are used alongside changes in diet and exercise.
Orlistat also comes in a weaker tablet under the brand name Alli, and this can be purchased over the counter. The tablets work similarly to Xenical, and can help the person taking them to lose weight when combined with a healthy diet and active lifestyle. You must consult with a pharmacist before taking Alli, and should speak to your doctor before buying them if you have any other medical conditions or are taking any other medications.
If all else fails for you, your doctor may consider more extreme solutions like surgery. Gastric bands and bypasses, along with other procedures, can decrease the amount of food needed for a person to become full, so allowing them to reduce their calorie intake on a daily basis.