Surgical and Non-surgical Weight Loss Options
Successful weight loss with long-term results is dependent on your commitment to lasting lifestyle changes that include making healthy eating and exercise a daily routine. This can be achieved through several options, either medically supervised or over-the-counter:
Lower calorie meals
Meal replacements (usually with a commercial drink)
Prescription weight loss medicines
Commercial, prepackaged meal diet plans
Commercial weight management programs/support groups
Why Non-surgical Options Fail
Many factors can play a role in the rise of obesity, including environmental, psychological, genetic and metabolic factors. One theory that explains why people who are overweight often have trouble losing weight or maintaining weight loss is called the set point theory.
This theory suggests that a complex system of hormones and other bodily signals keeps our bodies at a steady weight, or set point, by controlling appetite, digestion and metabolism. When a person reduces the amount of food consumed, the body defends the previously established set point as a way of coping with what seems to be a period of starvation, even among people with obesity.
Watch this video to learn more about set point.
Benefits of Surgical Weight Loss
Weight loss surgery patients routinely lose more than 60 percent of their excess body weight and maintain that weight loss long term. Additionally, other studies show that weight loss surgery patients are nine times more likely to be alive in five years than comparable obese patients who did not choose to manage their obesity with surgery.
Bariatric surgery has become a safe weight loss option that reduces the risk for obesity-related diseases. The benefits of bariatric surgery extend far beyond weight loss and include many positive outcomes.
Improved Physical Health
Within one year after surgery, 96 percent of bariatric-surgery patients realize significant improvement or the complete resolution of obesity-related medical conditions including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), reflux, degenerative joint disease, heart disease and obstructive sleep apnea.
Improved Life Expectancy
Compared to a normal weight individual of comparable age, a 25-year-old morbidly obese male can expect a profound loss of life expectancy of 12 years. Likewise, a five-year follow-up study shows that weight loss surgery reduces a patient's relative risk of death by 89 percent. Another study demonstrates that obese patients having bariatric surgery are nine times more likely to be alive than comparable patients who did not choose surgery.
More Active Lifestyle
Weight loss can bring on a whole new enthusiasm that leads to an increased interest in family activities, social events and hobbies that were not considered an option before surgery. With large amounts of weight lost, patients have the ability and confidence to participate in physical activities.
Improved Mental Health
After weight loss surgery, patients begin to feel better about themselves and have a higher self-esteem. Many patients gain a new outlook on life that allows them to be open to new experiences and to try new adventures that they would not have considered before surgery.