Saturday, February 18, 2017

Diet Plus Exercise Is Likely the Best Weight Loss Approach for Most People

The approaches to weight loss are diet, exercise, lifestyle modification, anti-obesity medications, and bariatric surgery. And studies have shown that an approach that might work for one person may not work for another. Still, a restricted calorie diet plus purposeful exercise will likely work for most obese persons if the diet and exercise program is diligently adhered to.

A recent study suggested that obesity should be viewed the way cancer is viewed -- as many different forms. One expert suggested that there may be as many as 59 types of obesity. And because there are so many types of obesity, like cancer, no single approach to weight loss will work for all forms of obesity.

This holds true for anti-obesity drugs. Currently there are five anti-obesity drugs on the market that have been given FDA approval for long-term use. These drugs are Orlistat (Xenical and Alli), Qsymia (Phentermine plus Topiramate), Contrave (Naltrexone plus Bupropion), Saxenda and Belviq (lorcaserin). But experts indicate that no anti-obesity drug will lead to weight loss for everyone. And even when a weight loss drug does lead to weight loss, the drug might cause severe side effects.

However, it does appear that diet and exercise can work for most people. And even when diet and exercise don't lead to long-term weight loss, it is almost always a key part of an ongoing weight loss or weight management program. By diet, we mean a healthy, calorie restricted diet. And by exercise, we mean scheduled purposeful exercise. A recent study suggests that subjects who reduced their calorie intake by 40% and engaged in traditional exercise plus high intensity training (HIT) all lost weight.

Therefore, the importance of diet and exercise should never be ignored. Indeed, it should always be emphasized. And weight loss providers should look at different diet and exercise approaches, so that the providers can offer their patients different options for weight loss and weight maintenance.

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