Obesity is now recognized as a medical issue. To treat it successfully means reaching an ideal body weight without worsening the condition due to the chosen method of intervention. It must be a sustainable program, too, with behaviors that can be easily maintained over time. Some of the commonly used weight reduction techniques for obesity are behavior modification, diet reduction, exercise, pharmacologic approach and surgery.

Of these five techniques, diet reduction and exercise are the foundations of an effective and sustainable weight loss program. Caloric energy intake must always be lower than the energy expended in order to successfully lose fat on a long-term basis. While there are many diets for weight loss, a sensible eating plan is one that encourages a balanced consumption of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates with smaller portions distributed throughout the day. Crash or fad diets must be avoided at all costs since these are not only ineffective but potentially dangerous as well.

Exercise, another key component in the treatment of obesity, should always be used together with a healthy diet reduction program. It actually enables an obese individual to sustain his healthy eating program while giving many other cardiovascular benefits. It effectively lowers blood pressure and helps strengthen the heart muscles. Obese individuals usually haven’t engaged in an exercise program and as such, any form of physical activity should be introduced in a gradual manner and be done under constant medical supervision. It should be noted that without a proper diet program, exercise by itself is not effective in combating obesity.

Behavior modification is a weight reduction technique that basically tries to treat the psychological cause behind the bad habits that overweight individuals do that have led to their uncontrolled weight gain. By monitoring and recording the circumstances related to unhealthy lifestyle habits, especially where emotional overeating is concerned, obese individuals are able to analyze the reasons why they overeat and hopefully overcome it. Counseling sessions before, during and after obesity treatment help to sustain the lifestyle changes necessary for winning the battle against excessive weight.

Of the five weight reduction techniques for obesity, the pharmacologic approach or the use of drugs to lose excess fats has been proven to be the least effective. While there are short-term benefits, medication-induced weight loss is rarely sustainable for the long-term. Rebound weight-gain has been associated with these drugs after it has been stopped. Moreover, the side effects of these medications are not only unpleasant (i.e. fatty stools) but also life-threatening in some cases (i.e. cardiac arrest). It also has the potential for abuse.

When all the non-invasive attempts for weight loss have failed to produce desired results, surgical intervention may be tried for individuals who qualify. The major benefit of surgery is that rapid weight loss as well as the reduction in high blood pressure, sleep apnea and other obesity-related diseases is immediately seen after a successful operation. However, regular exercise and a healthy diet and an overall healthy lifestyle must still be observed or else all the weight lost will still return.

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Source by Damian Candler