Dr. Elise Sadoun, MD is a Member of the Obesity Medicine Association
A Comprehensive Approach to Treating Obesity
We believe that treating those affected by obesity requires an individualized plan. That’s why we identified our four pillars – nutrition, physical activity, behavior, and medication – which, when combined and personalized, help patients achieve their health goals.
The goal of obesity treatment is to reach and stay at a healthy weight. You may need to work with a team of health professionals — including a dietitian, behavior counselor or an obesity specialist — to help you understand and make changes in your eating and activity habits.
The initial treatment goal is usually a modest weight loss — 3 to 5 percent of your total weight. That means that if you weigh 200 pounds (91 kg) and are obese by BMI standards, you would need to lose only about 6 to 10 pounds (2.7 to 4.5 kg) for your health to begin to improve. However, the more weight you lose, the greater the benefits.
All weight-loss programs require changes in your eating habits and increased physical activity. The treatment methods that are right for you depend on your level of obesity, your overall health and your willingness to participate in your weight-loss plan.
Other treatment tools include:
Reducing calories and practicing healthier eating habits are vital to overcoming obesity. Although you may lose weight quickly at first, slow and steady weight loss over the long term is considered the safest way to lose weight and the best way to keep it off permanently.
Avoid drastic and unrealistic diet changes, such as crash diets, because they're unlikely to help you keep excess weight off for the long term.
Plan to participate in a comprehensive weight-loss program for at least six months and in the maintenance phase of a program for at least a year to boost your odds of weight-loss success.
There is no best weight-loss diet. Choose one that includes healthy foods that you feel will work for you. Dietary changes to treat obesity include:
Be wary of quick fixes. You may be tempted by fad diets that promise fast and easy weight loss. The reality, however, is that there are no magic foods or quick fixes. Fad diets may help in the short term, but the long-term results don't appear to be any better than other diets.
Similarly, you may lose weight on a crash diet, but you're likely to regain it when you stop the diet. To lose weight — and keep it off — you have to adopt healthy-eating habits that you can maintain over time.