Fact: nearly 40% of Americans are medically obese. News agencies place blame on everything from sedentary office jobs to the removal of physical education in primary school, but weight gain is always on a personal level. A poor diet and lack of exercise can quickly spiral out of control. Obese patients on average spend just over $1,400 more per year on medical expenses than healthy-weight people. The extra few pounds are considered a ‘gateway’ in the medical industry to serious diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and certain cancers. With all this in mind, wouldn’t you want to change your lifestyle? It’s never too late to lose weight, and the two major options on the market today each have their pros and cons. It comes down to two weight loss method contenders: weight loss surgery or diet and exercise. What works for some people won’t necessarily work for others, so knowing the facts of each is important before making a decision.
Three types of weight loss surgery with one result
There are three main types of weight loss surgery available in America today. The most common is the gastric bypass, which cuts a bit of the small intestine to bypass select parts of the digestive system. The reason gastric bypass is effective is due to the food having less ‘travel time’ to absorb calories. Gastric bypass is the only malabsorptive weight loss surgery, meaning it’s the only option that allows the body to take in the same quantity of food but not absorb all of it. The other two available weight loss surgeries are a gastric band and sleeve gastrectomy. The gastric band is so named because it’s an adjustable band fitted around the stomach. This forces you to consume less food. Sleeve gastrectomy is the same restrictive concept, but instead of a band this procedure involves cutting the stomach into a thinner ‘sleeve’. All three types help you lose weight… But at a risk.
Weight loss surgery and you: what to expect
Bariatric (weight loss) surgery is extremely effective at treating medical issues that stem from obesity. Serious concerns such as high blood pressure and diabetes show nearly-immediate improvement after weight loss surgery. This makes having a procedure done a great choice for a patient in urgent need of weight loss for health reasons, but not everyone qualifies. Patients who have a BMI over 35 are typically the only ones who qualify for bariatric surgery. This limitation presents a problem for the millions of Americans who aren’t quite that hefty but still dangerously overweight. For those who are approved to have weight loss surgery, they may find the battle to be more of an uphill struggle than they predicted. Malabsorptive and restrictive surgeries each require a lifestyle adjustment. In short, you’ll need to change your diet and exercise habits with or without surgery. Like any surgery, going under the knife to achieve a weight loss goal carries risks. Bleeding, poor reactions to anesthesia and even infection can occur.
A good diet and regular exercise provide long term solutions
Not everyone qualifies for weight loss surgery and even those who do need to adjust their lifestyle anyway. The good news is that diet and exercise offer a plethora of benefits on top of weight loss, so you won’t feel like you’re restricting. People who regularly exercise and have a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables report naturally higher energy levels and positivity. Beyond that, it’s completely safe (so long as a medical professional sign off on your weight loss plan!) with no potential complications such as excessive bleeding, a risk carried by weight loss surgery patients.
Even more benefits with exercise and diet
One of the best things about a healthy diet and exercise: it’s cheap! Weight loss surgery can be expensive but losing weight with a lifestyle change is cheaper than maintaining current habits. Healthy diets get a bad rap for being expensive, but a weight loss expert can help with making a plan which fits within your budget. Taking a walk in the park is free! The unfortunate thing is that many people give up too early when changing their lifestyle. Exercise and dieting are a long term solution, so people seeking immediate results won’t watch the weight fall off like they would with weight loss surgery (they will, however, notice immediately improved mood and self-esteem!). Good news: talking through the process of natural weight loss with an expert who can help you meal plan, set up a workout routine, and provide advice on how to stay healthy while losing weight will keep you on track. To start your weight loss journey today, contact Advanced Medical Weight Loss and Wellness Center.