Losing weight and keeping it off really is difficult for many of us. In fact, studies show that when it comes to people who are medically categorized as ‘obese’, there’s only a 5% chance of getting down to a normal BMI and keeping it there for five years or more. For a naturally thin person looking in on this situation, it might be easy to assume that this is a result of simply not trying hard enough, but in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are so many reasons why people carry excess weight, and these can range from using food as a coping mechanism to a lack of education, financial barriers to healthy food options, and a wide range of mental and physical health conditions. In some instances these conditions can prevent people from being as active as they need to be, in other cases, it can be a result of increased appetite or lowered metabolism. Unfortunately, some people have the odds stacked against them when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight due to a range of factors coming into play, which is why simple yet well-meaning advice like ‘eat less and move more’ isn’t always helpful.
We all know the risks of carrying excess weight. It increases the risk of developing diabetes, many different kinds of cancers, stroke, and sleep apnea, it can worsen mental health conditions and generally affect all areas of life. But despite this, some of us still struggle to reach or maintain a healthy weight for our bodies. Thankfully, the way medical science and doctors view obesity is starting to change. Instead of being seen as a lifestyle choice, it’s being treated as the medical condition that it is- and that means it can be treated with medicine.
If you’re struggling with your weight, there are safe and effective options these days that you can take (unlike the unsafe and often illegal diet pills and supplements of the past). These are fully tested and approved medications and supplements that work in different ways to help you eat better and take control of your diet. Read on to find out more.
These are a group of medications that act on the ‘hunger hormone’ that drives you to eat. By suppressing this hormone, most users of this type of medication report that the ‘food noise’ that they’re so used to dramatically reduces. ‘Food noise’ is a term to describe the ongoing thoughts of food that people who struggle with their appetite have- lots of people think about food all day even when they’re not hungry and this can make traditional diets really difficult to stick to. With appetite and thoughts about food suppressed, it makes it much easier to eat less and lose weight in a way that’s sustainable. When you lose weight without having to feel hungry, you’re unlikely to binge or end up stuck in a yo-yo dieting cycle of binging and restricting due to hunger. GLP1 medications include Saxenda, Wegovy, Mountjaro, and Ozempic, they are taken by giving yourself a small injection into an area of fat on your stomach, arms, or legs, and depending on the medication this will be once a day or once a week. Side effects include nausea, headaches, and gastro problems in the short term although they do tend to resolve quickly once your body gets used to them.
Gastrointestinal Lipase Inhibitors
This type of medication works by blocking an enzyme called lipase in your stomach and intestines. Lipase is responsible for breaking down fats in the food you eat, so when this enzyme is blocked, your body can’t absorb all the fat from your food. This can then help you to reduce the calories you take in. One well-known gastrointestinal lipase inhibitor medication is called Orlistat, it also goes by the name Xenical. These are prescription medications, although you can get an over-the-counter version which isn’t as strong, called Alli. When you take this kind of medication with your meals, it prevents some of the fats you eat from being digested and absorbed by your body, so the fat passes through your digestive system and is eliminated in your bowel movements.
As with GLP1 medications, anorectics suppress your appetite making you feel full quicker and for longer making weight loss easier. The way that they work is slightly different, with anorectics working on the brain’s appetite control center. One popular type of medication in this category is Phentermine, this has slightly stimulating effects too meaning you have more energy to be active as well as being able to eat less without feeling hungry.
Herbal Medications and Supplements
Herbal medications can contain everything from cayenne pepper to green tea, theobromine anhydrous (derived from cocoa), olive leaf extract, raspberry ketones, and more. These are all ingredients that are found or derived from ingredients found in nature and have been shown to have beneficial properties when it comes to reducing appetite, boosting metabolism, and improving weight loss. While they won’t be as powerful as prescribed medications, they’re gentle on the body and safe providing you purchase from a safe and reputable seller. They can give your diet and exercise regime a boost and improve your results so are well worth a try. You could look specifically for diet pills for men if you want to cut some fat and improve your gains at the gym, or look in a local health food store.
Speak to your GP, while you might have to pay privately for these types of medications they can still give you advice based on your specific health needs and give you recommendations about which is likely to be best for you. In the near future, many of these types of drugs are likely to be widely prescribed as medical professionals’ attitudes shift in the way that obesity should be treated.