In today's society, being overweight is more common than not -- and with widespread efforts to reduce the shame and stigma associated with excess weight, it is now easier for many to find body acceptance than ever before. However, if carrying more than a few pounds of extra weight is beginning to slow you down (whether through aching, painful joints, or medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure), you may be looking for a long-term way to shed these pounds for good. What are your best diet and exercise assistance options to help you lose a more significant amount of weight and improve your health?
For those who need to lose a large amount of weight quickly:
Fortunately, advances in surgical technology mean that there are now several effective procedures designed to promote permanent, significant weight loss and help you maintain a lower weight for the rest of your life. The most drastic option, gastric bypass, involves the removal of a portion of your stomach and small intestine so that you absorb less fat from the foods you eat. Combining this decreased absorption with a smaller stomach size can result in quick weight loss -- however, those who receive this surgery may be required to take a daily multivitamin to help compensate for a diminished ability to absorb vitamins from the food they eat.
For those who need to control diabetes:
Another surgical option especially effective for those with diabetes or blood sugar issues is duodenal switch surgery. This is similar to gastric bypass, but involves the use of the small intestine to create a "loop" from your stomach to the rest of your small intestine, helping your food digest more slowly. This prevents blood sugar spikes while reducing your appetite and ability to eat large quantities of food.
For those who need a less permanent solution:
There are also banding surgeries that serve as an alternative to gastric bypass or duodenal switch surgeries. Banding surgeries use a small rubberized band to block off a portion of your stomach to prevent you from overeating. You'll feel full much more quickly and will also be incentivized to choose healthier meal options that will leave you feeling satisfied longer. As these smaller portions become an integral part of your lifestyle, you'll be able to revisit your surgeon to have the band loosened or even removed -- unlike gastric bypass or duodenal switch surgeries, which permanently alter the size and structure of your digestive system. However, depending on your weight loss goals, you may find that several follow-up surgeries to adjust the band size are required before your weight becomes stable.
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