Weight Loss – What Are Your Real Options?

by Sylvia Fredericks
(San Antonio, Texas, USA)

Losing weight can be a difficult process, and sometimes it helps just to know what your options are. Although the tried-and-tested method of eating less and exercising more is probably the most common, there are some more modern alternatives that can be less painful – as long as you are prepared to accept the risks. Here’s a handy guide to some of the most common weight loss methods:

Dieting and exercise

Quite simply, this means reducing your calorie intake at the same time as you are increasing the number of calories you burn through in an average day. Over time, your body will begin to use up its fat reserves to compensate for the difference, leading to gradual loss of weight.

There are a great many diets out there to try – some less tested and proven than others – and in general, it’s best to stick to the conventional wisdom of reducing your fat intake by eating less meat and dairy and more fruit and vegetables. While it’s true that some people have experienced success with some of the faddier methods, such as theAtkins diet (which advocates a radically protein-rich approach), these should be treated with caution – you should always consult your doctor before making significant changes to your diet.

Diet pills

Diet pills work by suppressing the appetite and increasing the body’s metabolism as well as altering the body’s ability to absorb specific nutrients, like fat. Some diet pills, like alli, are designed to support a broader weight loss programme, essentially acting as a “helper” to a weight loss programme. You do not need a prescription for most of these pills – they are easily available online through suppliers like LloydsPharmacy – but as with any drug, it is a good idea to get advice from a medical professional before you take them.


This is probably the most radical weight loss solution out there, and while it is certainly effective in many cases, the cost of a surgical procedure alone makes it prohibitively expensive. Some of the most common surgical weight loss treatments are liposuction, where the fat is removed from the body with suction tubes, and gastric bypass surgery, which involves surgically reducing the volume of the stomach. Advances in technology means these treatments are safer today than they have ever been, but usually they will only be recommended by doctors in extreme cases.

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Updated: January 14, 2014 — 7:18 pm

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