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San Marcos, CA

Weight Loss Treatment in Encinitas, CA

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Weight Loss Treatments

When it comes to weight loss, there is an abundance of methods available, but many of them prove to be ineffective and provide only short-term results, particularly for individuals dealing with morbid obesity. Among those who are morbidly obese, less than 5 percent are successful in achieving significant and sustained weight loss through non-surgical programs, which typically involve a combination of dieting, behavior modification therapy, and exercise.

However, it is possible to lose weight without resorting to surgery, especially with the guidance of a certified healthcare professional who can develop a safe and effective weight-loss program. It's important to note that most health insurance providers do not cover weight-loss surgery unless significant efforts have been made to lose weight using non-surgical approaches.

Many individuals find success through a combination of the following treatments:

  1. Dietary Modification: Many people have tried various diets and have experienced the frustrating cycle of weight gain and loss, commonly known as "yo-yo" dieting. This pattern can pose significant health risks and strain on vital organs such as the heart and kidneys. Research indicates that 90 percent of individuals participating in any diet program regain the weight within two years. For those who undergo weight-loss surgery, adherence to a proper diet is essential for maintaining weight loss post-surgery. It is advisable to work with a healthcare professional who can customize a diet plan that restricts caloric intake while ensuring adequate nutrition. Calorie-restrictive diets generally fall into two categories: low-calorie diets (LCDs), which are individually planned to include 500 to 1,000 calories fewer than you burn, and very low-calorie diets (VLCDs), which typically limit intake to 400 to 800 calories per day and consist of high-protein, low-fat liquids.
  2. Behavior Modification: The aim of behavior modification therapy is to modify eating and exercise habits to facilitate weight loss. This may involve setting realistic short-term and long-term weight loss goals, keeping a journal to track dietary and exercise patterns, identifying and avoiding high-risk situations, rewarding positive behaviors (e.g., extended exercise duration or reduced consumption of specific foods), adopting rational beliefs about weight loss and body image, establishing a support network (including family, friends, and support groups), and more. While some individuals may achieve success through behavior modification, it is common for most people to experience only short-term weight loss in the first year. For individuals planning to undergo weight-loss surgery, behavior modification and dieting are crucial for long-term weight management.
  3. Exercise: Incorporating exercise significantly increases the chances of long-term weight loss, especially for those considering weight-loss surgery. Studies show that reducing calorie intake can cause the body to lower its metabolism, making it resistant to weight loss. However, daily exercise can help accelerate the metabolism, effectively lowering the "set point" in the brain that regulates weight gain or loss. Starting an exercise program may be challenging for individuals dealing with morbid obesity, as physical exertion can be difficult due to health conditions. However, strategies can be employed to gradually introduce exercise into daily routines, such as parking farther away and walking, reducing television time, using an exercise bike, swimming, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and brisk walking for short intervals in the morning and evening.
  4. Medications: Various over-the-counter and prescription weight-loss medications are available. These drugs can help suppress appetite for some individuals. Studies indicate that individuals using weight-loss medications typically lose around 10 percent of their excess weight, with weight loss plateauing after six to eight months. However, weight gain often occurs once the medication is discontinued. FDA-approved weight-loss medications include Beta-methyl-phenylethylamine (Fastin), which is a fat metabolism stimulant, Orlistat (Xenical/Alli), which blocks approximately 30 percent of dietary fat absorption, Phentermine (an appetite suppressant), and Sibutramine (Meridia), an approved long-term appetite suppressant. Weight-loss medications are an important component of the morbid obesity treatment process, but they can have serious side effects. It is essential to consult a licensed healthcare professional to determine the appropriate medication. Most insurance companies require a well-documented treatment plan, including medications, before approving weight-loss surgery.
  5. Surgery: For individuals who are morbidly obese and have struggled to lose weight or maintain weight loss, bariatric surgery or weight-loss surgery may be a viable option. Bariatric surgery involves reducing the size of the stomach, limiting the amount of food one can consume, and can be an effective method for achieving and sustaining weight loss. To be considered for weight-loss surgery, individuals generally need to meet certain criteria, such as being more than 100 pounds over their recommended body weight or having a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher. In some cases, surgery may be considered for individuals with a BMI as low as 35 if there is a medical necessity for weight reduction and surgery is the only viable option. To be approved for surgery, individuals must undergo a thorough medical and psychological evaluation and demonstrate a commitment to long-term follow-up care. Surgeons typically require individuals to display serious motivation and a clear understanding of the extensive dietary, exercise, and medical guidelines that must be followed post-surgery. Different bariatric procedures carry varying risks and benefits, and during the initial consultation, the surgeon will provide detailed information on available options.

For more information about Dr. Stengler's practice and the clinic in Encinitas, California, please visit our website at or contact us at (760) 274-2377.

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