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Keeping Weight Off: The Struggle and the Good News

Losing weight is hard, and keeping the weight off can be even more difficult. However, the benefits of losing even just a small amount of weight can be incredibly beneficial to your health. In fact, research has shown that you can decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus by 50% by losing just 5% of your body weight. Unfortunately, one of the most difficult aspects of weight loss is keeping the weight off permanently. But there is good news! Research shows that anti-obesity medications can help keep weight off.

Keeping weight off is one of the most challenging factors to maintaining one’s health. In fact, our bodies often seem to be biologically programmed to want to gain back the weight we’ve lost. In other words, if you are having trouble keeping weight off, it is not your fault! When we put on excess weight, our bodies adapt to maintain the new extra body weight. So, when we gain weight, the body actually signals for us to eat more and exercise less in order to maintain the weight we’ve put on. This makes losing weight extremely difficult and keeping it off even harder. Our brain signals are actively working to tell us to put the weight back on. As one study wrote, “much as a thermostat adjusts to maintain a set temperature, metabolic processes shift to maintain a set weight.”

The good news is there are medications that can prevent our bodies from sending us the wrong signals. Weight loss medications halt signals that can falsely tell us we need to eat more. Drug therapy for obesity is widely underutilized in the US, but it could be a critically important tool for weight loss and recent guidelines from the Endocrine Society in 2015 included an added emphasis on using anti-obesity medications. While many are advocating for more widespread use of anti-obesity medications, it is always prudent to be vigilant over their safety. Thus, it is important to use them under the supervision of a doctor. If safe and effective, anti-obesity medication could be a long-term solution for many who might otherwise struggle to keep weight off.

The most successful medical approach to treating patients with obesity combines behavioral coaching as a basis therapy with the addition of anti-obesity medications. This is why Oregon Medical Weight Loss can be such an important program to help you lose weight and to keep the weight off permanently. Because Oregon Medical Weight Loss is run by certified doctors and practitioners, we can effectively use the most effective and medically indicated strategies that combine both behavioral techniques as well as anti-obesity medications to ensure you have the highest chance of success!

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