Success by Sesame: Medically-backed weight loss prescriptions & treatment
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What is weight management?
Weight management is the ongoing process of attaining and maintaining a desired weight. Weight management brings together diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes to help you achieve your desired weight - which is often determined in consultation with a doctor or clinician. Nutritionists play a critical role in weight management, working with you to create meal plans that keep you satisfied and fit.
Not sure where to begin in your weight loss journey? Connect on Sesame with a real, quality doctor in who can assess your weight loss needs and craft a weight management plan that works for you.
What does weight management involve?
Weight management uses several different methods to keep your weight within your target range. Here are a few strategies your doctor will recommend you consider to maintain your ideal weight:
Exercise: When it comes to staying on the right side of the energy balance, exercise if your friend. Your body burns calories to summon the energy needed to propel your walk, run, bike ride, or yoga session, helping ensure you expend more calories than you consume. Not sure where to start with exercise? Connect with your doctor about ways to get outside and start moving.
Diet: Diet is the other end of the weight management equation. When seeking to lose weight, it is critical that you begin to integrate healthy, nutritious foods into your everyday diet. Connect on Sesame with a quality nutritionist who can work with you to create a meal plan that meets your needs and keeps you satisfied.
Lifestyle Changes: Diet and exercise alone are not sufficient to keep your weight in check. Health is driven by a combination of factors that include not only diet and exercise, but also mental health, abstention from smoking, limited alcohol consumption, and more.
Who might benefit from weight loss medications?
The best treatment for weight loss is always eating less and moving more.
However, if your current weight is causing health problems, your healthcare provider may suggest the use of a prescription weight loss medication. Doctors will usually only prescribe them if your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher (27 or higher if it's accompanied by weight-related medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes). Before you get a weight loss drug prescription, make sure you talk to your doctor about your medical history. This includes any allergies or other conditions that you may have, medicines or supplements that you're currently taking, and whether you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or are planning to get pregnant soon.
What are the best options for weight loss?
Your best option for weight loss is to find sustainable lifestyle changes that you can implement and stick with long-term. Healthy eating, physical activity, and stress management techniques can provide great results. Even in cases that require more extreme methods, these will still be foundational in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
There may be some who require a little extra help achieving their weight loss goals. In these cases, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional to discuss options that might be best for you. Some of those options include:
Doctor-supervised very-low-calorie diet: These diets involve drinking a liquid nutritional formula of about 500 to 800 calories each day for the first few months, before slowly reintroducing healthy solid foods while working with a counselor to modify your behaviors so you can keep the weight off. One of the great benefits of this form of dieting is rapid weight loss (5-10+ pounds per week) which can be motivating.
Surgery: When other obesity treatments and weight loss programs have failed, you may consider undergoing bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgeries, such as gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries, involve making changes to the digestive system to restrict the number of calories a person can consume and digest.
If you're struggling with your weight and don't know where to start, let Sesame help! We offer in-person and telehealth weight consultations at savings of up to 60%. Meet with a doctor from the convenience of your own home and get started on your wellness journey today!
What weight loss drugs are available?
There are four weight-loss drugs currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for long term use:
Liraglutide (Saxenda): Also used to manage diabetes, Liraglutide is generally administered via injection. Similar to a natural hormone in your body (incretin), Liraglutide works by controlling your appetite.
Bupropion-naltrexone (Contrave): This combination drug is often used to treat alcohol and opioid dependence. It can also be used to help you quit smoking or as an antidepressant. It works by affecting change in the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that controls appetite and your body's metabolic functions.
Orlistat (Xenical): Orlistat works by blocking your body from absorbing approximately a third of the fat you eat. Doctors often prescribe Orlistat under the name "Xenical" (it's the same drug, just named differently). Alli is available as a non-prescription version at half the dose of Xenical.
What are the risks and possible side effects of weight-loss medication?
If a doctor has prescribed the use of a weight-loss medication, it is because they have deemed that the benefits outweigh the potential side effects. Still, it is important to be aware of the possible risks associated with the medication. Side effects will vary depending on the type of medication and the user, but a broad scope of possible side effects includes nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, headaches, increased heart rate, trouble sleeping, sweating, and more.
What is energy balance?
Energy balance is the guiding principle behind weight management.
Energy balance describes the difference between the number of calories you consume and burn over a given day. If you want to do a little math, you can break this down into a simple equation: Energy Balance = (Calories you ate today) - (calories you burned today).
There are three outcomes from the energy balance:
- Your weight remains unchanged: This happens when calories eaten = calories burned. It makes sense - if you burn the same amount of energy you take in, you'll end up with no net change, and your weight will stay the same. This is the equilibrium you will want to achieve once you have hit your desired weight.
- You lose weight: This happens when you burn more calories than you eat. When you expend more than you take it, you're left with a calorie deficit, meaning you've lost weight.
- You gain weight: If you eat more calories than you burn (e.g. you consume 2500 calories on Monday but only burned off 800), then you will gain weight. When it comes to weight management, you should strive to avoid this scenario.
Is seeing a nutritionist worth it?
Yes! Nutritionists provide services that can help you establish an effective weight loss program and take the guesswork out of meal planning, helping you meet your dietary requirements and live a healthier life. They can help to combat obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and can help you recognize and work around food intolerances or sensitivities.
If you're ready to improve your eating habits, but don't know exactly where to start, Sesame can help! We can connect you directly with top-rated nutritionists in at affordable cash pay prices. Sesame works with nutritionists who set their prices directly on the site, getting you quality care for affordable prices. Save up to 60% on your nutrition consult by booking through Sesame.
What is intensive behavioral therapy for obesity?
One treatment option for obesity is intensive behavioral therapy (IBT). This type of therapy focuses on teaching patients how to change their eating and exercise habits for sustainable weight management. IBT varies depending on the program in which you're enrolled. This therapy generally involves:
1) Focusing on small, realistic changes.
2) Screening for depression, which often complements obesity.
3) Self-monitoring. This is a key part of the therapy. You may be required to keep a food and fitness journal for a few weeks or even a few months to get a clear picture of where you can improve.
4) Learning healthy habits. Learning about nutrition, stress reduction techniques, how to identify and overcome weight loss obstacles, and more.
Can intensive behavioral therapy be used to treat obesity?
One common treatment option for obesity is intensive behavioral therapy (IBT). This type of therapy focuses on teaching patients how to change their eating and exercise habits to more sustainably manage their weight. IBT involves many components that may vary depending on the program you're enrolled in. In general, though, your IBT to include:
- Making and celebrating small, realistic changes.
- Screening for depression. Obesity often goes hand in hand with mental health issues, including depression.
- Self-monitoring. This is a key part of the therapy in which you may be asked to keep a food and fitness journal for a few weeks, or even a few months, to get a clear picture of where you can improve.
- Learning healthy habits. Learning about nutrition, stress reduction techniques, how to identify and overcome weight loss obstacles, and more.
What is a weight loss surgery?
Weight loss surgeries are collectively known as bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery is used to help patients that may be at high risk of potentially life-threatening weight-related health problems such as heart disease, stroke, severe sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and more to lose weight. Generally, patients are considered good candidates for bariatric surgery if they have a BMI of 40 or higher or a BMI in the 35-39.9 range accompanied by a serious weight-related health problem.
These procedures can be potentially life-saving to individuals who are exceptionally obese, though it is not without its dangers. Gastrointestinal surgeries, for example, have a death rate of approximately 1%, while as many as 20% of people may need additional surgery to mend complications. Additionally, because the surgery disrupts the absorption of key nutrients, roughly 30% of people develop nutritional deficiencies, such as anemia and osteoporosis. Despite the severity of the risks, weight loss surgery remains a good option for patients who may otherwise be high risk or suffering from serious weight-related conditions.