I am having trouble losing weight. I tend to yo-yo on the weight thing. I have tried Weight-Watchers and Nutri Systems, but I get so hungry I eventually binge and end up back where I started. What are options for me besides surgery? I am female and 40 years old. I am 5' 4'' and weigh 260 pounds. I have no other medical problems. I have had a recent complete physical including a thyroid check. I'm healthy but fat! What to do?
Thanks Cynthia for your question. There are as many ways to approach weight loss these days as there are people trying to lose weight. Weight Watchers and Nutri-System are great programs, but when it comes down to the essentials it takes two things to lose weight: good diet and regular exercise. The reason that most diets fail is because there is (believe it or not) too much self-reliance or (worse) reliance on friends to be a support structure for continued success.
You've done a good job by getting a primary physician to see you and get some routine lab work. However, the usual amount of time your primary provider has to devote to you (especially if you are an established patient) is going to be about 15 minutes. In my practice, I have found that it takes about 30-45minutes of time just to get a good history from the patient to make a plan about any further diagnostic testing or a treatment plan.
If you are ok physically, then you need to get a strong team together to help you succeed. A physician or other provider can often be a good source for accountability by following up at regular intervals. A dietitian can help you get on the right track instead of trying to wade through a sea of diet books and philosophies. Lastly, a good personal trainer can often be your best cheerleader. You might even consider a psychologist or psychiatrist if you think that there are issues that may be hindering your success.
Sometimes weight loss medication can help get you from the bad habits to the good habits. I often tell my patients that weight loss medication can help you lose weight even if you sit on the cough, but they are BETTER used as a means of helping you make a transition to a healthier lifestyle. Otherwise, they will be a miserable failure.
I would recommend that you seek the guidance of a physician who practices "bariatric medicine" (notice that I didn't say "bariatric surgeon"). If you look on the website for the American Society of Bariatric Medicine for a listing of physicians in your area that specialize in this expertise, then you may find the perfect partner in your weight loss goal. The website is www.asbp.org. Good luck to you!!! _DOC2