Intense workouts and mega-diets don’t work for everyone… so what are the alternatives for shifting some serious weight?
What’s top of your New Year Resolution hit list? For many it’s all about health and weight loss – a third of Brits say they aim to start fighting the flab in January. But what if regular dieting and fitness training isn’t enough? Losing weight has never been a bigger health issue with half of all women and 60 per cent of men officially classed as overweight or obese. We asked experts at Spire Little Aston about the alternatives if regular workouts at the gym and the latest crash ‘miracle’ diets just aren’t working. The first option is bariatric surgery – a weight loss solution for people who are overweight, providing significant weight loss for those with high BMIs and associated medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. For patients with a BMI of between 27 and 35 a gastric balloon can be inserted under sedation, while those with a BMI of more than 35 can opt for a gastric band or gastric bypass.
Minimally invasive techniques mean most patients make a rapid recovery, getting back to normal life quickly. But patients need to commit to long-term changes in lifestyle. “Often the best group of people to benefit from this type of surgery are yo-yo dieters – those who lose weight but cannot keep it off,” said consultant bariatric surgeon Amir Khan. For many patients, losing weight is just half of the story – excess skin can affect self-confidence and mental wellbeing. Cosmetic procedures such as a tummy tuck, thigh and arm lift and face lift can often complete a body transformation. For patients with a BMI of 28 or above, medicines designed to stop fat being absorbed and supress appetite could help. These need to be combined with a diet low in sugar and saturated fat and increased activity levels. “Most patients have tried dieting and lifestyle approaches and found that this is only limited in its success.” said Dr Andrew Hartland. “This is where weight loss medication can break yo-yo dieting cycles and keep weight off in the long term.”
FIT OR FAT?
Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) by dividing your weight in kilos by your height in metres. In adults, a BMI of 25 to 29.9 means you are overweight. If that figure is above 30 you are obese.
Exercise is important in weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but it needn’t be expensive or time-consuming. Here’s six no-fuss tips to help you workout at home.
- Write down your short and long-term goals to create a permanent and motivational weight loss plan.
- Buy some home exercise equipment – a set of free weights, resistance bands, exercise ball and workout mat are good options that store easily.
- Lift hand weights or run in place while you watch television. Do squats and lunges while you brush your teeth or comb your hair.
- Move around more through the day – walk while you’re talking on the phone, take up gardening, ride your bike to work. All little steps that burn calories and promote an active lifestyle that aids in permanent weight loss.
- Eat foods from all of the food groups. Include fruit, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy and whole grains
- Keep an exercise journal. Before a workout, record your weight and the time of day. After each home workout, record the length of your session and the intensity.