26 January, 2024

Alternatives To Weight Loss Pills

Many individuals who are trying to lose weight try to look for any way they can to make losing weight easier. This is understandable, and in theory, you are on the right track; however, buying weight loss pills at Walmart is probably not going to deliver the results you want.

Many individuals look for supplements or the best weight loss pills they can find, thinking that these will be some magic remedy that will help them shed pounds effortlessly. This could not be further from the truth!

Today, we are going to talk about weight loss supplements and why you should be wary of products claiming to be the best over-the-counter weight loss pills. There are safe, effective options that will help you lose weight and keep it off. In this blog post, we will share what these are, how they work, and where to find them.

Why You Should Think Twice About Using Over-the-Counter Supplements Or Weight Loss Pills For Men Or Women

When you are struggling with weight loss, it is easy to be enticed by all the claims you hear about such as “fast weight loss pills” or supplements that make all sorts of great-sounding promises.

In truth, most ingredients in weight loss pills or supplements have not been through enough scientific studies (if any) and do not have conclusive evidence to support the claims they make. The FDA is not authorized to approve these types of supplements or determine how safe or effective they are in the same way it regulates food and prescription drugs. Even though it is hard to believe, these can be marketed and sold without providing notice to the FDA.

So the bottom line is that just because the label says “natural weight loss pills,” that does not mean the ingredients are all-natural or that they have even been tested. When you purchase these products, there is no guarantee as to what you are getting, if it will work, or if it is even safe for you to take.

You should check with your doctor before you begin to take any type of supplement, especially if you are already on any type of routine medication, to avoid risking adverse side effects.

Working with a professional would provide many benefits to a weight loss patient because they would be able to determine the best procedure or combination of treatments for the patient based on their circumstances.

Many patients who try to lose weight on their own do not understand what they need to do to lose weight. Sure, they know they should eat less and exercise more, but it is not that simple. Research has proven that patients who have high BMI numbers are very unlikely to lose enough weight on their own to bring their BMI within normal levels. These patients require some sort of medical intervention to help them lose weight. Speaking to a weight loss doctor would be the first step in finding the best type of weight management tool.

An expert trained in obesity management understands the complexities of the disease and the complications that are associated with it. The patient would undergo a complete evaluation, and a plan would be designed based on the information gathered.

What Can Affect An Individual’s Weight Loss Options

The options that are available to a patient for weight loss will depend on many factors, including

BMI
A patient’s body mass index (BMI) is a calculated measurement used to diagnose obesity and determine whether a person is underweight, at a healthy weight, or overweight. To get a person’s BMI, you divide their weight (in kilograms) by the square of their height (in meters).

An individual’s BMI cannot accurately measure their percentage of body fat. Instead, it measures the individual’s weight about their height and provides a fast, easy, and inexpensive way of determining their risks for other diseases and conditions.

Other Conditions
Many times, individuals who suffer from obesity have underlying conditions that cause them to gain weight or inhibit their weight loss attempts. Identifying what these conditions are can help tailor a weight loss program for that person that addresses these issues and promotes successful weight loss.

These underlying issues can include genetics, hormones, emotional issues, medications, physical limitations, and stress levels. Sleep patterns, sedentary lifestyle, etc.

What Are The Alternatives To Diet Pills When Trying To Lose Weight?

Bariatric Surgery

Patients with BMIs in their mid- to upper-thirties and above may be candidates for bariatric surgery, which was previously the only option for treating obesity. Surgical procedures such as the gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, etc. provide patients with a substantial opportunity for weight loss. However, they come with the risks and complications of surgery and lengthy recovery times.

Non-Surgical Weight Loss Procedures

Science, medicine, and technology have made it possible to lose weight without surgery. This field of medicine called endobariatrics is a recent addition to the field of bariatrics, and is made up of endoscope-based procedures.

A flexible, hose-like endoscope is inserted down the patient’s throat, and the procedure takes place from the inside. The doctor can navigate the procedure with extreme precision thanks to the tiny camera attached to the endoscope, which transmits real-time video to a display located nearby.

There is no need for incisions or hospitalization, and patients can go home the same day to start their brief recovery process.

Non-surgical weight loss procedures are great for anyone, but especially the large percentage of patients with a BMI between 30 and 35 who would not qualify for bariatric surgery. These individuals are excellent candidates for endobariatric surgery, and they are also appropriate for patients who would be ineligible for a surgical procedure due to their health or for those who are afraid of surgery.

Prescription Medications

Another option is prescription weight loss medication; unlike weight loss pills or supplements, these prescription injections are approved by the FDA and have been proven safe and effective to use under the supervision of a trained doctor.

These weight loss medications were originally used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes but have now been approved for the treatment of obesity and weight management. Some of these medications include Saxenda (Liraglutide), Wegovy (Semiglutide), and Mounjaro (Tirzepatide).

These weight loss drugs are administered by either daily or weekly injection and can also be used alongside a non-surgical weight loss procedure to boost weight loss results. They are FDA-regulated and approved, so they are “known entities,” unlike weight loss pills from Walmart or other retailers.

Saxenda (Liraglutide)
It was approved by the FDA in 2017 to treat obesity after being used for years for diabetic patients as Victoza. The Saxenda injection is given under the skin once a day.
Wegovy (Semiglutide)
It was approved in 2021 by the FDA for weight loss patients after being used as Ozempic since 2017 for diabetes. Wegovy injections are given once a week under the skin.
Mounjaro (Tirzepatide)
It was approved in May 2022 for treating type 2 diabetes but it is expected to gain approval for weight loss very soon. The weight loss results of the patients who used Mounjaro in the clinical trials were greater than those of Saxenda or Wegovy.

These prescription weight-loss medications help to control blood sugar and mimic hormones that are naturally produced by the body. These hormones secrete insulin, send signals to the brain telling us we are full and also slow the rate at which our stomach digests food.

Prescription weight loss medications can be used together with a non-surgical weight loss procedure to offer patients boosted weight loss potential. A clinical study tracked patients who used the prescription medication Wegovy with the ESG procedure and the weight loss results proved significantly higher than using each therapy alone. (See chart A.)

What Are The Best Options For Non-Surgical Weight Loss Procedures?

The Orbera balloon and endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty are two excellent options to help patients with weight loss. Both procedures can deliver substantial weight loss results without making any permanent surgical alterations to the patient’s digestive system.

Weight Loss Balloon

The Orbera balloon is a medical device made from silicone that looks like a balloon when it is inflated. It is inserted into a patient’s stomach using an endoscope while it is flat and then filled with sterile saline solution until it takes up a large portion of usable stomach space.

The balloon is used in conjunction with a year-long comprehensive, supervised program that works with patients and helps them change their unhealthy behaviors into healthier daily lifestyle choices that promote sustained weight loss.

The balloon remains in the patient’s stomach for a temporary period of six months and is then removed, but the patient will continue to follow their comprehensive program for the remaining six-month period.

Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG)

ESG is another incision-free weight loss procedure that is performed from inside the stomach with the use of an endoscope. During the procedure, the doctor manipulates the patient’s stomach and changes its size and shape. It is made significantly smaller and shaped into a banana-shaped tube and then sutured in place.

ESG reduces the size of the patient’s stomach so they cannot eat very much at one sitting and they feel satisfied longer, which helps promote weight loss that rivals that of bariatric gastric sleeve surgery.

The shape and size of the patient’s stomach after endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty are very similar to the results of gastric sleeve surgery, but it is accomplished without cutting and permanently removing a portion of the patient’s stomach. ESG can be reversed if necessary.

Non-Surgical Weight Loss Procedures vs. Prescription Weight Loss Medication

Comparison Of Excess Weight Loss Averages In 12 Months

Method Of Weight LossWeight Loss Average
The Orbera Weight Loss Balloon30-35% EWL
Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG)55-65% EWL
Saxenda Injections7-8% TWL
Wegovy Injections18-20% TWL
Mounjaro Injections14-21% TWL
Wegovy Injections + ESG together86% EWL

Explanation Of Weight Loss Terms Above

%EWL = The % of weight a patient needs to lose to reach their goal weight. The patients’ current weight – patient’s goal weight = excess body weight (or the amount they need to lose)

%TWL = The % of total body weight they lose benchmarked against their starting weight

If you have been struggling with your weight and are ready to get the help you need and deserve, contact us today to learn more about the most effective non-surgical weight loss methods. Don’t try to navigate a weight loss journey alone unprepared. The experts at Simmons MD Advanced Weight Loss Solutions know how challenging losing a significant amount of weight can be and are here to help.

We also understand the complexities of weight loss and offer solutions and strategies for overcoming them and achieving success in reaching your goals. Set up an appointment with one of our knowledgeable professionals today and find out which weight loss method would be best for you.

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