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You’ve seen endless fad diets that come in and out of popularity year after year. The catch is, while many of these diets do work, they’re often so restrictive that they’re hard to sustain over a lifetime.

So how can you really lose weight for good?

If you have a BMI over 30 or for other health reasons, are in need of more effective weight loss options, these 7 methods of dropping the pounds are worth considering. Fad diet not included.

1. Consult With a Professional

For almost every single method of weight-loss, consulting with your family doctor first is best. For individuals with severe obesity, even adding in moderate exercise to help with weight loss may be good to bring up.

Bodies that are not used to exerting themselves, or that have other weight-related complications can react differently to any change in your personal habits.

Just to be safe, always talk with your doctor before starting any diet, routine, medication, or another extreme weight-loss method.

2. Appetite Suppressants

In recent years, several appetite suppressants have become FDA approved to help those who are in need of serious weight loss. Most of these drugs work to inhibit the brain’s receptors so that your brain believes you are full before you have a chance to overindulge.

Some of these medicines are taken right before a meal to help, in conjunction with your brain chemistry, to suppress your appetite.

Of course, just like any other medication, there may be side effects.

Because appetite suppressants affect your brain chemistry, the side effects are related. Most common side effects include sleepiness, but you could also experience palpitations, irritability, and severe headaches.

Again, consulting with your doctor, who has an understanding of your health history and the effects of such medicines on your body, is a wise first step.

3. Move More-Every Step Counts

Regardless of what method you find works for you, it should always be accompanied by an active lifestyle. This, along with a healthy balanced diet is quite simply the only way to maintain a good weight.

For some, hitting the gym or becoming a CrossFit fanatic may not be as realistic to start. Don’t sweat it. (Well, not literally).

When it comes to weight loss, every step counts. You can make monumental strides in your weight loss goals by adding in small bits of additional movement every day.

Consider doing things like:

  • Parking far away at the grocery store and walking a few extra yards.
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Walking or biking to work or errands around town.
  • Wearing a pedometer to keep track of just how much you move each day.
  • Add in some squats or lunges while you’re vacuuming the house.

You can get pretty creative about how you add movement to your daily routine. The point is, get moving.

Not only does exercise help you shed pounds, but it helps to change your body’s hormones and chemistry. This, in turn, makes your body more readily able to maintain a healthy weight once you get there.

4. Keep a Food Journal

“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.” –Thomas S. Monson

Ask any business expert, self-help guru, or your mom, when you write goals down you are more likely to succeed in them.

Because of this fact, keeping a food journal is an excellent way to make yourself accountable for what you eat every day and how much.

Another helpful tip may be to write your eating habits down and post them in a place where someone else can see them.

This can be your spouse, significant other, roommate, friend, or again, your mom. Just having to think about what you are eating and how many servings will make you more aware of what you are putting into your body. This leads to more self-control and better choices.

5. Gastric Balloon

For some, there gets a point where food journals and walking just aren’t cutting it. This is when professional help may be needed. Since 2015, three different intragastric balloons have been approved by the FDA.

This procedure is recommended for people with a BMI between 30 and 40. Knowing these facts and others will help you know if this procedure is right for you.

Side effects may include nausea and vomiting. While the rate of weight loss following the procedure is historically high, there are still some potential risks to research.

Genetics, lifestyle, hormones, and other factors can simply make weight loss a serious challenge for some.

This does not make you a failure. It simply means that seeking professional help may be the most effective way for you to reach a happier and healthier place.

6. An Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty

Also known as the “accordion procedure” an endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is another effective option for serious weight-loss. Again, this is only recommended for people with a BMI of 30 or more.

This procedure entails receiving stitches in the stomach to change its shape. This results in fewer calories absorbed with each meal.

Without insurance coverage, this procedure can be costly. According to medical professors at Weill Medicine,  the procedure has been known to reduce body fat by up to 15% within 2 years following the procedure.

7. Find Like-Minded People

There’s a popular idea out there that you tend to be an “average” of the 5 people you spend the most time with. You take on their ideas, habits, and even mannerisms.

Think about it, the people you surround yourself with influence what you discuss, think about and do. If a healthy lifestyle is important to you, it’s worth evaluating the habits and ideals of those you spend time with.

That’s not to say you need to cut out friends who aren’t as healthy or “fit” as you’d like to be. It simply means that finding friends who enjoy an active, healthy, lifestyle will motivate you to do the same.

Not only that, but you’ll have friends to enjoy a delicious spinach salad or morning hike with.

Weight Loss Options: Which Is Best for Me?

At the end of the day, weight loss options are endless. However, the basics of healthy living remain the same. Exercise regularly and eat right.

When needed, consult with a physician to see if there’s more that can assist you in safe weight-loss measures.

For more ideas on healthy living, browse the self-improvement portion of our blog.

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