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Medical Weight Loss or Surgery: Which Option is Right For You?

There are a number of ways to lose weight. Some are healthier than others, and some are also more successful than others. For people who are committed to weight loss but not completely sure where to start, there are programs that can help them and procedures they can undergo if they aren’t able to lose weight on their own.

One of the most popular options for weight loss is bariatric surgery, but there are medical weight loss choices that are based around diet, exercise, and even medications as opposed to surgery. You and your doctor can work together to decide which is right for you.

How Does Medical Weight Loss Work?

Medical weight loss works by undertaking your weight loss journey with medical supervision. That includes your diet and your exercise, and may also involve medications in some cases.

When you work with a doctor on medical weight loss, your diet is very carefully controlled. You’ll work with a nutritionist so you can better understand what you can and can’t eat, what really constitutes a portion size, and whether there are foods that can be made more healthy that you can still enjoy.

A lot of people feel like they have to give up much of what they like, but there are often healthy alternatives that really do taste great. In most cases you’ll also have pre-packaged meal replacement plans and behavior therapy, at least at the beginning of your journey.

What Does Bariatric Surgery Involve?

If medical weight loss isn’t the right option for you, bariatric surgery may be the best choice to help you lose weight. With surgery, you’ll have the size of your stomach reduced. Depending on the procedure, the length of your small intestine may also be adjusted so that you don’t absorb as many calories as you did in the past.

There are four basic kinds of bariatric surgery, and your doctor can help you decide whether you’re a candidate for any or all of the procedures. Once you have the surgery you’ll have a controlled diet for the rest of your life, along with vitamin and mineral supplementation and routine follow-up appointments.

Making the Right Choice For You

Working with your doctor is very important when you’re trying to decide whether medical weight loss or bariatric surgery would be the better choice. Some people do very well with medical weight loss, and others struggle once the program ends.

They may have a hard time adjusting to eating regular food instead of meal replacements, or controlling cravings or portion sizes. There can be problems after surgery, as well, and not all patients recover as quickly as others. However, both options can be very viable alternatives for you if you need to lose weight.

It all comes down to talking with your doctor and making an informed decision as to the best way for you to successfully lose weight and be able to keep it off for the long term.