As America suffers through an unprecedented epidemic of obesity, so many people are seeking weight loss solutions. And for as long as people have been trying to lose weight, there have been scammers, faith healers, diet pills, and other schemes to take advantage of them. Only in the past decade have medical weight loss programs gone mainstream, giving would-be dieters a safe and healthy option for shedding excess weight.
Yet there is still a lot of misinformation out there about weight loss, even among the patients at our Louisville weight loss clinic. New treatments are being tested all the time, while over-the-counter options remain popular among people who have not yet discovered the benefits of medical weight loss. It’s an exciting time for the field, but you should always be skeptical whenever someone makes big claims about a new treatment.
So what are some of the top questions about the future of weight loss?
Question: Does losing weight reduce the risk of cancer?
The truth is that we hope so, but no one knows for sure. To help answer this important question, the first major trial to see how weight loss affects cancer risk is about to start right here in the United States (with a little help from Canada). The researchers behind the trial believe that losing weight could help women cut the risk of breast cancer by a fifth or more.
To test that theory, 3,200 women will participate in the trial. What we do know for sure is that obesity greatly increases the risks of a number of health problems, including heart disease and breast cancer.
Dr Jennifer Ligibel of the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute recently told the BBC: “We have known now for many years that women who are overweight or obese and are diagnosed with breast cancer have a higher risk of their cancer recurring and ultimately dying.”
Question: Is Botox the Next Weight Loss Treatment?
Short answer: no.
But at a conference in San Diego this May, researchers presented evidence that Botox could help weight loss patients fight hunger and thus lose weight. However, the study was extremely small, with a sample size of just 20 people. Not only that, but previous studies have shown Botox was not effective for this purpose. One day Botox injections might be a helpful tool for medical weight loss programs, but not anytime soon.
Question: How do I keep the weight off in the long run?
This is the big question, and always will be. There’s no magic solution. The only proven way to keep weight off is a combination of a healthy diet and exercise (under the supervision of medical professionals). We won’t lie to you; keeping weight off is hard work. Our Louisville weight loss experts believe you have to burn at least 3,500 calories to lose just one pound of fat. And in order to lose one pound a week, which is considered a sustainable weight loss rate, you’d need to achieve a 500 calorie deficit every day through both diet and exercise.
According to one study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, among those who successfully keep weight off, 50% continued to count calories and measure fat intake after achieving their weight loss goals.
If you’re interested in losing weight in 2016, then don’t turn to over-the-counter solutions. Talk to a doctor or contact our Louisville weight loss clinic about safe ways to lose weight.