Is a Prescription to Weight Loss Right for You?

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Weight loss is a struggle for many people, and although we know that consistent diet and exercise works, it can be a long hard road to a healthy weight.   For those who are obese or morbidly obese, that is a BMI of 27 or higher, your physician may prescribe a weight loss pill to help you reach a healthy weight.  At first glance, this might seem like a godsend, but may not be promoting the right attitude towards proper diet and exercise.

The reality is, a pill will never be able to replace the biological and psychological effect the right diet and exercise has on us. Many people don’t pay close attention to their diet and focus very little energy on real physical activity. Keeping nutrition aside, exercise has a profound effect on the body, even in just 20 minutes. Exercise has many benefits far beyond weight control. Being active can improve your sleep cycle, strengthen your bones, improve sex life, boost immune system, elevate cognitive function and focus as well as actually fight chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.  A pill cannot do this for you.

Some underlying conditions may affect your journey to weight loss, or may make it harder for you to be active enough to have an impact.  For these special cases, or to boost the weight loss effects of diet and exercise, doctors may prescribe weight loss drugs.  The most common prescription weight loss drugs are orlistat, Belviq, Contrave, Saxenda, phentermine, and Qsymia.  There are a lot of factors that go into the prescription of these drugs like medical history, allergies, and other drug interactions.  People need to understand that it is not a “quick fix” to a new and healthy them.  Pills may be a positive solution for those who are physically unable to exercise. But that is a small group overall.  In short, a diet pill will never be able to substitute for the effects of physical exercise and clean eating.

Exercise recommendations state that adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that only 1 in 5 people meet these guidelines.  Clearly prevention is a major problem in America. The hope is that physicians, whether they are prescribing weight loss drugs or not, are also emphasizing the need for a good diet and exercise plan.  This will help those struggling to manage their weight form positive daily patterns that they can follow long term.  The good news is that running, jogging or even walking outside for 20 minutes improves your health in a ton of ways, helping keep you healthy and stave off chronic diseases.  Diet pills under the supervision of a doctor might offer a quick fix to jumpstart your weight loss journey, but they should not be looked at as the overall solution in changing your life.