If you are struggling with a weight problem, you should know that even a moderate decrease in your weight results in a significant increase in your health. This was clearly shown in the Nurses Health Study, in which more than 115,000 nurses were followed for more than sixteen years. In this study, the risk of death was 60 to 70 percent higher among those nurses who had a BMI between 29 and 32, compared to those with a BMI between 25 and 27. This is a very good reason to start trying to lose at least some weight right now and to learn how to keep it off.
As anyone who has ever dieted knows, dieting does not work, and more than 95 percent of the people who go on a rapid-weight-loss diet regain the lost weight in less than two years. Depriving yourself of food simply tells your body you are starving, and it will then do everything it can to fight this weight loss, including metabolizing what calories you do eat less rapidly, decreasing your body temperature, increasing your appetite, and programming your tissues to store fat at an increased rate once you start eating regularly again (which almost every dieter eventually does). In addition, some studies have shown that dieting in this way is actually harmful to your health.
True weight control requires a lifestyle change, which means losing weight slowly over time (so your body does not think you are starving), regular exercise (which is very important in burning and storing calories in a beneficial way and in controlling appetite), and choosing the right combination of foods for your body.
There are always going to be overweight people who will try to lose pounds this way but will fail, either because of their lack of willpower or an abnormal physiology.. For those individuals, the possibility of using medications to help lose weight should be discussed with their doctor. Some of these drugs may be harmful to certain people, and many readers may be aware of the serious heart and lung side effects that have occurred in some users of fen-phen, a combination of the prescription appetite-suppressing drugs fenfluramine and phentermine, which resulted in the removal of fenfluramine from the United States market by FDA in 1997.
However, there are dugs other than fenfluramine which can be tried in weight management. Be sure to have your doctor clearly explain the risks of any drugs she might prescribe, weighed against the significant health benefits of shedding excessive pounds.