Losing weight is a terrible thing. Really, it is!
It takes willpower and constantly reminding ourselves that we need to do things contrary to what our body wants us to do. Just like an itch that we cannot reach, hunger grows on us every hour, every minute, every second, till we give in. So losing weight seems impossible for some people. The more we try to starve, the more we seem to put on.
So how do some people do it successfully? Through much hardship and suffering, I suppose. Here is where my concept defers from some other doctors. I feel that short-term weight loss medications can help most people, even when books tell us that recommendations for medications are only for people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of above 30.
Why do I believe so? Well, while many people are not aware, achieving sustained weight loss is generally divided into two phases.
Phase one is the active weight loss phase. This is generally the most painful phase. This is the phase whereby one has to eat far less than one needs or exercise far more than one used to do. Losing weight is as simple as that. Take in less calories or use up more calories through exercise.
This initial phase of active weight loss is where I feel that short-term medications are important and can take the pain out of initial weight loss. Reducing hunger when one needs to eat far less than one needs takes the pain out of the initial phase of weight loss. Rapid weight loss is a great motivator and motivation can lead people to do great things and to do seemingly impossible things!
Then comes phase two: maintenance of weight loss. This is the phase where most people are uncomfortable with. In this phase, one can eat more compared to phase one because one only needs to balance the calories eaten to the calories used. So naturally to maintain weight, one is able to eat more than in phase one and yet achieve the goal of maintaining the weight loss.
Being able to eat more and actually eating more makes many people who have lost weight feel very uncomfortable.
They feel that it should not be the case and that they are losing ground in the battle against their weight. This is not the case.
Patients who has achieved the desired weight should stop or tail down their medications simply because it is not needed so much any more. There is no need to have an ultra-low calorie diet. The seemingly impossible has been done. One is now motivated and is armed with tools learned along the way to keep the weight off.
This is what I think of weight loss medications. The time is now, let’s get great things done!
By Dr. Terence Tan