Losing weight is a worthy goal, especially if your health is being impacted by the excess pounds you carry. According to recent statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics, approximately 70.7% of American adults are considered overweight, with 37.9% of those being further counted as obese, a condition generally defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30% or more. Whether you are classified as obese or just find yourself in the broader overweight range, finding a safe, non-surgical method of weight loss can make a real difference in both your overall health, and one of the following unique ideas might be just what you need to succeed.
Intermittent Fasting: Using Short Periods of Fasting to Spur Healthy Weight Loss
People have used fasting for a variety of reasons throughout history; choosing to abstain from eating to lose weight is a practice that is hardly new. However, in the past few years, a new version of fasting has emerged that has found favor with many people as a way to lose excess weight or stay with their current weight range. Called intermittent fasting, this method of weight control calls for adults to abstain from most foods for a few hours per day instead of having to do so for a longer period of several days or weeks.
Many people find intermittent fasting to be more comfortable than traditional diets, partially because they often find that going without food for a previously determined time frame is easier for them than restricting portion sizes or following a restrictive meal plan. Intermittent fasting can be done in a variety of ways, each of which can be modified to fit the faster's needs and lifestyle. Some common ways to do an intermittent fast include:
- eating normally for one day, then fasting for the next
- eating one large meal per day and fasting for at least 20 hours before eating again
- fasting one or two days per week and eating normally on the remaining days
- fasting for 14 to 16 hours per day and eating healthy foods during the remaining 8 to 10 hours of each day
Since fasting hours can include hours spent sleeping, many people find themselves better able to adhere to intermittent fasting than traditional diets, with which they must limit their food intake severely for weeks or months at a time. In addition to the potential for losing weight, intermittent fasting is also being studied for potential health benefits.
Weight-Loss Balloons: A Non-Surgical Substitute for Gastric Bypass Surgery
While there is no doubt that gastric bypass surgery has helped many people lose weight and improve their health, the fact that it is a surgical technique does expose patients to serious risks and complications should something go wrong during the procedure or the recovery. A new non-surgical weight-loss procedure, however, may make it possible for patients to see similar results to gastric bypass surgery with far less risk.
Weight-loss balloons, sometimes called gastric balloons, are inserted into the patient's stomach while deflated and then inflated to the approximate size of a grapefruit. Once in place and inflated, the weight-loss balloon occupies much of the available space for food in the stomach, forcing the patient to limit food intake. Because patients consume less food and therefore fewer calories, significant weight loss usually occurs.
In most cases, the weight-loss balloon is left in place for six months, after which the doctor deflates and removes it using non-surgical methods. Because they will be eating far less while the balloon is in place, patients also receive counseling to help them make better, more nutritious food choices that will help them continue to eat a healthy diet even after the weight-loss balloon is removed.
If you are serious about losing weight and becoming healthier, make an appointment with your health professional and ask them about these unique methods. They can help you make the best possible choice for your body, your health, and your life.