Les wrote: »
Indeed, the first step is to see a physician. Although the vast majority overweight/obese people don't have any disorder causing the obesity itself, obesity per se is often associated with various disease like dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, fatty liver, and diabetes. Therefore, a workup should be done to see if there are such problems.
The cornerstone of weight loss is always lifestyle change, particularly diet and exercise. There are many kinds of weight loss diets but none have been proven to be superior to each other. Rather than focus on a particular one, the goal is always a caloric deficit. In other words, the energy content of the food eaten per day must be LESS than the energy requirement of the person. That's why foods rich in fats and carbohydrates are the ones reduced in weight loss diets. The effect of diet is augmented by exercise. Note however that exercise alone is generally less effective than a hypocaloric diet, meaning that if a person persists in maintaining his dietary habits while just adding exercise, minimal weight loss will occur.
Aside from a doctor, a nutritionist will help a person achieve weight loss by planning out a dietary regimen. In addition, weight loss will NEVER occur if a person isn't willing to sacrifice. For example, a bag of potato chips is delicious but it contains both fat and carbohydrate; same for pastries, ice cream etc. -- all are calorie-dense foods. It takes sustained discipline to achieve weight loss; the common phenomenon of "yo-yo dieting" is because people fail to in this regard and go back to their unhealthy eating habits.
Lastly, weight loss medications aren't very effective. Most commonly, any weight loss achieved using medications is lost once it's stopped. This underscores the fact that lifestyle change wasn't likely achieved in the first place and the patient was just relying on the drugs to do the "dirty work."