When taken as part of a healthy lifestyle plan, Orlistat (Xenical brand) prescription weight loss medication helps you to lose weight. Prescribed weight loss capsules, work by absorbing fats in your digestive system; the excess fat is then excreted from the body. Other tablets, such as the XLS -Medical Fat Binder, readily bind with dietary fat creating a fat fibre complex. This then becomes too large for the body to absorb in the small intestine and is similarly excreted from the body.
Combined with regular exercise and a healthy diet, prescription weight loss pills help to stimulate an average weight loss of 5-10% of total body weight within a year. This amount of weight loss can also help to drastically improve blood pressure levels, blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity.
You can find the Top 12 tips for losing weight on this NHS Choices page
Have you made some recent lifestyle changes? Perhaps you’ve started exercising a bit more, snacking a bit less and having an overall slightly healthier outlook on life. However, when you step on the scales, your efforts are not quite realised.
Theoretically it should be easy. Balance your calories in so they amount less to your calories out. In practice this is not often the case. The main reason is that people usually don’t have an accurate idea of the actual amount of food they eat in a day and its calorific value. This brings us to the first tip for sustainable weight loss…
It’s important to log what you are eating. Men need around 2500 calories a day and women 2000 calories to maintain their weight. So, to lose weight, you need to consume less than this. On average, a calorie reduction of 500 calories per day should lead to 1 pound of weight loss. There are many apps which allow you to do this, but it involves careful weighing and logging of everything you eat.
It is also good practice to log your exercise. Most smart phones and watches will track your steps per day, every movement counts!
It helps to take a small portion to begin with, and if not full after this try to fill up on lower calorie foods such as vegetables. Often eating from a smaller plate can help and be more visually satisfying to the individual.
People who drink on average 1-2 glasses of water before meals have been shown to lose more weight than those that don’t. This is because often, we mistake hunger for thirst. The water also fills the stomach, making it easier to achieve satiety.
Studies suggest that sleeping for less than 5 hours a night can be associated with weight gain. This is because of the effect of sleep deprivation on the hormones Leptin, Ghrelin and Insulin. Leptin is a hormone that’s released from fat cells, its presence signals to the brain that you are full, whilst Ghrelin does the opposite and suggests hunger. There is an association between reduced sleep, increased Ghrelin levels and reduced Leptin levels which may lead to weight gain or poor progress with weight reducing goals.
Insulin is involved with blood sugar regulation and increased levels cause sugar to be stored as fat. Lack of sleep can reduce the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which leads to vicious cycle of further increasing Insulin levels causing further fat storage…. and so the cycle continues….
Not paying attention to what we are eating can be a consequence of today’s fast paced, hectic lifestyle. Being constantly on the go means that we don’t take time to register, let alone savour our food. Here are a few steps towards mindful eating.
a) Sit down, preferably at a table for meals. Allowing all your senses to be fully engaged will increase satisfaction and your enjoyment of the food.
b) Eat slowly; take your time to savour the meal. This will allow more time for the satiety signals to reach your brain and prevent over-eating.
c) Avoid distractions; try not to eat while watching tv or looking at your mobile phone.
d) Make considered food choices; opt for nourishing foods that will sustain you for longer amounts of time.
Chocolate bars, cakes, cookies are obviously full of sugar and are unhealthy options. But so are refined carbohydrates such as white rice, white bread, and pasta. ‘Refined’ refers to the fact they are processed so that very little fibre and nutrients remain. The carbohydrates are broken down into sugar, subsequently being released quickly into the blood. This provides an almost instant gratification but can lead to hunger feelings just one hour after consumption, resulting in over-eating and weight gain.
Absolutely not. There are three types of carbohydrates; starches, fibre and sugar. Consumption of the latter in excess amounts will undoubtedly lead to weight gain. Starches are complex carbohydrates that take longer for the body to break down, producing slow-release energy that keeps you feeling fuller for longer. They also contain essential vitamins and minerals. Legumes, such as lentils and chickpeas, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains such as brown rice, wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, and oats are all examples.
Fibre is a complex carbohydrate essential for gut health, helping to regulate blood sugar and lowering cholesterol. It cannot be digested in the small intestine, so this can contribute to a feeling of fullness. All the previously mentioned foods are high in fibre, with the addition of nuts and seeds.
Protein can regulate appetite hormones to help people feel full. This is mostly due to a decrease in the hunger hormone ghrelin and a rise in the satiety hormones peptide YY, GLP-1, and cholecystokinin.
Studies in adolescents have shown that increased protein intake, particularly at in the morning leads to an increase in perceived satiety and increases levels of peptide YY.
Increased levels of stress can cause weight gain for a few reasons. One is ‘stress eating’. Try to be more mindful of this and find stress relief in other ways such as meditation, going for a walk or even a just a long overdue chat with a friend.
Chronically elevated stress levels also lead to a rise in the hormone cortisol, which acts to increase blood sugar levels, the excess sugar is ultimately stored as fat due to the action of insulin.
The answer is anything and everything. Walking running and cycling are excellent forms of aerobic exercise. Walking 10,000 steps a day will in one week burn approximately 2000 extra calories.
If you can’t devote that sort of time, keep your workouts short and tough with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This uses short bursts of intense activity and is effective in burning fat and building muscle. Weight training also increases muscle mass, and as muscles burns energy faster than fat this boosts metabolism.
The best type of diet is one that produces sustainable weight loss and doesn’t restrict your lifestyle too much.
A very low-calorie diet of <850 calories per day for 3-5 months has been shown in the ‘DIRECT’ scientific study to result in a weight loss of 15kg or more in more than half the patients, and a remission of diabetes in over half. However, these patients were closely monitored and supervised throughout the trial.
You should seek medical advice before embarking on any extreme form of dieting.
One diet is certainly not suitable for all. For example, the ‘Keto ‘diet allows almost unrestricted intake of ‘healthy fats’ which could consequentially lead to rises in Cholesterol. This diet certainly would not be suitable for some one with heart disease.
These can be prescribed for weight loss if diet and exercise have failed to produce results. Orlistat is the only one licensed for use in the UK. It can be prescribed in individuals with a BMI >30, or those with a BMI>28 and other risk factors such as high blood pressure. It works by preventing the absorption of fats from the gut. These pass out with the stools which as a result can be a bit fatty in appearance, float and have an unpleasant odour.
It should be used in conjunction with a low-calorie diet and results should be evaluated after 3 months of treatment.
XLS Medical Fat Binder contains the active ingredient Litramine. This is a natural fibre complex derived from the species of cactus Opuntia ficus-indica, originating from Mexico. It has been part of the human diet for centuries in these regions, due to its reported beneficial effects on health. Studies have shown that consumption of Liramine has resulted in more fat being excreted in the stools as well as reduction in weight and body fat composition.
Now you may be thinking, that’s a lot of information to digest and even with the best of intentions, losing weight can be just so…… difficult? Tedious? Call it what you want but it’s certainly not easy!
Here are just a few reasons why its worth the effort. Being overweight increases your risk of heart disease, liver disease, high blood pressure and cancers such as endometrial cancer, oesophageal cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer to name just a few. By losing weight you are reducing your risk of developing these conditions. Obesity also puts more stress on the joints and can affect sleep and energy levels, so you can also expect better sleep, healthier joints, and more energy if you shed those pounds.
To find out more about sustainable weight loss, please visit the NHS weight loss plan website.
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