Conventional medicine seems to be relatively stumped in effectively getting their patients to lose weight sustainably. You can trace the cause of this failure to the lack of nutrition education in most medical schools and their emphasis on acute illness as compared to chronic and preventative care.
The primary method that conventional doctors have at their disposal for weight loss are stimulant drugs. Stimulant drugs such as methamphetamines and phentermine work by speeding up metabolism and making people feel less hungry. While this may sound like an attractive option, keep in mind that this approach is not addressing underlying causes of weight gain and that the weight gain is likely to return once you stop taking the stimulant. Also, these stimulants have side effects and may promote some weight loss…but they do not promote health!
Other medical weight loss programs may include HCG, which is a hormone that a woman’s body releases during pregnancy. It is thought that HCG helps to increase fat utilization, but the truth is, HCG diets are paired with a 500 calorie per day diet, which is essentially a starvation diet. Research has shown that it is the 500 a day calorie diet that causes people to drop weight on HCG diets, and HCG does not make a significant difference. Plus, it goes without saying that a starvation diet is not sustainable or healthy.
To sustainably achieve weight loss, a person has to change their diets, exercise regularly, manage stress, and address the underlying reasons why they are overeating calories (hint, often, this is mental-emotional based!). Keep in mind that there are medical reasons why someone may gain weight and have difficulty losing weight, such as hypothyroidism, depression, and other concerns. In these cases, treating the underlying condition is essential for losing weight and feeling better.