If you have been watching the news lately you have probably heard about the new weight loss drugs that are about to hit the market after they finish with the FDA red tape. The media and manufactures would have you believe that because the FDA has approved the new drugs (Qnexa & Contrave) that they are a safe and effective way to lose weight. If you remember back a year a so ago it was all over the media that Alli got FDA approval and was the solution to cutting fat out of your diet. I'm not going to bore you to death with all the medical mumbo jumbo about why these drugs are not the answer to your problems as that is being done to death by plenty of others who typically bring up all the side effects, increased risks, and deaths attributed. What I would really like to discuss is why weight loss drugs are not a solution to obesity.
You see the reality is that it really doesn't make a difference if the weight loss drugs are safe, have no side effects, or show positive results in clinical trials they still don't address the real problem. In order to lose weight and be healthy you have to live a healthy life style and be cautious of what you eat. Taking a pill 3 times a day doesn't counteract the fact that you have a fast food value meal for lunch everyday consuming 1500+ calories of processed crap. Weight loss drugs are nothing more than a band-aid on a major laceration. I have the same problem with gastric bypass surgery where somebody goes and has their stomach tied up so they are forced to eat smaller meals so that their stomachs don't explode. This is just another example of treating the symptoms instead of the problem.
If you really want to lose weight then forget about the weight loss drugs, they are not going to help you really change anyways. Weight loss is really simply eating less and exercising more for a continued period of time. For example, I used to be obese at 310 pounds (I'm 6'3”). I decided that I wanted to lose weight and be healthier so I made life changes and over the course of a year I lost 100 pounds. When you look at my weight loss it averaged out to about 1-2 pounds a week which is what all the experts recommend as a safe and maintainable weight loss. When you are obese looking at a 2 pound weight loss for a week is not very motivating but if you keep with it you will see big changes over time. In the grand scheme of things it is pretty quick and the journey is more important than the destination anyways.
I didn't use any weight loss drugs, special supplements, ab contraption from late night television, or special diet program. I lost 100 pounds in a year by simply changing my habits.
Lose 20 Pounds, Maybe More: Control what you are eating a little better. If you eat fast food for lunch every day then knock it off and start packing a sensible lunch instead. If you drink lots of soda then switch to water. If you eat a whole pizza by yourself then start sharing it with someone. It really doesn't take much to make a big difference and trim off the first 20-30 pounds. I still ate what I wanted I just ate less of it. At this point you should be taking note of how many calories you are really consuming. If you can bring yourself to write it down or log in an online journal or tracking system that is even better.
Losing 40 pounds or more: You are going to have to exercise. By now you should have lost a considerable amount of weight and noticed your weight starting to level out. You have hit a plateau and your diet is fairly reasonable. Now pick some form of exercise that you will actually do 3-5 times a week. Don't rush out and buy P90x or some other super program and give up after 2 weeks, just pick something you enjoy doing and do it. Start walking, play basketball, lift weights, go hiking, or whatever. The options are limitless just move your body more than you used to and keep watching your diet.
After you have went from obese to fat to healthy things get a little more tricky. Now you might want to keep detailed records of your calorie intake, up the intensity of your workouts, or try something like P90x. If you are struggling on the last 5 pounds then a weight loss drug might trim those extra calories for you. I would still avoid them and just up the exercise or drop the calories as that is 100% guaranteed to work.