Weight Loss Alternatives for East Tennesseans

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Are you one of the tens of thousands of Americans who made it their new year's resolution to lose weight?

If you're not losing one to two pounds a week through diet and exercise, you're probably starting to consider other options.

We're covering East Tennessee health tonight with local medical opinion of weight loss drugs.

How much they help, and can they hurt?

Clinically proven to help you lose weight without being hungry or working out for hours at the gym!

You've seen the ads promising successful weight loss, but do they really deliver results?

Most medical experts agree there's no such thing as a quick fix or magic bullet when it comes to losing weight.

UT Medical Center Registered Dietitian Leah Kittle says weight loss medications can help you lose weight, "Now, Alli is effective, though, if it is consumed as part of a weight loss plan. You want to do a low fat diet, rich in fiber, use Alli and that can help you along."

Effective weight loss is slow and gradual.

Anywhere from one-half to two pounds per week.

Weight loss medications can be modestly effective, and enhance weight loss by eight to ten percent, but they are not to be confused with over the counter dietary supplements, which do not undergo the same type of FDA approval process.

Kittle says, "It's essentially speed, and it can cause some problems with heartbeat and irregularities of your heartbeat, so there's some danger to it."

The weight loss remedies that line drug store shelves promise everything from reduced appetite to increased metabolism, but usually deliver side effects, instead, such as insomnia, increased blood pressure, irritability and nervousness.

Kittle says most fall into the category of, if they sound too good to be true, they probably are, "I don't know of any success stories. I know of a lot of people who've lost a lot of weight just working with an rd and a trainer."

Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian before buying supplements.

They may be able to help you to lose weight the old-fashioned way.

Before prescribing drugs, your doctor will look at whether you're eating a variety of healthy food, controlling portion sizes, using strategies to monitor and plan your meals, following reasonable calorie goals and exercising.

If the traditional approach to weight loss isn't working, drugs may be an option.


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