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Non-surgical weight loss: Your guide to the most effective options

What you need to know about surgical and non-surgical weight loss procedures.

Non-Surgical Weight Loss: Your Guide to the Most Effective Options | Juniper

There are many ways people approach weight loss and treatments that include surgical intervention have been popular for a number of years. But, there are a few things to know about it before you make your decision.

Surgical weight loss treatment has become a popular method for shedding excess weight but tried and true non-surgical weight loss can help you achieve your ideal body weight just the same.

Whether it's getting on top of your eating habits and making sure you stick to a healthy diet or making sure you exercise regularly, you're on the right path to your weight loss journey.

We get it: sometimes no matter how much exercise you do or how much you reduce your calories, there often seems to be stubborn fat that remains.

So if you're looking for a little helping hand on your journey, we've compiled a comprehensive list of everything you need to know about surgical and non-surgical weight loss procedures and methods so that you can find the right path for you.

What factors influence weight loss?

If you're on a weight loss journey and finding it tricky to drop those extra pounds, it's common to start thinking about why you're holding on to that extra weight even when it feels like you're doing everything right.

But did you know there are a whole host of factors influencing your weight beyond diet and exercise programs?

Losing weight depends on several factors working together. Here are some important things to consider:

  • Calories: Here's one you probably already know, to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. When you consistently consume fewer calories, your body starts using stored fat for energy, leading to weight loss [1].
  • Healthy eating: Eating whole foods like fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains can help with weight loss [2]. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and foods high in added sugars and unhealthy fats.
  • Exercise: Regular physical activity helps you burn calories and build muscle. Both cardio exercises like running and strength training exercises like weightlifting are beneficial for weight loss.
  • Metabolism: Your metabolic rate, influenced by factors like age, genetics, and body composition, affects how your body burns calories. While it has a small impact on weight loss, building muscle through exercise can help boost metabolism [3].
  • Lifestyle choices: Portion sizes, meal planning, stress levels, sleep patterns [4], and sticking to a routine all play a role in weight loss.
  • Medical conditions and medications: Some medical conditions and medications can make weight loss more difficult. If you have any health conditions or take medications, consult a healthcare professional for personalised advice.
  • Hormone levels: Hormones can impact weight loss through appetite control, metabolism, and fat storage. Hormonal imbalances or changes, such as leptin, ghrelin, insulin, thyroid hormones, and cortisol, can affect these processes [5].
  • Emotions and mental well-being: Emotional eating and stress can affect weight loss. Managing stress, addressing emotional factors, and finding healthy ways to cope is important [6].

How much weight you lose and how quickly you achieve this weight loss is also impacted by your starting weight. This journey will take time, so make sure you're consistent and focused on your overall well-being.

Remember, weight loss is a complex process, and everyone is different. It's always a good idea to seek guidance from a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised support on your weight loss journey.

What are the most common ways to approach weight loss?

If you're looking to lose weight, there are key approaches to consider. Firstly, eating a low-calorie diet aided by mindful eating and portion control is crucial.

Focus on a balanced diet that includes whole foods and minimises processed options. Finally, combining regular exercise with lifestyle changes like meal planning and stress management enhances weight loss efforts.

But sometimes, that can feel like it's just not shaking those extra pounds. That's why it's becoming increasingly popular to turn to certain surgical procedures that aid weight loss such as gastric balloon and endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty.

It's also increasingly common to use weight loss medications, such as Wegovy, as these medications can help you lose weight and maintain your ideal weight, without the need for surgical intervention.

What are the eligibility requirements for weight loss surgery?

To be eligible for weight loss surgery in the UK, there are certain requirements you need to meet. These include [7]:

  • Body mass index (BMI): You will generally need to have a BMI of 40 or more. Alternatively, if your BMI is between 35 and 40 and you have an obesity-related condition like type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure that could improve with weight loss, you may also be considered eligible for weight loss surgery.
  • Previous weight loss attempts: You should have made attempts to lose weight through other methods like dieting and exercise but haven't been successful in achieving significant or sustainable weight loss.
  • Long-term commitment: It's important to know that your weight loss journey won't end after surgery. You must be willing to commit to long-term follow-up after the surgery. This includes making healthy lifestyle changes and attending regular check-ups to ensure your progress and overall health.
  • Fitness and health: You should be fit and healthy enough to undergo the surgery, as determined by medical assessments.

It's important to note that eligibility criteria for weight loss surgery on the NHS can vary in different parts of England, so it's advisable to consult with your GP to understand the specific criteria in your area.

Additionally, while bariatric surgery is available privately, it can be costly. If you meet the NHS criteria, your GP can refer you to the Bariatric Service, where your suitability for surgery will be assessed.

What is the least invasive weight loss surgery?

There are some less invasive options for weight loss surgery, that can give you that extra helping hand with your weight loss efforts; let's explore.

Gastric balloon

This weight loss procedure is quite gentle and doesn't require any incisions. They place a deflated balloon into your stomach and then fill it with saline to make you feel fuller and satisfied with smaller portions [8].

Gastric sleeve

This surgery involves removing a portion of your stomach through a small incision using a technique called laparoscopy. It also includes removing the part of the stomach that produces hunger hormones, which can help decrease your appetite [9].

Gastric band

In this procedure, they place a band around your stomach, creating a smaller pouch. It's done using a minimally invasive technique called laparoscopy. The band can be adjusted later through a small port under your skin, which helps control your food intake and reduce your appetite [10].

These options are considered less invasive because they don't involve extensive incisions or rerouting of the intestines and minimise possible complications. It's important to remember that the suitability of these procedures varies for everyone, so it's best to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable option for you.

What are effective options for non-surgical weight loss?

Non-surgical weight loss procedures can be highly effective. Start by adopting a healthy eating plan with balanced nutrition and portion control. Engaging in regular physical activity, including both cardiovascular exercises and strength training, can help you achieve and maintain and healthy weight.

Plus modifying behaviours, such as practising mindful eating and seeking support from weight loss programs, might just give you that extra little push you need to start dropping the pounds.

Consulting healthcare professionals can provide personalised guidance, ensuring safe and effective weight loss strategies tailored to your needs. By combining these approaches, you can achieve sustainable results and improve your overall well-being.

Feel like you need an extra helping hand shedding some pounds, but are looking for something more holistic than surgery? Juniper’s Weight Reset Programme provides comprehensive weight loss support, from prescription medication to dietitians, to connecting you with a community of like-minded women.

With plans tailored just for you, Juniper can help you lose weight for good.