It has been reported that overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions throughout the world and that overweight and obesity are major contributors to chronic disease and disability globally. In this article I am going to focus on the concern that I hear from many people who are obese or overweight and have tried and failed at diet and exercise programs. The concern is how to lose weight without diet or exercise. I will describe two methods that have achieved varying degrees of success, and the positive and negative aspects of these methods. It is hoped that you will be able to make a wise decision regarding the method you choose.

Since you will come across the terms overweight and obesity frequently let me define these terms. Overweight is defined as a body-mass index of 25 to 29.9 and obesity is a body-mass index greater than 30. Body-mass index is determined by your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in Meters.

The first method to lose weight is the use of diet drugs. There are two types of actions of prescription drugs used for weight loss and obesity in the United States. These are appetite suppressant medications, and medications that reduce nutrient absorption. Appetite suppressants make you feel full and so you eat less. This is achieved by modifying brain chemicals that affect your mood and your appetite. The drugs that reduce nutrient absorption really does just that; they reduces the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the food we eat.

An example of an appetite suppressant drug is Sibutramine. This drug has been approved for long term use which means that it has been approved for use only up to one year. There are side effects, as there are with all drugs, and for this drug the side effects are increased blood pressure and heart rate. Another example of an appetite suppressant that has been approved for an even shorter term use is Phentermine that has been approved for just up to 12 weeks. The side effects also include increased blood pressure and heart rate but in addition, sleeplessness and nervousness. Some weight reduction drugs have had to be withdrawn in the US because the side effects were sever to the point of being life threatening.

You should note also that a drug that has been withdrawn in the US may still be in use in other parts of the world. An example of this is the combined treatment using Fenfluramine and Phentermine. This combination, commonly known as fen/phen, is no longer available since fenfluramine was withdrawn because some people experienced serious lung and heart disorders after using this drug combination.
It is extremely important that if you are considering the use of drugs for weight reduction that may require long term use, that you have thorough discussions with your health care provider and to consider how the side effects would affect you.

I will now deal with the use of herbal weight loss methods. Many people are demanding a more natural way to lose weight by using herbs. These products are in general much safer than drugs and may be used for longer term without the side effects of drugs. Some examples of herbs that have been effective in bringing about significant weight loss include green tea, hawthorn, and supplements containing apple cider vinegar as the main ingredient. The research on the effectiveness of herbs is not as intense as in the case of drugs and so you will need investigate each and seek testimonials from others who have used a particular herb.

You may begin your weight loss quest immediately without fear of failure because drugs and herbs are available that will help you to lose weight. You must be aware however of the possibility of side effects that you may experience while using some drugs and the time duration limitations that are recommended for the safe use of drugs.