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Video

Dr Christian:

On the Embarrassing Bodies website I’ve noticed that hundreds of you are leaving comments about your weight. You’re worried about your weight and you don’t know how to go about losing it. Well the truth is everyone has a different technique that’s going to work better for them but there are some key tips. The first one is not to do it too quickly; crash diets will not work and will make you put on more weight afterwards, so slowly and surely is the best way. About two pounds weight loss a week is ideal.

The next thing to tell you is that it is easier than you think. Don’t cut out all your favourite foods because you’ll miss them, simply cut down. Small changes are really the key. Cutting down on high calorie foods, over time, will actually make a big difference and you’ll see good results.

I’ve got a message here from someone who needs to lose around 7 stone in weight but is worried about being left with a lot of excess skin. In fact we’ve had a number of cases on the show of exactly that. Excess skin is a very real problem in people who have suffered from obesity and sometimes it can be hard to avoid. The best way to do so is not to become obese in the first place and certainly not to put any more weight on if you’re already overweight. To try and avoid excess skin as much as possible it is crucial that you lose weight slowly. Around one or two pounds a week is ideal, too rapidly and you almost certainly will be left with excess skin.

A lot of you have been asking about diet pills, whether you should get them and whether they’re effective. Well I’d divide them into two classes. Prescription diet pills, of which there’s one main one, which you can get from your GP, it can be very effective but it does have significant side effects. The other class is all the other ones that you can buy on the internet or get them from over the counter in health shops. The truth is that many of these have never been tried or tested, pills bought on the internet often contain dangerous substances and there is no evidence that they work whatsoever. Use them at your peril.

A number of you are asking whether hypnosis might be useful to help you lose weight. Well hypnosis can be extremely effective with weight loss and there are various techniques available. It’s important that you realise it doesn’t work for everyone however, and some people are just not that responsive to hypnosis. If you do decide to go ahead make sure you choose your hypnotherapist carefully.

A lot of you are leaving messages saying that you don’t understand why you’re overweight. You’re not sure what’s causing it. Well there is a very simple truth. It is usually lifestyle that causes weight problems; it is very rare that we doctors actually find an underlying medical problem that’s causing the obesity. Having said that there are all sorts of reasons why we behave the way that we do. Mindless eating, eating out of boredom, eating because we’re sitting watching television and not thinking about what we’re eating is very commonly seen in obese people, as is emotional eating, eating to try and heal a hurt, to heal a wound. Do have a think about what drives you to eat. How are you feeling when you eat? What’s it doing for you? Getting in touch with why you eat the way you do is key to changing things. Ask yourself two questions: How am I feeling and what do I need? How am I feeling means am I actually really hungry or am I just feeling down and depressed? And what do I need? What do I need means do I need food? Probably not, or do I actually need a hug, a phone call, a walk or a distraction? Ask yourself those two questions, work out the answers to those and they’re a really good first step to losing weight.

A few of you have been asking whether obesity and depression can be linked and the short answer is yes they can. Depressed people can eat more due to emotional eating self-esteem issues. If you’re worried that you might be depressed do go and have a chat with your GP because treating your depression can also treat your obesity.

A lot of you are asking whether gastric bands would be useful for you to help you lose weight. Gastric band is just one of a variety of different operations called bariatric surgeries to help with weight loss. They all basically work by reducing the size of the stomach and so reducing the amount of food that you can eat and absorb. The truth is they can be extremely effective but require an awful lot of before and after care, and will dramatically change life for you, particularly in the amounts and what foods you can eat. They are certainly not an easy option.

A few of you have written in complaining that you’ve had bariatric surgery, mainly gastric bands, and they’re no longer working, you’re putting on weight. Well it is true that if you carry on eating in the same way, or increasing the size of the meals that you’re eating, you can undo all of the good work of the surgery. You can expand your gastric band or you can increase the size of your stomach again. It is possible to reverse it so do bear that in mind. If you are putting on weight after having had bariatric surgery do go back and see your GP or the surgeon who performed the surgery for you to try and work out why.

If you’re unsure whether you are a healthy weight for your height go and have a look at My HealthChecker where you’ll some simple tests to work out your BMI and your body fat. These tests do have their limitations but can be a useful starting point and you’ll find them on the Embarrassing Bodies website.

Read the video transcript

Doctor Responses: Obesity

In this video, Dr Christian answers some of the most commonly asked questions about weight loss, dieting and obesity. Most of the questions were submitted by Embarrassing Bodies viewers on our obesity and morbid obesity condition guides.

If you’re worried that you may be obese then you should consider taking the BMI and body fat tests within My Healthchecker.

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Iv got lose fat after having 4 baby all grown up now but can't get rid of it I fill very inbarresd about it tried ever think it like a big flap hanging down





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HI, I AM A 53 YEAR OLD MAN. OM THE 29th OF MAY 2013 I HAD A MINOR STROKE AND I WAS TREATED AND FULLY RECOVERED AFTER 6 MONTHS. NOW MY PROBLEM IS THAT I GAINED WEIGHT FROM 72KG TO 84KG.I DON'T KNOW THE CAUSE WHETHER IS LOOSING MY JOB OR THE MEDICATION.I'VE TRIED EXERSIZING, CYCLING STILL NOT LOOSING. MY MEDS ARE ATORVASTATIN 20MG NIGHTLY, CLOPIDOGREL 75MG DAILY, AMLODIPINE 5MG DAILY. I WAS JUST LIVING A NORMAL LIFE WITH NO TABLETS UP UNTIL. HELP PLEASE AND I DO NOT MIND TO COME ON THE SHOW.





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Hello there, i have struggled with my weight all my life, but have always managed it with diet and exercise more or less....i yoyoed, but never too much and was always able to get back to my more or less desired weight. Less then 5years ago i had my first child . I lost 25 kgs during the 1st 4month of pregnancy due to severe vomiting and then gained so much weight back it became unmanageable and i reached 142 kgs ( height 1.80 m). When my eldest was 3 i managed to lose about 10 kgs and that was such a struggle and then 1year ago i had my 2nd child. Again i lost about 15kg during the start of the pregnancy and now my weight is completely out of control. I am now over 146kgs and cannot see a way out and i need help!!!!! I don't drink or smoke, but i do use food for comfort ( even though i know i love healthy foods) and although this week i made a conscious effort to try and turn things around...i now find i have to change what i eat, control my portions which is terribly terribly hard and somehow find the willpower to do it and i need help! I saw a dietician ounce when my eldest was 3 and she did all sorts of blood test and did find some deficiencies and also found that i didn't produce enough of a particular hormone liptin? I think and i suffered for mild anemia. She gave me supplements and a diet plan... But with 2kids......hunger that just does not let up and very low selfesteem and low willpower, i just couldnot stick to it . I am completely lost and in mouring of my old self and very desperate to find a way out. I need help please. Debbie





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Fat pouch on bottom ,like a roll how can I get rid of this





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Crunches, lower ab exercises. A lot of people have that, it sucks but the only way to get rid of it is exercise.

Hello I have alot of lipomas in various parts of my body, i have noticed they are reducing in size as i loose weight, but will they disappear with loosing more weight?





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I'm 16 and am trying to join the navy. I have come so far and am afraid I will fail my medical due to being overweight, it is booked for 3 weeks from now. I have tried so many diets and barely eat 600 calories a day, exercise regularly, but can't seem to lose any weight. Please help, I don't have long.





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my sister is severely over weight. i think 25 stone and has health problems aswell with breathless ness ..i am so worried about her..she has 5 pins in her ankle and this prevents her exercise as she is always in pain..her wieght has increased over the years emmensly and i fear this is killing hershe is 54 years of age and is house bound simple task is almost impossible ..we have tried doctors and diets to no avail..please help





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Hi, i am 21 years old and i am about 85 kg and am classed a an obese. When i was younger i use to do sports with the school twice a week and i would still play tennis outside school. After 2 years i stopped playing tennis but still continued doing sports at school. As soon as i turned 14 years, i started eating bigger quantity of food, i would eat between meals and eat a lot of sweets. I have tried going to the gym and eat less quantities of food but when i did that i would eat more between meals. So what could i do to loose wait and stop eating between meals?





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Hi, im 8.5st, 5ft 2in, small frame bt my is not in proportion to the rest of me. I can pull in my tummy so its completely flat so is it fat or lose muscle. Im a size 8 to 10 bt my tummy is causing me so much grief. I did ten sessions with a pt and my fitness improved a lot but no change at all with my tummy. Please help, I eat spelt bread, chicken, veg fruit, nuts seeds...so generally have a good diet.





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Hello I just wanted to know how did you loose all of your weight because I am only a teenager and I weigh a lot more than my friends and I want to get down to 8 stone and please help me because I am loosing my confidence each day I have tried everything and I am just sick and tired of being fat ! I just really need your help who ever is there ! Please help me

Hi there I was hoping someone could answer me a question as none of the doctors I have seen will answer for me, I was 22 stones and have now gotten down to just over 12 stone on my own no bands or surgery, it has been 3 and a half years since I was large and I have not gained back any weight, I am 5'8 and have large body frame, I'm built more like a line backer than a girl lol but with the weight loss I gained the issue of loose sagging skin and fatty deposit areas that will not go down no matter how much I attempt to tone. I inquired about surgery and they said my bmi was too high to qualify or that it was deemed cosmetic (they wouldn't tell me which had me discharged from referral ) so how much should I weigh before they would consider helping me??





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I am a female, 24years old and 5"5..I had the same problem, I weighed 205 and dropped to 150 in 3months. Due to good diet and cardiovascular exercise . Then my body starts to sag..I started running , squatting and weight lifting , I also increase the protein in my diet, I am down to 142lbs, gained Lean muscle which firms up my body. Although weight loss slows down and not as rapid but gaining muscle when you 've lost fat is the only way to tone your body without surgery. Goodluck my dear

Hello, Well done for your weight loss so far I have been on a strict diet for the past 5 years as I was promised breast reduction as there big and I need the weight removed to help with my disability, anyway I am 5'6 50 years of age and am down from 14st 7lb stone to 12st 3lb and I was told I was still .5 over the limit of bmi. so I think you must be close but to be extra sure maybe trying to lose another 7lb might be the way to go. or change your doctor. would a chemist know how to work it out for you as they have to know everything for advise.


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