It is important to maintain normal weight to stay healthy but the stress and changing lifestyle can result in weight gain. This can lead to several health issues like diabetes, heart diseases, some types of cancer and high blood pressure. You need to burn more calories and consume fewer calories to lose weight. However, it is easier said than done. People struggle to lose weight and often wonder what they are doing wrong, what are the different ways to lose weight and any medicine to lose weight. We asked some FAQs about weight loss to Dr Ramen Goel, Senior Bariatric Surgeon, Director, Center of  Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery, Wockhardt Hospitals, and here are the answers.

Can an overweight person be healthy? What are the factors that indicate a person should lose weight?

Weight is definitely not a sole criterion of health. People with an active lifestyle and eating healthy food are usually more healthy than a slim but physically inactive person. It is known fact that people from the Indian subcontinent have higher fat content even at normal weight and thus, are prone to many diseases.

What is the difference between being overweight and being obese?

Weight gain is a continuum and grades are created to warn severity of the problem. For Indians, normal BMI is 23 and overweight is 23-25 only. While obesity starts at 25 BMI because the risk of associated diseases is high at a lower weight.

Which is the best way to lose weight?

Certainly, lifestyle changes (diet and physical activities) remain the ideal method to lose weight. However, it is also known that over 90% tend to regain weight despite best efforts. Thus for people with higher grades of obesity bariatric surgery is the most efficient method to lose and maintain weight.

Is there any pill or medicine that can help you lose weight?

There are few medicines which are FDA approved for weight loss.Most are able to lose 4-6 kgs with continued medicine intake.

What are the latest techniques, apart from diet and exercise, to lose weight?

There are many established weight loss techniques and technologies. These include a gastric balloon, bariatric surgeries etc.

Have you ever come across a difficult case? How did you deal with it?

We see such cases daily. This may include an 82 years old person looking for weight loss due to a poor quality of life or a 114 kgs lady with bilateral amputation in past due to an immunological disease or a 100 kgs 13-year-old boy with progressive ascending paralysis or a 160 kgs man with very poor(30%) heart function. Well, every person is dealt on his health merits.

What are the challenges of the profession?

I think the biggest challenge is to live up to the expectations of every patient and their family. People travel within the country and from various countries with hope and it is our responsibility to not only deliver safe treatment but also to educate and follow them long term.