Fast Weight-loss 7 Fat-Loss Options: The Pros and Cons

With two-thirds of American adults falling into the overweight and obese categories, it’s no surprise that many of us are looking for fast, efficient ways to lose those extra pounds and inches. So when it comes to losing weight& inches and toning up, there are multiple choices available. Certainly, there’s the tried-and-true method of burning off more calories than you take in, aka diet and exercise, but what if you want something a little quicker—or that approach just hasn’t worked for you? Here, we explore some of the interventions you can choose for faster weight loss, from most invasive to least.

Surgical Options

What it is: There are a couple of surgical options with which you’re probably aware, namely gastric bypass and a gastricband. A bypass reduces the size of the stomach and removes or bypasses the intestinal tract to make it more difficult for the body to absorb calories. The gastric band is a restrictive surgery with a band used to squeeze the stomach into two sections so that it takes longer for the food to digest.

Pros: The band is simpler and safer than the bypass with only a small incision and scar, faster recovery time, and the process can be reversed by removing the band. The band can also be made tighter or looser through an outpatient procedure. With bypass, the biggest pro is the rapid, dramatic weight loss.

Cons: With the gastric band, you can only eat ½ to 1 cup of food before feeling full or sick; some people do eat too quickly and vomit. After the bypass, food isn’t absorbed the way it was previously, meaning you may lack nutrients and will have to take supplements for the rest of your life. Also with bypass, since the food is being rerouted, it may dump into the intestines too quickly, leading to diarrhea, nausea, and bloating.

Time to see results: The band has slower results than the bypass, which has most people losing 50% of their total weight loss in the first six months. With such quick results, the health problems associated with obesity usually resolve themselves faster through bypass surgery.

Best for: People who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, so roughly 100+ pounds overweight; those who have a serious health problems related to obesity; or people who have been unsuccessful losing weight by other means.

Liposuction

What it is: Liposuction is the process of removing fat by sucking it out. Generally performed as an outpatient procedure, a small incision is made in the trouble areas, into which a tiny vacuum is inserted to quickly remove excess fat deposits.

Pros: This procedure permanently removes fat from the body.

Cons: Cellulite cannot be removed with liposuction, and skin can sag and be loose following removal of fat deposits.

Downtime: While minimally invasive, there can be a bit of a recovery time, as well as the same potential of loose skin as with other surgical options. You must also wear a compression garment or elastic bandages to control swelling and compress the area during recovery.

Time to see results: It can take several months for the swelling to go down and reveal the results.

Best for: Adults within 30% of their ideal weight who have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone.

CoolSculpting

What it is: This non-invasive, fat-reduction procedure delivers controlled cooling to the particular area(s) of stubborn fat, freezing the fat cells and killing them. The fat cells are then naturally eliminated from the body over the course of 2-4 months.

Pros: This procedure permanently removes fat from the body.

Cons: Specific areas may require more than one treatment, which will lengthen the time to see results.

Downtime: None.

Time to see results: The full process takes 2-4 months. Some clients may see a reduction as soon as four weeks after a treatment. The majority of people will see a steady reduction over the course of the full four months.

Best for: People who are within 35 pounds of their weight-loss goals and have not had luck getting rid of fat through diet and exercise.

HCG and Hormone Therapy

What it is: HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone produced during pregnancy. This prescription drug is used by some naturopathic doctors and chiropractors as a homeopathic option, in conjunction with a severely reduced diet to lose weight.

Pros: Short-term weight loss.

Cons: The FDA is currently advising against using HCG for weight loss because it has not been proven to work and can cause side effects such as fatigue, irritability, and edema. The HCG diet only works when caloric intake is reduced to 500–800 calories a day, which also poses serious issues to your health.

Downtime: None.

Time to see results: Any very low-calorie diet will result in weight loss, but there’s no proof the HCG component has any effect. With only 500–800 calories daily, expect to lose 2–5 pounds weekly.

Best for: No one, according to the FDA.

Weight-loss Pills

What it is: There are over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription weight-loss pills that suppresses appetite and/or stimulates weight loss. Since most OTC pills are unregulated, the better option is prescription medication under the supervision of a medical doctor.

Pros: Pills can have a positive effect, but they must be paired with diet and exercise.

Side effects can include diarrhea, increased heart rate or blood pressure, insomnia, and nausea. If you’re not watching your calorie intake, you could be overeating and moving from pill to pill to find “the one”—with no real idea that it’s your habits that are impeding progress.

Downtime: None.

Time to see results: On average, people lose about a minimal amount of weight pretty quickly, with better results when medication is paired with diet and exercise.

Best for: Prescription weight-loss medication is for people who have been unable to lose weight via diet and exercise and have a BMI of 30 or higher with obesity-related medical issues.

The Verdict

If you’re on the path to achieving long-term boosted confidence by saying goodbye to stubborn fat and extra inches, you have options. If you want to do something fast and invasive, choose surgery. If you’re looking to take some time with the process, diet and exercise alone might be sufficient. But if you’re someone who has tried the diet and exercise path and still has stubborn fat that won’t go away, you may want to learn more about CoolSculpting.

We encourage you to take a look at our before-and-after photos to see the results yourself. The only thing you have to lose is that pesky fat.