weight loss

Weight Loss: Your Alpha Steroid Guide

Weight Loss

Weight Loss Definition

The term “healthy weight” is difficult to define. And it’s certainly not the same for any two people. In fact, even experts haven’t found a perfect, accessible way for the average person to know their ideal weight.

In the medical community, the most common way to assess weight is with body mass index, or BMI. It is calculated using height and weight, so it’s simple and fast. But it’s not a foolproof method of determining someone’s health.

If you have too much body weight for your height, this can be considered “having” overweight or obesity. These are considered diseases

 in the medical world. Most obesity experts and public health organizations talk about having overweight and obesity, rather than being overweight or obese.

While your weight does not and should not define you, it’s no secret that there are benefits to keeping a healthy weight. Several health risks are linked to having overweight and obesity. That’s why weight loss is such an important topic. In the end, it’s more about health than size. But whatever your goal is, weight loss is definitely not simple.

Getting Help

If you are ready to begin your healthy weight journey, the first step is to talk to your primary care provider. This is because certain medical conditions (such as hypothyroidism) or medications can contribute to excess weight. It’s a good idea to rule them out first.

Next, you can talk to your provider about your BMI (which you can calculate here) and whether you might be at risk for other health problems. It might feel awkward or uncomfortable at first to talk about your weight with a healthcare provider, especially if you don’t know them well. That’s totally normal.

But it’s important to get the ball rolling and to ask for help when you need it. Let’s face it; weight loss is hard. It may be even harder for women to lose weight than men.

Your healthcare provider can help you with:

  • Setting realistic weight-loss goals

  • Starting a new exercise program safely

  • Making healthy changes to your eating habits

  • Recommending behavior therapy programs

  • Monitoring for any weight-related health risks

  • Referring you to specialists (such as an obesity specialist or nutritionist)

If you’ve been trying to lose weight but feel stuck, this is also a good opportunity to get help. Your provider can help determine if another option — such as medication or surgery — makes the most sense.


To start, know that weight loss is recommended for anyone who has obesity (BMI > 30) or overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9) with another medical problem that increases health risks (diabetes, prediabeteshigh blood pressure, etc.).

Recommendations from various medical societies, such as the American Association of Clinical EndocrinologistsThe Obesity Society, and the National Institutes of Health, include lifestyle changes, medications, and surgery as options for weight loss in people with overweight and obesity.

Lifestyle interventions are the cornerstone of any weight loss program. They include:

  • Exercise

  • Nutrition

  • Behaviors

  • Sleep

There are several prescription medication options for weight loss. It’s important to know that medications for weight loss aren’t meant to work alone. They work best when added to lifestyle changes.

Bariatric (weight loss) surgery can be considered when the other options haven’t worked. It’s an option for people with BMI over 40 or BMI over 35 with an obesity-related medical problem. Surgery is obviously a more drastic option, so it shouldn’t be taken lightly. That said, it’s effective. It’s important to speak with a bariatric specialist about the benefits and risks of surgery.

Weight Loss Medications


When lifestyle interventions aren’t enough, weight loss medications may help. They work by changing how your body absorbs nutrients or suppressing your appetite. Medications can be helpful for people with obesity and people with overweight and weight-related medical problems (such as diabetes or high blood pressure).

Keep in mind that these medications are an adjunct, so they shouldn’t be used alone. This means you need to keep up with the lifestyle interventions for them to work best.

Some examples of weight-loss medications include:

  • Orlistat (Xenical)

  • Liraglutide (Saxenda)

  • Naltrexone ER/bupropion ER (Contrave)

  • Phentermine/topiramate ER (Qsymia)

  • Semaglutide (Wegovy)

These medications can have side effects and be costly, so speak with your healthcare provider about the best option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you still be healthy if you have overweight or obesity?

A: That’s unclear. There’s been an ongoing debate in the medical literature about this. Some studies have suggested that people with excess weight can be healthy, whereas others have not. What is clear is that BMI is not always a reliable indicator of health status.

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