If you visit a GP

If you visit a GP
for help with losing weight,

typically, your GP will weigh you,
talk to you

and discover
what you're doing already.

They'll be able to work out
how overweight you are

and set targets as to the amount
of weight you need to lose.

They'll talk to you about eating
healthily and about taking exercise.

They may refer you
to a weight-management programme.

In a small number of cases, they may
be able to help you with medication.

(woman) I've overweight
as long as I can remember.

Then I started getting problems
in my back and my legs.

After a lot of tests, they decided
that was weight related.

That was when I knew
I had to do something about it.

(GP) The healthiest way
of losing weight

is to look at this as a long-term thing.

It's not just losing weight,

it's losing weight healthily
and keeping the weight off.

Really, things like looking at diet
and exercise is more important for that

than the apparently quick fixes
such as medication or surgery.

You've got to look both at how much
you're eating and what you're eating.

We want you to be eating healthily,

with your five portions
of fruit and vegetables,

cutting down on fats,
particularly saturated fats.

We want you to take more exercise,

which could be something as simple
as walking regularly

right up to full-blown sessions
at the gym.

All of these things help keep you fit
and help you lose weight.

I'd looked at WeightWatchers
and Slimming World

but the meetings were not on
at convenient times for me.

Also it could be
quite an expensive way of doing it.

I thought at that point it would be
worth talking to my GP.

He started by taking my weight
which was higher than I thought.

I was two stone more
than I'd expected to be.

I hadn't realised how high my BMI was.

32 put me
into the clinically obese range.

He said he would offer me orlistat

and he would put a referral
to a dietician in,

so that I could get help on both sides.

As far as medical treatments,
there's a drug called orlistat

which is available as Xenical

or even over the counter
from your pharmacist as Alli.

Orlistat works by reducing
the amount of fat

that the body absorbs
from your food.

That means you get less calories
and hopefully, you lose weight.

(Elinor) After a while, I found I was
losing more weight from the eating plan

than I was from the orlistat,

so I decided to come off the orlistat.

At first, I was very consciously aware

that I'm allowed this, that
and the other.

But because I knew I'd found a way
to lose weight

that I thought would be successful,

I was quite excited about it,
so I didn't mind it.

I was looking forward
to being at a healthy weight.

After a while, I knew what I could eat
and didn't think about it any more.

Last time I checked,
my BMI was about 24.

I'm 57 and a half kilos.
That was about a week ago.

I'm trying to ease up a little bit now
but without totally abandoning the plan.

I don't want to put the weight back on

but I've not got the pressure of trying
to get down to a healthy weight now

because I am at a healthy weight.

(GP) For a small number of people,
weight-loss surgery might be advised.

What we would look for is that
you are very severely overweight.

That normally means having
a body mass index greater than 40.

Or it might be slightly lower than that
if you have some other severe illness

such as diabetes or sleep apnea, where
you stop breathing when you're sleeping.

Weight-loss surgery normally works

either by restricting the space
in your stomach

or by bypassing part of the gut.

The way that typically you restrict
the amount of space in the stomach

is to use a band around the stomach
which can be inflated.

That means there's less space for food
so you can't eat as much.

Bypass surgery, as the name suggests,

moves the food through the gut
a bit quicker so less food is absorbed.