Weight loss and overall weight management isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. That’s why we sat down with our own Dr. Ryan Morgan to get answers to some of the most common weight loss questions we receive. Do you have more questions? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

Why is obesity considered a disease?

Obesity is a complex, lifelong problem that’s affected by hormones and neurons and occurs when there’s a breakdown of normal biological processes. This breakdown causes problems with metabolism, joints and even mental health. That’s why in 2013, the American Medical Association declared obesity as disease.

Why does bariatric surgery help with weight loss?

Along with making the stomach smaller, a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy removes most of the fundus of the stomach, where a hunger hormone called ghrelin is produced. In gastric bypass surgery, the food is rerouted, increasing levels of a hormone that promotes satiety and fullness.

Which diet is the best?

No diet has been shown to be more effective than another. However, low carbohydrate diets seem to have the quickest weight loss, in part, from loss of water weight that occurs with reducing carbohydrate intake.

Why do many doctors discourage people from taking medication to lose weight?

Most doctors are familiar with weight loss medications like sibutramine or Fen Phen that were pulled off the market years ago. While it’s important to stay cautious, it’s also important to look at the larger picture. Weight loss drugs aren’t the only medications that get discontinued. Specifically, phentermine has a particularly bad rap as it was a component of Fen Phen, but it’s has been around 60 years. While it can initially raise heart rate and blood pressure, one study showed that these parameters actually were lower at one year as a result of the beneficial effects of weight loss.

How important is nutrient or meal timing?

We know that intermittent fasting does improve insulin resistance, but this hasn’t necessarily led to benefits in weight loss as compared to a daily, equal, calorie-restricted diet. There is low level data that time-restricted feeding or having more meal-free time between dinner and bedtime may have some benefits, as well. As far as skipping breakfast, one study showed that breakfast eaters who were asked to skip and skippers who were asked to eat breakfast both lost weight at the end of the study. My take-away: Being mindful of what one is eating and breaking the routine may be helpful in reducing intake overall.