Weight Management Options

The importance of obesity management and partnering with a healthcare professional to find an individual plan that’s right for you and your body

The risk of complications increases with the severity of obesity and it can impact your overall health and quality of life. Losing even a modest amount of weight, such as five percent of body weight or more, and maintaining this weight loss, can improve overall wellbeing, while also reducing the risk of weight-related complications. For this reason, it is essential for people to talk to their doctor about their weight and understand their options for managing their disease beyond diet and exercise, which may include psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and sometimes surgery.

Obesity is associated with many serious health consequences, and recent studies cite obesity as a significant risk factor that increases the likelihood of severe complications and mortality in those infected with COVID-19.1 Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about weight and the effects or after-effects of COVID-19.

Talking to your Doctor and Healthcare Professional

When it comes to dealing with excess weight, advice is often oversimplified to ‘eat less and move more’. Obesity is a complex disease with many causes and still not well understood. Whether you’re currently with or at risk of obesity or overweight, you can take steps to prevent unhealthy weight gain and related health complications. A trained healthcare professional has the knowledge and tools required to create a weight management plan specifically for you. Your doctor will be able to identify what causes obesity and point you in the right direction to managing it by combining different treatments that work in different ways.

The role of diet and exercise

A balanced and calorie-controlled diet is an essential part of the management of obesity, although often it is not enough to support and sustain weight loss.

When it comes to obesity, changing how you eat means much more than just eating less calories by any means necessary. Your doctor will take your eating patterns into consideration when developing your weight management plan to help you move towards a more sustainable relationship with food.

You don’t need to run a marathon every day but adding just a little extra movement and simple exercise into your everyday life can mean a lot. What matters is that you find ways of being physically active that you enjoy every day. The goal is to include at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week – performed during 3 to 5 daily sessions per week. Build up toward this slowly by gradually adding new activity routines such as resistance training to your life that you enjoy and can sustain over time.

A certified fitness professional can help with an individual plan tailored to include exercises that work best for you and won’t put any undue stress on your health.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Being aware of the role of psychological factors is key to understanding the triggers or reasons which affect the way you eat and interact with food and your attitude towards exercise. Adopting certain behavioural changes such as self-monitoring of lifestyle habits, managing stress are necessary for effective weight loss. Seeing a psychologist trained in managing weight issues may help you to enhance these weight loss efforts.


Pharmacotherapy or anti-obesity medications can play an important role in chronic weight management, when diet and exercise alone is not enough. In combination with diet and exercise, these medications can help people to lose significant weight and maintain that weight loss. Anti-obesity medications that have been approved by medical authorities are safe, clinically tested and scientifically proven to help reduce weight and keep it off. Medication can also help some people to reduce the risk of or improve obesity-related diseases.

Different medications work in different ways. Some anti-obesity medications help to regulate appetite and reduce food portions. This helps you to eat less and makes lifestyle modifications easier. Other medications prevent weight regain by managing your body’s biological responses to weight loss, such as persistent increase in hunger or help you lose weight by changing the way your body absorbs food. Your doctor will consider your medical history and any existing health considerations before recommending a suitable medicine for controlling your weight.

Speak to a specialist to know more about the various pharmacotherapy options available in Singapore. Click here to find a doctor or clinic nearest to you.

Bariatric surgery

Generally speaking, these operations involve making changes to the digestive system to help a person lose weight by reducing appetite and the amount of food they can eat comfortably at one sitting. Bariatric surgery is done when diet and exercise haven’t worked or to provide long term options to achieve and maintain significant weight loss for people who have serious health problems because of their weight.

As with all surgery, many considerations need to be given before undergoing surgery. A specialist will be able to talk you through the options. Click here to find a doctor or clinic nearest to you.

Support from friends, family and support groups

Managing obesity is a long-term commitment but it doesn’t need to be a journey taken alone. Talking with your loved ones and getting their support can help you to manage weight loss both physically and mentally. By involving your friends and family in your weight loss journey, they can better understand your concerns and provide you with the support and motivation you need in taking control of your weight. Therefore, it is important to talk to people about what is right for you and your body, and how you feel. In addition to friends and family, talking to a trained weight management or healthcare specialist can help too.


  1. Simonnet A, et al. High prevalence of obesity in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) requiring invasive mechanical ventilation. Obesity. 2020. doi:10.1002/ oby.22831.