Eating right and exercising are the two main avenues for a healthy life.
But for some Americans who may suffer from a medical condition that makes it hard to lose weight like hypothyroidism or cushing syndrome --- diet and exercise isn't enough.
Dr. Aditya Gupta, a bariatric surgeon at Tri-State Specialists says some of his patients who chose surgery have struggled with weight loss for almost a decade.
The two most common types of weight loss surgery are the gastric sleeve and gastric bypass.
Both shrink the stomach to give the sensation of feeling fuller sooner after eating.
A gastric sleeve procedure removes a large portion of the stomach and creates a long pouch that connects the esophagus to the small intestines.
A gastric bypass is more complex. Surgeons cut the top portion of the stomach to create a small pouch at the end of the esophagus. The remainder of the stomach remains attached to the small intestines. Then the surgeon cuts the small intestine and attaches it to the pouch. Lastly, surgeons take the end of the small intestine that is still connected with the non-pouch portion of the stomach and attach it to the bottom of the "Roux limb." This allows the digestive juices produced by the stomach to "meet up" with the food in the intestines.
Dr. Gupta says while surgery can help jump start weight loss, it comes down to diet and exercise.
"Five percent of the population shows that you can still gain weight with these surgeries," said Dr. Aditya Gupta, "When we go back we can always figure out why this happened and usually it comes down to eating habits."
And often times patients see a dramatic change in their overall health.
"Right after surgery we would cut down their hypertension and diabetic medication in half because we know they would not need that much," said Dr. Aditya Gupta, "Mostly in six months time I've seen that people who have been on these medicines are off them."
Bottom line, weight loss is hard, but any weight loss is a step toward a healthier you.