Managing and treating obesity is complex1. You’ve probably tried diets and exercise regimes. Perhaps they’ve worked in the short term, but most people find they regain the weight they lose, and more2.

That’s because your body senses weight loss and actively tries to return you to your starting weight. Your body does this in two ways.

First, the amount of energy your body uses (when resting or exercising) is less than what your body is expecting to use based on your weight and body composition1,3,4,5. Your body slows down your metabolism and this change can last for years, even if you regain the weight you have lost.

Secondly, your hormones change to make you hungrier, which also pushes your weight back up1,3,4,5.

No matter how hard you try, it’s like your body is working against you. It’s pretty demoralising, isn’t it?

Weight loss treatments

There are many health and lifestyle benefits to losing weight. You can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases.

Even if you’ve tried again and again in the past, it doesn’t mean you can’t lose weight. There are treatment options for obesity, and they can be successful.

You don’t need to tackle this problem alone. Obesity is a chronic disease. Like any chronic disease, it’s important that you talk to your healthcare professional about the right obesity treatment for you.

Lifestyle changes
Prescription Medicine
Weight loss surgery
1 World Health Organisation Obesity and Overweight Fact Sheet, 9 June 2021 Available at December 2021.

2 RACGP. Obesity prevention and management position statement 2019. Available at, accessed December 2021.

3 Dulloo, A. Explaining the failures of obesity therapy: willpower attenuation, target miscalculation or metabolic compensation?. Int J Obes 361418–1420 (2012).

4 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017. Impact of overweight and obesity as a risk factor for chronic conditions: Australian Burden of Disease Study. Available at, Accessed September 2019.

5 RACP Action to prevent obesity and reduce its impact across the life course – Evidence Review. 2018. Available at Accessed December 2019