Discover How Does Medical Weight Loss Work: Your Path to Lasting Wellness
Obesity has become an epidemic in the United States, with more than 40% of the population categorized as obese. Overweight people are more likely to acquire heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Diets and weight loss programs don’t work in the long run because they are too strict and hard to sustain. This is where medical weight loss can make a difference. However, what exactly is medical weight loss, and how does it function?
How does medical weight loss work? A medical weight loss program helps people manage their weight with the help of medical professionals. The program uses prescription weight loss medication, nutritional meal plans, behavioral therapy, and fitness recommendations. These changes help patients lose weight effectively while improving their overall health.
Medical weight loss involves a team of healthcare professionals working together. They create a personalized plan for each patient’s weight loss goals and health needs.
The Problem with Traditional Weight Loss Programs
Fad diets and commercial weight loss plans like juice cleanses or meal replacement shakes often promise dramatic, rapid results. However, these low-calorie plans are unrealistic for a long time.
When people go off the diet, the weight often comes back quickly. This “dieting” can damage metabolism, weaken the immune system, and increase heart health risks.
Sustainable, healthy weight loss aims for 1-2 pounds per week. It requires permanent lifestyle changes, not extreme short-term deprivation. That’s why a medical weight loss program with support and resources leads to better long-term results.
What is Medical Weight Loss?
Medical weight loss is a personalized way to lose extra weight with the help of healthcare professionals. This method helps with obesity and health issues by using proven strategies like diet, exercise, and sometimes medicine. It’s not like trendy diets.
Doctors tailor the medical weight loss plan for each patient based on,
- Current health status
- Weight loss goals
- Medication and supplements they may be taking
- Food preferences and intolerances
- Activity levels
The personalized programs assist patients with their diet, exercise, and weight loss medications if needed. These programs promote good eating, increase exercise, and manage hunger and fat intake.
How Does Medical Weight Loss Work?
Weight loss programs help people shed weight while enhancing their health. It reduces the risks of fast or unmonitored weight loss. A person with a BMI over 30 is often an ideal candidate for a medical weight loss plan, says Stanford Medical Care.
There are four core components of medical weight loss:
1. Prescription Medications
Medical weight loss treatments include the use of prescription weight loss medications. A medical professional supervises the administration of these medications certified by the Food and Drug Administration FDA. The drugs include,
1.1. Appetite Suppressants
These are the best weight loss medications approved by the FDA. They convey messages to the brain to increase feelings of fullness and decrease hunger. Examples include phentermine and liraglutide (saxenda). Doctors often prescribe them for short-term use along with diet and lifestyle changes.
1.2. Fat Absorption Inhibitors
These drugs prevent the intestines from digesting and absorbing extra dietary fat. It lets the body eliminate the undigested fat. Orlistat is one prescribed medication.
1.3. Metabolism Boosters
Metabolic boosters, also called sympathomimetic drugs, speed up metabolic processes and cellular activity. This results in increased calorie and fat burning. FDA has approved phentermine-topiramate and benzphetamine for treating obesity in children aged 12 and above.
1.4. Other Medications
Some drugs for diabetes or depression can also help with losing weight. Controlling glucose levels and mood disorders improves the efficiency of weight loss.
Doctors evaluate patients’ medical history, body mass index, BMI, and past weight loss efforts through diet and exercise before prescribing weight loss drugs. Regular medical examinations are required to ensure these medications are secure and efficient.
2. Nutrition Planning
Individualized nutrition plans are a core component of medical weight loss programs. A dietitian makes personalized eating habits plans for weight loss and balanced nutrition.
These plans specify,
- Optimal calories
- Macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat)
- Micronutrients (vitamins, minerals),
- Healthy diet
Experts give advice based on the patient’s health, weight goals, food choices, and lifestyle. They emphasize whole, minimally processed foods to maintain weight loss.
The meal plans help with portion sizes and when to eat meals. They help patients learn strategies for long-term healthy eating as well. Additionally, follow-up counseling helps people track their diets and make positive changes gradually.
3. Physical Activity Goals
Medical weight loss utilizes exercise plans tailored to each patient’s fitness level. Recommendations specify,
- The mode of exercise
- Duration of workouts
Walking, cycling, swimming, and light strength training boost your metabolism. However,it is also necessary to augment diet-induced calorie deficit. Also, too much high-intensity exercise can be ineffective.
On-staff fitness professionals teach patients proper exercise form and technique. They also discuss strategies like activity tracking to reinforce compliance. Follow-up appointments may also be suggested to improve activity levels as endurance improves.
4. Behavior Changes
Behavioral counseling equips patients with strategies necessary for long-term weight maintenance.
It includes education about,
- Hunger cues
- Trigger foods
- Stress management
- Goal setting
- Cognitive restructuring
Counselors find and treat reasons for overeating, such as emotions, thoughts, and surroundings. Patients replace bad habits, cravings, negative thoughts, and obstacles with positive behaviors.
Ongoing counseling provides accountability. Patients share their difficulties and achievements, helping counselors track progress and make necessary adjustments to recommendations.
How to Know the Eligibility for Medical Weight Loss Program?
Patients undergo evaluation before beginning a medicinal weight loss treatment. These tests look for medical issues in your body to determine whether you qualify for this program.
1. Medical Evaluation
A complete test determines obesity type and finds any related conditions requiring treatment such as.
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
Hormonal imbalances and blood tests, like thyroid, kidney, and liver checks, look for problems that could affect diet, medication, or activity suggestions.
2. Risk Assessment
Doctors screen for potential risks, including:
- Medication allergies or interactions
- Health conditions worsened by calorie restriction
- Eating disorders
It protects patient safety when formulating weight loss protocols.
Effectiveness and Success Stories of Medical Weight Loss
Studies show medical weight loss is better than self-directed dieting for achieving results. A Johns Hopkins study found that over 66% of medical weight loss patients maintained around 10% weight loss at a 2-year follow-up.
Here are some of our successful weight management testimonials,
Success Story 1
73-year-old Marie had weight problems for many years before joining our medical weight loss program. “I had tried every diet with no lasting success,” she shares.
With the assistance of our nutritionist, she lost 38 pounds in 6 months. We used appetite suppressants and meal replacement shakes to get her health and mobility back.
Success Story 2
Another patient, Tony, who is 30 years old received guidance from our doctors on what to eat, exercise, and control his food intake. With our experts’ help, he successfully lost the 60 pounds he had been carrying for a long time.
My knees don’t ache now that I’m not severely overweight.” He said. His regular follow-ups with us kept him motivated and helped him stay on track.
These examples show how medical guidance and resources can aid in overcoming barriers to long-term weight loss.
Potential Drawbacks and Considerations
While research shows excellent efficacy, medical weight loss carries some cautions,
1. Maintenance Challenges
Appetite suppressants and other pharmacological aids help initiate weight loss. However, patients may struggle when medications are stopped and they must rely more on behavior changes. Providers stress the importance of lifestyle adjustments for long-term success.
2. Adherence Difficulties
Over time, patients may struggle to stay motivated or revert to old habits with eating and exercise. Counseling helps improve commitment skills, but some patients struggle to follow through.
3. Need for Post-Treatment Follow-up
Continued provider support helps sustain achievement. Those who drop out of contact once medications or meal replacements end tend to regress. Regular follow-up assessments reinforce new behaviors.
Getting medical help and staying dedicated are the most effective strategies to lose pounds and stay healthy.
Obesity in the US is very high, and traditional weight loss methods often don’t work in the long run. Doctors guide personalized weight loss plans, ensuring patient safety throughout the process.
Personalized plans with medication, diet goals, exercise targets, and support can help patients achieve long-term, healthy weight loss.