Medical weight loss is a practical, physician-guided process for achieving long-term results. On average, a patient will lose two to five pounds per week. Healthcare professionals use their medical experience to create a personalized plan that includes nutrition education, prescription medications, and lifestyle changes.
As healthcare professionals strive to fight obesity and related chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, medical advancements have allowed for the development of medications that help with weight loss. These medications curb appetite and increase energy to promote sustainable results. Physicians use a person’s Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine whether they are overweight or obese and may prescribe weight management drugs for patients who are at risk due to their obesity. Weight loss can alleviate health problems such as type 2 diabetes, joint pains, or sleep apnea. These medications are meant to treat a chronic disease and should be used long-term alongside lifestyle changes. Most of the patients encounter mild to moderate side effects that are short-term and can be managed easily. The cost of these drugs can be prohibitive, with some insurance plans excluding coverage for these medications.
For many people, dieting and exercise alone aren’t enough to achieve and maintain sustainable weight loss results. With the help of a medical weight loss program that incorporates medication, individuals can learn how to lose weight and keep it off long-term. At an intake appointment, your healthcare provider will assess whether you are a candidate for medical weight loss based on your BMI, current health issues, any medications you are taking, and other factors. Once approved, your doctor will create a treatment plan that will include regular appointments with you and other members of the healthcare team to provide education on healthy eating habits, address obstacles or barriers to weight loss, and provide supportive guidance. Weight loss is not only a way to improve your appearance but also can reduce your risk of health conditions like heart disease, type two diabetes, and sleep apnea. If you’re struggling to lose weight with diet and exercise alone, schedule an appointment today to see if medical weight loss is right for you.
Often, weight loss programs include some exercise component. Individuals are advised to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity weekly exercise. Consistently exercising can improve health outcomes largely independent of its effects on weight loss. For example, it can improve thinking skills, help control blood pressure, decrease depression and anxiety, and promote stronger bones and muscles. Many medical weight loss programs also provide individualized exercise and nutritional counseling. Developing sustainable exercise and diet habits post-program can aid patients.
While each medical weight loss program is different, most are designed to offer a comprehensive approach to helping individuals reach their healthy weight goals safely and sustainably. By combining medication, nutrition education, behavioral change, and exercise, they can deliver the results that they need for long-term success. In addition, they can help their patients manage any side effects that may occur from taking the prescription medications that are used to aid in the weight loss process.
Many medical weight loss programs focus solely on diet and exercise, overlooking the importance of behavior change. By incorporating education, support, and motivational counseling into their approach, medical weight loss programs empower patients to adopt behaviors that will lead to sustained weight loss. Behavioral therapy teaches participants how to overcome common obstacles interfering with weight loss, including self-regulatory processes and impulse control. Group-based interventions using patient-centered counseling teach these skills. For example, one study used nine sessions of behavior modification therapy to teach participants about diet and physical activity and to promote social support, motivation, and self-efficacy. At four months, the behavior change intervention was associated with greater self-efficacy towards healthy eating and understanding the change process; however, these effects did not remain significant at 12 months. At your initial clinic visit, an advanced practice provider will discuss your diet and exercise habits and review your health history. Based on this information, your physician will create a customized medical weight loss plan that may include prescription medications and other lifestyle changes.
Having the right motivation can be crucial for medical weight loss success. In addition to ensuring you are ready to lose weight and commit to lifestyle changes, it is essential to find a program that provides support and encouragement throughout your journey. Many medical weight loss programs involve regular meetings with a healthcare professional to monitor progress, make adjustments, and provide guidance. The team may include nutritionists, exercise physiologists, and psychologists to help you learn new behaviors and strategies for long-term success.
If you want to reduce weight but find it challenging to make the necessary lifestyle adjustments, the medical weight loss technique is a great choice. The program can also be beneficial for those who suffer from obesity-related conditions, such as sleep apnea, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Patients are usually prescribed FDA-approved semaglutide weight loss injections to help them achieve their goals. This method is more effective than other weight loss methods because it focuses on the root cause of the problem and enables you to create sustainable results.