Searching online for a good weight loss program is confusing. There are a lot to choose from, and understanding the subtle differences is tricky. They may all seem the same on the surface, but in reality they offer widely different services.
We’ve made things easy by doing a deep dive on the things a top weight loss program in North Carolina should offer (including Blue Sky MD!).
When considering a weight loss program, you’ll want to think about what what specific features are important to you. Are you mainly concerned about price? Convenience? A non-restrictive meal plan? Do you prefer virtual visits, or will you benefit more from one-on-one visits?
You may not have even thought about some of these factors yet in your quest for a weight loss program. We thought it would be helpful to break things down into must-have components.
1. Insurance & Affordable Self-Pay Rates
The first thing you’re going to ask yourself is, “If I find a weight loss program that works for me, how will I pay for it?”. This is where insurance can be a huge benefit, and it should be. After all, weight loss directly affects one’s health in a variety of ways—the whole point of insurance is to help us get the healthcare we need to prevent future health complications.
Many popular weight loss programs don’t accept insurance to cover the cost of the program, making them expensive to pay for out-of-pocket.
Calibrate, for example, only accepts insurance for the medication that they sell and charge full price for their One Year Metabolic Reset ($1620) and Metabolic Assessments ($249). While monthly payments are an option, it still requires a chunk of change over the course fo the year, and doesn’t provide the comprehensive weight loss support that an individual needs for that price tag.
Noom is also another popular weight loss app that costs up to $59 per month and does not accept insurance—and this is just for an app! While $59 per month may seem affordable to some, you’re still not getting a wide range of services or medical advice from a real person who cares about your progress.
Blue Sky MD does accept most major insurance types, and makes navigating the insurance side of things easy. Plus, you’re getting the full-service weight loss program you need to lose the weight and keep it off.
2. Metabolic Testing, Thyroid Testing, and Hormone Lab Testing
If you’re serious about losing weight in a safe and scientific way, you’ll want to make sure your weight loss program includes metabolic testing. Metabolic testing helps your medical team understand exactly how many calories your body currently uses, and how to structure a nutrition and workout regimen. Without it, your weight loss plan will largely guess work and could even potentially negatively affect your health.
Thyroid and hormone testing are also critical to monitoring your health before and after beginning a weight loss program.
Testing before beginning a program can tell a medical provider if there is an underlying thyroid or hormone issue that may be contributing to weight gain or preventing you from losing weight. If an imbalance is identified, you may need to seek treatment for the imbalance before continuing the weight loss program. Serious medical complications could arise from taking weight loss medications without making sure your hormones are at acceptable levels.
Hormone therapy may also be required in order for you to lose the weight you want to lose. Without it, the odds of losing weight and keeping it off are against you.
You should be extremely skeptical if a weight loss program doesn’t provide metabolic, thyroid, or hormone testing. It implies three key things about the program:
- You won’t be receiving individualized care
- You’re not working with medical experts
- Your weight loss progress is only measuring pounds lost, not overall improved health
3. Weight Loss Medication
In some cases weight loss medication may provide the extra kick you need to lose weight. However, just taking medication by itself won’t solve the problem. When looking for the top weight loss program for your needs, you need to understand that there are no magic pills or quick fixes out there—anyone who says otherwise is being dishonest and should be avoided.
You should seek out a weight loss program that provides medical support, nutrition advice, and lifestyle support that prescribes medication only in specific situations under medical supervision.
4. Custom Meal Plans (Not Prepackaged)
It’s easier than ever to get pre-packaged meals delivered directly to your doorstep. It’s tempting to simply order meals from one of these companies and hope for the best. Unfortunately, weight loss is more complicated than that. Every body has different caloric needs, allergies, and sensitivities. Prepackaged meals often lack the customization and overall nutrition that most people need to lose weight and feel better day to day.
In order for a diet to truly be effective it needs to work with your lifestyle—and not the other way around.
Choose a weight loss program that has a nutritionist on hand that can help you create a custom meal plan tailored specifically for your body’s unique metabolic needs. You should be able to consult with a nutritionist regularly and discuss any changes you’d like to make to your diet at any point in your treatment.
5. Behavioral Health Coordination
Weight gain, inability to exercise, and overeating are often symptoms of an underlying behavioral issue.
Common mental illnesses like depression and anxiety can create unhealthy coping mechanisms that lead to weight gain. A behavioral health specialist can help you kick bad habits that may be causing you to overindulge.
When searching for a top weight loss program, you should give special consideration to a weight loss program that offers a behavioral health component or can provide resources and access to mental health professionals.
6. Virtual Telehealth Visits
It won’t always be convenient for you to drive to a physical location for a health checkup or wellness coaching session. Although in-person programs typically have higher success rates, you’ll want to make sure you have the option to do a virtual telehealth consultation if the need arises.
7. One-on-One Visits
Having a support system can make a huge difference for losing weight. Look for programs that offer one-on-one visits and wellness coaching. Regular one-on-one visits with a wellness coach or medical provider is successful for a variety of reasons:
- Provides accountability
- Provides support & motivation
- Allows for customization and course-correction
- Ensures you are getting expert medical advice
Finding a weight loss program that offers all of the components listed above is a difficult task. Fortunately, Blue Sky MD has developed a weight loss program that offers a holistic and full-service approach to make losing weight safer and more effective than other top weight loss programs. Since 2008, we’ve worked with more than 10,000 patients of all shapes and sizes and at all stages of the weight loss journey. We know that losing weight and keeping it off requires a complete lifestyle change and the support of an empathetic medical staff who understands the science and psychology behind weight loss. If you’re ready to start the journey to better health, schedule an appointment online today. We can’t wait to meet you!