Medical Weight Loss 101: What is Medical Weight Loss?
The United States is facing a serious health crisis with more than two-thirds of adults being medically overweight or obese. Being severely overweight and unfit can have serious long-term implications for your health. On top of this, it can have a big impact on your mental health and happiness.
Fortunately, a large portion of Americans are doing what they can to improve their lifestyle and taking care of their health. In fact, more than 17% of Americans are on a special diet on any given day. However, not all special diets are effective ways to lose weight.
When it comes to healthy and effective weight loss, the most important thing is to work with your individual situation and needs. This is where medical weight loss programs can help.
So what is medical weight loss and how does it differ from other weight loss solutions? Read on to find out more.
What is Medical Weight Loss?
Medical weight loss is a type of weight loss program that aims to help you get in shape in a way that is healthy and sustainable.
Importantly, it involves putting together a specific plan for your weight loss with the help of a medical professional. Often you will work with a doctor or with a trained dietician.
They will help you tailor a weight loss plan to suit your needs and goals. Often this weight loss program will focus on three specific areas. To understand how this, let’s take a closer look at what a medical weight loss program involves.
Your Initial Consultation With a Medical Expert
Your weight loss journey will start with a consultation with a medical professional. This involves talking about you and your specific weight loss goals.
Often they will ask about your lifestyle, habits, and your reasons for wanting to lose weight. They will also discuss your medical history and may carry out basic assessments. This may include:
- Taking your blood pressure and heart rate
- Weighing you
- Calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI)
Most importantly, they will focus on the best way to support your individual weight loss journey and needs. To do this, they will focus on three specific areas that are important for effective weight loss.
Identifying Your Habits for Behavior Modification
Two important areas that you will look at with a medical professional focus on your current behaviors and how they affect your weight loss goals. If you have been struggling to lose weight then it may be because the things you have been trying don’t work for you specifically.
Behavior modification involves looking at your current habits and figuring out what to adjust to help you lose weight. In particular, you will look at your diet and your exercise habits.
Of course, your diet can have a big impact on weight loss and gain. This is because it is the source of your body’s energy. If you take in more energy than you use then you will find yourself gaining weight.
A medical professional will help you examine your diet and will teach you about things such as:
- High energy foods versus low energy foods
- The best time of day to consume high energy foods
- How to create balance within your diet
This isn’t just about restricting your diet so that you lose weight. It’s about creating a healthy, sustainable diet that gives you the amount of energy you need to get through your day.
Establishing Sustainable Exercise Habits
Alongside a healthy diet, you will look at your exercise habits. These determine how much energy you use, which is important for weight loss.
They also improve your overall fitness and health. For example, regular exercise is important for building muscle and promoting cardiac health.
If you do not already do a lot of exercise then a medical professional will be able to help you introduce these habits gradually. It’s important to ease yourself into exercise so that you don’t end up injuring yourself.
They’ll also be able to recommend activities to suit your needs and interests. The best forms of exercise are the ones that you enjoy as you are more likely to stick to these.
Your doctor or dietician will be able to recommend a range of cardiac, stretching, and toning exercises to support your weight loss. It is important to use a combination of these so that your body has time to work and rest in equal measure.
Using Weight Loss Medications
If you are finding it hard to shift weight or struggling to exercise at your current weight, your doctor may prescribe weight loss medications to help. These can be an effective way to shift some weight and kickstart your weight loss journey.
These medications help to boost your metabolism so that you burn extra energy. This means that you will lose weight quicker.
However, they shouldn’t be used in isolation as a way of losing weight. After all, if you just use weight loss medication and don’t modify your behavior you will immediately gain weight when you stop taking them.
A lot of weight loss medications can also have negative side effects and won’t be safe for everyone to use. For example, if you have certain underlying health conditions, your doctor may recommend avoiding them.
If your doctor does prescribe weight loss medications then they will monitor you closely while you are taking them. This is the safest way to use weight loss medication effectively.
Is Medical Weight Loss Worth It?
Going to a consultant to lose weight might feel a little excessive. After all, some of the things they will support you with are things that you can do at home for free!
However, studies show that 80% of Americans who lose a significant amount of bodyweight do not manage to sustain this weight loss for longer than 12 months. This is often because their choices of diet or exercise regime are simply not sustainable. Or perhaps they do not have the support to continue with their weight loss program.
However, medical weight loss is extremely effective at creating a safe weight loss plan that you can actually stick to. To really understand why medical weight loss works far better than other fad diets on the market, let’s take a look at three specific benefits of these programs.
Focus on the Individual
First and foremost, each medical weight loss plan is centered around an individual. This means that it will be designed to accommodate your needs, interests, challenges, and health requirements.
This is not about pushing you to your limit but about creating healthy long-term habits that you can use throughout your life. Once you have established realistic patterns and goals it is much easier to sustain them on your own.
Medical Expertise and Management
Losing a lot of weight very quickly can be tempting if you are prepared to put your mind to it.
However, this may involve a drastic and unhealthy change in your diet and exercise regime. In fact, dramatic weight loss over a short period of time can lead to serious health issues including:
- Loss of muscle mass
- An imbalance in electrolytes
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Low energy levels
If you are planning to lose a significant amount of weight then it’s important to get support from a medical professional to avoid doing serious long-term health damage. They will be able to accurately review where your health and fitness levels are currently. So you can ease into your weight loss journey in a way that is safe and sustainable.
Support Throughout the Weight Loss Program
Losing weight can be a daunting journey and it is important to have proper support while doing it. Your weight loss doctor provides this in two ways.
Firstly, they provide accountability. You can schedule meetings to ensure that you are on track and to review how effective your plan is.
However, your doctor can also provide important emotional support. This might involve discussing why you are finding some aspects of the plan challenging. They can help you revise your plan if needs be but will always explore why you are struggling before doing this.
Most importantly, they understand how challenging your weight loss journey can be and are there to cheer you along your way. This ensures that you have constant motivation to keep going with your plan even on the toughest days.
Get Help With Your Weight Loss Journey Today
When it comes to losing weight and establishing healthy habits, this can be incredibly daunting. After all, a lot of it involves breaking well-established patterns.
Physician-led weight loss programs give you access to medical expertise so that you can lose weight in a sustainable way and support your long-term health.
Want to know more? Get in touch today to find out more about our medical weight loss programs. We’re here to help!