Thousands of consumers across the United States try various weight loss programs and experience little to no success. Whether this is due to a lack of discipline, a lack of support or simply following poor exercise and dieting information, many give up after being disappointed over and over again.
Over the last few years, medical weight loss programs have proven to be an effective means of losing weight. Because the programs are monitored by physicians and nutritionists, the methods actually work for a majority of the patients.
Medical Weight Loss Programs: How Do They Work?
A medical weight loss program combines a number of key factors that are geared to directly benefit the participant:
- Doctor Supervision - These programs include doctor supervision because certified physicians are the most knowledgeable about what methods actually work and how safe they are. They also determine what is the best weight loss plan for each patient.
- Prescription Drugs - Prescription medication is often used as a means to curb a participant's diet. While many food supplements that are sold in health stores can potentially cause harm, these drugs are prescribed by a physician and, in the right hands, are considered safe and effective.
- Much Needed Support - Doctors, nutritionists and co-participants provide a much needed support system for those who might have trouble with sticking to their particular weight loss program.
In some of the more extreme instances, weight loss surgery is included in the medical weight loss program. Participants who need to lose a considerable amount of weight and might not be able to do it with pills and diet alone might qualify for this method. A significant amount of consultation is done with the individual and other methods are initiated first.
The Process: What Are the Steps Involved With the Program?
When a prospective participant wants to enroll in a medical weight loss program, they can visit one of many clinics across the country with an appointment.
The first step is to complete a number of tests that somewhat resemble a basic physical. A technician or nurse will likely perform the following tests to determine your suitability:
- A blood test.
- A urine test.
- Weight and height.
- Blood pressure.
- Body mass index.
After the tests, a nurse will forward the information for evaluation, and then come back into the room to inform you of your results and what their recommendations would be.
Some of the recommendations may include:
- Diet - How many calories and protein to intake, what types of food and how often you should eat every day.
- Pills - Some of the pills that may be recommended include a multivitamin, omega-3 fish oil, calcium, a fat burner pill and more.
- Exercise - What types of exercise should be performed, how often and when the regimen should begin.
The Follow Up: How Long Should These Appointments Occur?
The amount of follow up appointments that are required by the clinic will likely depend on the patient.
After the participant has hit their target weight, they should be able to maintain it on a regular diet. To enforce this and to ensure the patient remains healthy, most medical weight loss clinics will require a patient to follow up on a weekly basis for a minimum of four months to a maximum of one year.
The Potential for Surgery
Surgery might be recommended if the patient is seriously obese. A medical weight loss clinic normally offers the following options for surgery patients:
- Roux-En-Y gastric bypass
- Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy
- Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding
There are advantages and disadvantages to each, and the physician will help you decide which surgery is best for you.