Medical weight loss is a comprehensive weight management approach involving medical supervision, personalized plans, and prescribed medications or supplements to help individuals reach and maintain their desired weight.
Unlike fad diets and quick fixes, medical weight loss programs offer a tailored and scientifically-backed approach to weight management that considers each person’s unique needs and goals. This is important, because many other fad diets have very limited long-term results. A meta-analysis of many studies found that over half of all weight is regained in two years and 80% if regained within five years. Fortunately, medical weight loss programs seem to have better long-term results.
With the guidance of a medical professional, individuals can effectively lose weight and improve their overall health, reducing the risk of weight-related diseases and health complications. In this article, we’ll explore what medical weight loss is and isn’t, the benefits of this approach, and how to choose the right program for you.
What Medical Weight Loss is?
Are you tired of fad diets and quick fixes that never seem to work? Medical weight loss might be the solution you’ve been looking for.
This weight loss approach involves medical supervision, customized plans, and prescribed medications or supplements to help you reach your desired weight and improve your overall health.
So, let’s dive into what medical weight loss entails and why it might be the right choice for you.
Medical Supervision and Personalized Plans
Medical weight loss programs are led by licensed medical professionals, such as doctors, nurse practitioners, or dietitians.
Individuals undergo a comprehensive evaluation, including a medical history review, physical examination, and laboratory testing, to create a personalized plan that meets their unique needs and goals.
The personalized plan may include a calorie-controlled diet, physical activity, behavior modification, and prescription medications or supplements as needed.
Use of Prescription Medications and Supplements
In some cases, prescription medications or supplements may aid weight loss and support overall health. Mayo Clinic reports that these medications can be very effective.
The use of medications and supplements is based on the individual’s medical history and health status and is monitored and adjusted by the medical professional as needed. We have previously talked about some of the medical weight loss drugs that have received FDA approval. More drugs have come out since we first blogged about them 10 years ago.
Monitoring of Progress and Adjusting Treatments
Regular follow-up appointments with the medical professional are integral to the medical weight loss program. Progress is monitored through regular weigh-ins, laboratory testing, and other assessments, and the weight loss plan is adjusted as needed to ensure ongoing success.
The medical professional works with the individual to set realistic goals and expectations and provides ongoing support and encouragement to help them achieve and maintain their desired weight.
Some Interesting Facts on Medical Weight Loss
Here are some interesting facts about weight loss that might astound you.
- According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, individuals who underwent a medically-supervised weight loss program lost an average of 12 pounds in six months, compared to 3 pounds in individuals who followed a self-directed weight loss program. (JAMA, 2016)
- Medical weight loss has improved blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar control, reducing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. (Mayo Clinic, 2020)
- Research has found that individuals who undergo a medical weight loss program are more likely to maintain their weight loss long-term than individuals who follow a self-directed weight loss program. (Obesity, 2018)
What Medical Weight Loss isn’t?
There are a lot of myths about weight loss, which need to be clarified so you can understand the real science behind them. Let’s check them out.
Fad Diets and Quick Fixes
One of the biggest misconceptions about weight loss is that it can be achieved quickly and easily through fad diets or quick fixes.
These methods, such as juice cleanses or restrictive eating plans, promise rapid weight loss quickly, but they often do more harm than good.
Not only do these methods lack scientific evidence, but they can also lead to binge eating, nutritional deficiencies, and an unhealthy relationship with food.
Another characteristic of these programs that aren’t considered medical weight loss is the use of a one-size-fits-all approach. This means that a single diet or workout plan is prescribed to everyone, regardless of individual needs and goals.
This approach ignores the fact that every person is unique and has different nutritional and physical requirements, making it difficult to achieve sustained weight loss.
Lack of Medical Supervision and Monitoring
One of the defining features of medical weight loss is the presence of a medical professional who provides guidance and support throughout the process. Unfortunately, many weight loss programs don’t offer this level of care and instead rely on self-help materials or online resources.
Without the oversight of a physician, individuals may be at risk of using harmful products or engaging in unhealthy behaviors that can compromise their health.
Benefits of Medical Weight Loss
Weight loss is not just about physical aesthetics but provides many health benefits, too. The following are some of its benefits.
Improved Overall Health
Medical weight loss programs offer a comprehensive approach to weight management that not only focuses on weight loss but also prioritizes overall health and wellness.
Working with a medical professional, individuals can receive personalized treatment plans that address their health needs and conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease.
Using prescription medications and supplements can help address underlying health conditions, while monitoring and adjusting treatments can ensure that individuals are making progress and staying on track toward their goals.
Better Weight Management
Medical weight loss programs offer a structured and scientifically-backed approach to weight management, helping individuals lose weight safely and sustainably.
With the guidance of a medical professional, individuals can receive a personalized plan that includes regular check-ins, adjustments to treatments, and support to help them stay on track and reach their weight loss goals.
The use of prescription medications can help individuals manage hunger, increase metabolism, and enhance weight loss efforts, while monitoring progress can help identify and address any obstacles to weight loss.
Reduced Risk of Weight-Related Diseases
Carrying excess weight can increase the risk of developing various health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. By losing weight safely and effectively, individuals can reduce their risk of developing these conditions and improve their overall health.
Medical weight loss programs offer a comprehensive approach that considers the individual’s unique needs and health conditions, helping to reduce the risk of weight-related diseases while promoting overall wellness.
Increased Energy and Confidence
Losing weight and improving health can positively impact an individual’s energy levels and confidence. As individuals shed excess weight and see improvements in their health markers, they may experience increased energy and self-esteem.
With the support of a medical professional, individuals can feel empowered and motivated to continue progressing toward their weight loss goals.
In conclusion, medical weight loss programs offer a comprehensive, tailored, and scientifically-backed approach to weight management that enhances overall health and wellness.
With the guidance of a medical professional, individuals can experience improved health, better weight management, reduced risk of weight-related diseases, and increased energy and confidence.