How & Why to Choose a Physician Weight Loss Program
If you think all physician weight loss programs are the same, think again. The right program can make all the difference to your weight loss goals — and to your long term success in maintaining a healthy weight.
Find out about the benefits of medically supervised weight loss programs and how to choose the best option for your situation.
Why Choose a Physician Weight Loss Program?
Healthy weight is a range, not a number. But that doesn’t mean there’s no point in losing weight and keeping it off.
Reducing weight and body fat has a number of important benefits.
First, obesity (high body-mass index, or BMI) is correlated with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and musculoskeletal issues (including arthritis). Over time, it can contribute to chronic and potentially life-threatening conditions like diabetes and cancer.
More subjectively, patients who lose significant amounts of weight and keep the weight off report higher energy levels, improved mood, greater self-esteem, and other positive quality of life changes.
But these changes last only as long as the weight remains off. Most patients who commit to losing weight aren’t able to shed the pounds permanently. They regain the weight after a period of months or years and may surpass their pre-program number.
That’s why it’s so important to choose the right physician weight loss program. That starts with a provider who has completed advanced medical weight loss training and uses evidence-based weight loss and control practices.
How to Choose a Physician Weight Loss Program
If you’re serious about losing weight and keeping it off, choosing the right program is vitally important. Here’s what to look for in yours.
Competent, Caring Practitioners
Every effective weight loss program has competent, caring practitioners at the helm. The best programs are led by physicians (hence the term “physicians weight loss centers”) and rely on well-trained support staff to manage patients’ day-to-day needs.
Look for programs where every member of the care team — from the head physician on down through the ranks of nurses and dietitians — has completed comprehensive weight loss training.
Holistic Weight Management Planning
Weight loss isn’t only about shedding pounds. It’s about making and maintaining healthy diet and lifestyle changes that improve our physical health and quality of life.
So choose a program with a holistic weight management philosophy. That philosophy should cover:
- A long-term diet plan and meal plan that meets your caloric needs and any dietary restrictions or preferences you might have
- A lifestyle plan that includes an exercise program
- A weight loss treatment plan that’s appropriate for your needs and goals
- Realistic numeric targets to track your progress and motivate you to keep the weight off, covering body fat percentages and an initial weight loss goal
Evidence-Based Best Practices
Regardless of your goals, your weight loss program should take an evidence-based approach.
Your actual treatment plan will depend on your current weight and body fat, your overall health, your weight loss goals, and other factors. The treatment plan for a patient aiming to lose 20 pounds in one year will look very different from the treatment plan for a patient aiming to lose 200 pounds in three years.
As appropriate, your provider should employ treatment strategies like:
- Dietary changes and calorie controls
- An exercise program
- Weight loss shots, whether prescription or holistic (such as MIC injections)
- Surgical interventions, such as gastric sleeve surgery or gastric bypass surgery
Ultimately, your choice should be about fit. Choose a provider who makes you feel good about your decision to manage your weight — and who puts you in the best possible position to succeed.