How Medical Weight Loss Differs From Other Weight Loss Programs

February 1, 2023

medical weight loss doctorDo you wonder how medical weight loss is different from other weight loss plans? Good question! We happen to think it’s better for a few important reasons…

First, unlike weight loss plans that take a one-size-fits-all approach, a medically based weight loss program is tailored to each individual patient’s needs and health circumstances. For instance, there could be a patient, despite following a commercial weight loss program, who gains weight every week instead of losing it. The reason for this could be a slow thyroid, which affects metabolism and the ability to lose weight. A commercial plan is unable to diagnose this underlying medical issue.

Another example is of a patient who could not lose weight on her own despite not having a history of overeating or abusing food. It was determined that she had polycystic ovarian syndrome, which was slowing her metabolism. With prescription medication treatment geared toward the hormone imbalance, this patient was able to breakthrough her weight loss challenges, losing 31 pounds in 7 weeks’ time.

One of the first steps in medical weight loss plan is a complete medical workup that answers such important questions as:

  • Are hormonal levels in balance?
  • Is there possibly an underlying medical condition causing the weight gain?
  • Are the medications this patient takes for other medical conditions playing a role?
  • Could food sensitivity be to blame?
  • Are there genetic factors at play?
  • Does the patient have behavioral patterns that need to change? and so on.

Second, medical weight loss approaches obesity as a chronic health condition that can be managed, treated, and monitored over time. The goal isn’t simply to lose a certain amount of weight as quickly as possible; it’s also to address the core underlying issues that are contributing to the weight issue so that the weight loss happens safely and permanently.

Weight gain and loss are much more complex than just eating certain foods or exercising a certain amount of time each week. While medical weight loss will include a nutritional and fitness plan, it goes far beyond that to include big-picture solutions to the genetic, medical, and behavioral factors contributing to the patient’s weight gain (and loss) as well.

A third key difference of medical weight loss is that medical providers have access to tools, such as phentermine and semaglutide, that can make losing weight and keeping it off easier and much more effective. Medical providers are also armed with the latest information on research into the complex causes and treatments for obesity and weight problems.

A fourth difference is the amount of ongoing support, monitoring, and one-on-one individual attention a medical weight loss program provides before, during, and after the excess weight is lost in a safe and controlled way. Routine check-ups once the program is successful assure that any future weight gain is caught and addressed early before it becomes a threat to the patient’s health and well-being.

Finally, for patients whose weight is playing a role in other health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, a medically-supervised program provides close connection and communication between the medical weight loss provider and all of the other medical professionals the patient may see. They can communicate about the patient’s overall health management plan, assuring that it’s all working together toward the goal of improving the patient’s health now and in the future.

When all of these factors are taken into account, it’s clear that a medical approach to weight loss provides advantages unavailable with any other weight management plan and can succeed where other weight loss plans often fail.


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