As the Medical Director and Founder of a medical weight loss practice in Chicago, I have heard many patients’ stories of the advice they have been following. I have also seen the many repercussions that come along with unsafely losing weight. When it comes to weight loss, there is no shortage of advice. Advice comes from countless sources, be it magazines, social media, podcasts, and TV shows. They promise to help you lose weight permanently with supplements and fad diets with little to no scientific backing. So, how are you to sort through all of your options and find what works for you? Here are some options on how to find the best weight loss clinic for you:
Involve your personal physician in your weight-loss goals:Be open with your physician about what has worked for you and what hasn’t worked for you. Discuss the diet plans that interest you. Being transparent with your doctor can help him or her guide you to the right source to further support your weight loss efforts. Your doctor can also assess your medical conditions and medications to evaluate whether you have a medical reason for your weight.
Seek out a Board-Certified Obesity Medicine Physician: There are many reasons why a person may struggle with losing weight. Weight gain is multi-faceted, so the approach to losing weight must also be. Physicians who are board-certified in Obesity Medicine are trained to evaluate patients for a variety of concerns surrounding weight. After a full analysis, you will get specific recommendations relating to medication, behavior, nutrition, physical activity, and overall health. A board-certified obesity medicine physician has far more options to treat weight and the medical conditions associated with unhealthy weight than a commercial weight loss clinic or dietician.
Consider your personal needs: Every person is unique, so the approach to weight loss must be unique as well. Simply counting points or spending hours at the gym may not work for everyone. You’ll succeed in losing weight if you find a program that tailors its plan to your unique needs. Before you begin with a weight loss program, consider the following:
• What diets have you tried? Is there a diet, such as the low-carb diet, that was effective for you? Did you like it or dislike it? How did the diet make you feel both physically and emotionally?
• Your preferences – Do you feel like you can be successful with weight loss independently or would you have better success with a physician or group support? If you feel like you need additional support, would that be in-person or online support?
• Your budget – How much are you willing to invest into losing weight? Some programs may advise meal replacements temporarily or frequent visits for accountability and tight management. Do you have a gym membership that is being underutilized and not helping you reach your weight loss goals?
• Other considerations – Do you have medical conditions such as hypertension or diabetes that may require physician support and oversight? Do you have cultural or dietary considerations that may require additional consideration when developing a weight loss plan?
The Keys to Successful Weight Loss
Successful, long-term weight loss requires permanent changes to your eating habits and physical activity. If you initiate a low-carb lifestyle but utilize it only during your weight loss period, you will find yourself regaining the weight when you reintroduce carbohydrates back into your diet. You are unlikely to maintain your weight loss if you revert back to old habits. Many weight loss diets do not encourage lifestyle modification. They are simply quick, short-term fixes to a much more complicated health concern. You likely will always need to remain vigilant about your weight, but you don’t need to do it alone. Seek out a certified medical weight loss physician to provide you science-backed, weight loss recommendations and treatment to live a fuller, healthier life.