consulting-with-doctorWhen some Americans are asked to choose between money and weight loss to make them happy, many will choose losing weight!  Many people see being overweight as the reason why they are unhappy!  As a result, many are willing to do anything to get to their “ideal weight”!

Unfortunately, many of these same people have done many different things to lose weight only to see bad results! Whether it was trying something like the “grapefruit juice diet," or buying high protein powders at the nearest health food store, or trying the latest “medical” trend heard on a recent TV program, these attempts to lose weight and maintain it resulted in no impact on their weight or health problems. Following fad diets of food restrictions may also contribute to nutritional deficiencies, but no sustained weight loss.

When people get tired of all of these unsuccessful weight loss attempts, they may want to consider a medically supervised program. There is a lot of evidence about the effectiveness and the benefits of these types of weight loss programs which include medical supervision. 

There are several different types of medically supervised weight loss programs ranging from bariatric surgery to complete meal replacement or a combination of meal replacements with regular foods.This article will look at non-surgical programs.

What to Look For in Quality Weight Loss Programs
If you’ve come to a place that you’re seriously considering the next step in losing weight and may want to comtemplate a medically supervised program, then you may want to start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Can you find reliable, believable information from non-program sources?
  • What scientific evidence--not just personal testimonies--is available to verify the program's statements?
  • Who are the people providing this type of service?  Are there physicians, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants handling the clincial care?  Are there dietitians, nurses, or professional counselors as part of the ongoing support team?
  • What are the required procedures in this type of weight loss program?
  • What is the quality of the products?
  • What will be the time commitments?
  • What will be your financial commitments?  Can you pay as you buy products, or do you need to pay the entire amount up front?
  • How will your medical problems be treated?
  • What types of programs are available after achieving the desired weight goal?
  • What success does this program claim? 


How Medically Supervised Programs Work
Non-surgical medically supervised programs are uniquely different from commercial programs because these provide services from medical professionals in a clinic or physician's office. Medically supervised programs have been designed from scientific evidence on outcomes and effectiveness. Studies indicate that group support offers people losing weight another means of connecting with people with similar goals (losing weight). 

People are prescribed high protein, low carbohydrate meal replacements for the initial phase of treatment and food is gradually reintroduced into people’s nutrition prescription. The length of involvement, usually 3 – 6 months, depends on the amount of weight each person needs to lose. Participation in a maintenance program after reaching the weight goal is also a key part of weight management and that typically lasts from 18 – 30 months.

Challenges
Though these medically supervised programs do provide quality, effective services for weight loss, these programs are not for everybody. People who have not made a serious commitment to required procedures or have underestimated what this commitment will mean, may not be successful. Careful consideration of what these programs require is necessary for weight loss and maintenance success. 

Many people report that the change from eating food to drinking liquid supplements is more difficult than they had considered. Some people report that they miss chewing food during this phase of high protein meal replacements. These people will be encouraged that this phase is a short-term requirement for weight loss.

Some people report that the initial hunger can be overwhelming. For most people who follow the nutrition prescription, hunger will subside in 2-3 days as their bodies go into a mild state of ketosis (one of the reasons that medical supervision is required).  

Initially, some people say the cost of the supplements is too expensive. It’s helpful to keep in mind that these supplements are food replacements, so grocery bills will be much less.  When cost comparisons are made between program supplements and food costs, both are approximately equal.

Results
Depending on the type of medically supervised program, most people can expect lose between 2 to 3 pounds or 3  to 5 pounds per week. Most people who have medical problems also achieve significant lowering of blood sugars in several weeks, improvements in blood pressure and significantly less hip and knee joint pain in a few months. Many people also report that they have better quality sleep. As a result of health improvements due to weight loss, medicines doses are reduced or even eliminated.

The prescribed nutrition plan of high protein supplements used in these programs may not be appropriate for some people, such as people with type 1 diabetes, and not palatable for others. Due to scientific reports of the long-term benefits for those who have completed these programs, medically supervised programs are worth consideration for those who have been unsuccessful with other weight loss programs. People who have medical problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, joint problems, or more than 40 pounds to lose, are encouraged to consider the benefits that medically supervised programs can provide.

It also recommended that people searching for realistic weight loss options, do their homework.  Do online research, talk with people who have successfully completed these type of programs, talk with the clinic or office staff regarding the details of what will be involved. If people get their questions answered satisfactorily and are seriously willing to commit to the programs requirements, a medically supervised program can be the best choice!

To learn more about a medical, non-surgical weight loss program that has been shown to have a profound impact on managing type 2 diabetes, please click here to visit our partners at Robard.