Are you trying to lose weight and haven’t been successful on your own? Do you have a lot of weight to lose?
Have you heard about medical weight loss but aren’t quite sure what that means?
Medical weight loss has been a hot topic in recent months and this article will lay out how this weight loss method differs from traditional weight loss, who medical weight loss could benefit, and we’ll look at its effectiveness.
Let’s get going!
Medical Weight Loss Is Growing in Popularity
In case you haven't heard, obesity is a big problem in the United States.
Obesity is a Serious Concern
In the last 20-25 years, the obesity prevalence has increased from 30.5% to 41.9%. The prevalence of severe obesity also increased during this timeframe from 4.7% to 9.2% (1).
These statistics are alarming and contribute to mass amounts of health problems in our population. Preventable diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and strokes are commonly considered to be obesity-related (1).
Weight Management for Better Health Outcomes
It is not news to most that medical professionals and researchers focus on weight loss to provide better health outcomes for Americans.
Unfortunately, losing weight doesn’t have great long-term success. In a meta analysis of 29 long-term weight loss studies, more than 80% of the weight lost was regained by five years after initial weight loss (2).
Looking for better weight loss programs is a natural next step for the health community. Enter Medical Weight Loss Programs.
What is Medical Weight Loss?
Medical weight loss is a non- surgical weight loss option, usually for people who need more support or structure than just a diet or exercise plan to lose their weight.
It is often more for people who are considered overweight or obese based upon the Body Mass Index (BMI) scale.
Distinction From Traditional Weight Loss Methods
The main difference is the direct guidance from a medical professional for your weight loss journey. This may involve weight loss medication prescribed and dosed by your provider.
However, the focus shouldn’t just be on medication. A holistic and comprehensive approach to losing weight should be the main objective.
And this is done in a monitored and safe environment with a medical team of personalized guidance and support for the individual.
Medical Help to Lose Weight
A variety of medical providers can be key players in the medical weight loss journey.
Providers that may be a part of this weight loss team include Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Registered Dietitians, Fitness Instructors or Personal Trainers, and Behavioral Health Specialists.
Who Qualifies for Medical Weight Loss?
If you struggle to lose weight and keep it off, medical weight loss could be an option for you. Typically, it is most beneficial for those who are classified as obese or overweight based on the Body Mass Index (BMI) scale.
You may qualify for these weight loss programs if you:
Have a BMI of 30 or greater
Have a BMI of 27 or greater and have an obesity-related condition (such as type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, etc).
Discuss with your trusted medical provider whether you are a good candidate for medical weight loss.
What Does a Medical Weight Loss Program Involve?
Each weight loss program will be unique and may differ slightly. Here are some of the components that you may expect from a medical weight loss program:
Medical evaluation/history/physical exam
Blood work, labs, and/or hormone testing
Medical Weight Loss Diet
Incorporation of physical activity
Medication and supplements
Behavioral Health Support
Regular check-ins for body analysis, progress and support
Do They Work?
Weight loss is often associated with beneficial health outcomes.
From a meta-analysis of weight loss programs for type 2 diabetics, they found that when participants reached >5% weight loss it came with beneficial outcomes for lipid levels, blood pressure, and A1C (amount of sugar in your blood over the past 3 months) (3).
The programs that were able to achieve >5% body weight loss were more intensive in nature, focusing on nutrition and energy deficiency, physical activity, and regular follow up with medical providers (3).
A systematic review was done by the U.S. Preventative Task Force on Obesity of hundreds of weight loss studies that included behavior and medication components.
They found “that behavior-based weight-loss intervention with or without weight loss medications resulted in more weight loss than usual care conditions.” (5)
Another study conducted research for weight loss with the use of semaglutide (weight loss medication) and found that the medication group had more relevant weight loss than the group that received a placebo. (6)
The medication group also received counseling surrounding nutrition and physical activity. (6)
As we can see from just these few examples, utilizing medical professionals for a medical weight loss program can be more beneficial than attempting to lose weight on your own.
Medical Weight Loss Program in Boise, Idaho
At Idaho Nutrition, we have a Medical Weight Loss Program that will meet you right where you are at.
Idaho Nutrition’s Fresh Start Weight Loss Program
Our program is guided by our Nurse Practitioner (NP) and Registered Dietitians (RD).
Deena LaJoie, Registered Dietitian and founder and owner of Idaho Nutrition states, “We often see people using weight loss injections, but not changing their nutrition and lifestyle.”
She explains why this is concerning, “This just perpetuates what we see in most diets- you lose the weight but then don’t change your habits and end up gaining it all back.”
“With Idaho Nutrition’s program,” LaJoie continues, “we pair medication with expert support from our Registered Dietitians to guide sustainable nutrition and lifestyle changes for long-term weight loss and overall health.”
Another unique component to our program is the option to use EmSculpt Neo. This body sculpting technology allows for increased fat loss while building lean muscle at the same time.
No more losing all your muscle while you lose the weight you’ve wanted. This enables better health and strength throughout your weight loss journey.
Insurance Coverage and Cost
Idaho Nutrition accepts a variety of healthcare plans. Many insurances will cover the cost of the medication when a health condition and/or obesity is present.
Contact us today to discuss your health insurance coverage.
Obesity affects a lot of people in the United States and new ways of treating obesity are always on the horizon for the medical community.
Medical weight loss is a potential treatment option for those who are overweight or obese to utilize medications and medical professionals for optimal weight loss success.
A Medical Weight Loss Program typically includes frequent guidance from a medical professional, weight loss medications, supplements, blood, hormone, and/or metabolic testing, nutrition and lifestyle support.
These more intensive weight loss programs have been shown to be more successful than trying to go about losing weight on your own.