Understanding Medically Supervised Weight Loss Programs

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Am I a candidate for a medically supervised weight loss program?

Understanding Medically Supervised Weight Loss Programs

With the rise in obesity rates in the U.S., medically supervised weight loss programs have become more popular than ever. A medically supervised program simply means that a doctor monitors your weight loss treatment. You must come to the weight loss center each week to attend regularly scheduled classes often taught by a registered dietitian. Based on your risk level (high or low) you meet with a doctor either weekly or biweekly.

During these visits, labs are drawn and results discussed to ensure safe and healthy weight loss. Supervised programs make sense for a lot of reasons. Individuals who need to lose significant amounts of weight often have additional medical conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol and type II diabetes. As weight loss occurs throughout the program these conditions improve prompting adjustments in medication. Another common feature of most, but not all, medically based programs is the use of very low calorie diets (VLCD). These diets usually range from 800-1000 calories and incorporate the use of meal replacements. The premise of VLCD is to eliminate all food choices initially focusing on behavior modification. This is where you start relearning proper food choices and portion sizes.

Over the course of weeks and months foods are progressively added back into the diet. Once you reach your target weight you are able to move into the maintenance phase of the program. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be severely overweight or obese to join a medically supervised weight loss program. If you are overweight or obese and suffer from several other medical conditions a weight loss program supervised by a physician may be a best weight loss plan for you.



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