Many people in America are obese. The State of Obesity 2022 report by Trust for America’s Health reveals that 41.9% of the country’s adults have this condition. While some people might think it is easily unavoidable, for others, obesity is not a choice. There are many reasons—aside from poor eating habits—that contribute to obesity, including genetics, existing medical conditions, and lack of access to healthy food.
Fortunately, medically supervised weight loss exists, which can be a more effective solution for obese individuals with difficulty shedding weight. Below, we’ll discuss what this is, what you can expect, and who qualifies for this treatment.
What is Medically Supervised Weight Loss?
As its name dictates, medically supervised weight loss is a non-surgical procedure where health professionals guide your journey. These may include your general physician, a dietitian, and an obesity specialist. In addition to proper diet and exercise, you’ll undergo medical assessments and consultations to determine the right medical intervention. For instance, you can be given pre-packaged meal plans and prescribed medicines.
Medically supervised weight loss has different durations for everyone since each person has a different body composition and situation. Some see results as fast as three months, while others can take longer.
What to Expect
One of the treatments you can expect is nutrition counseling. In this process, a nutrition expert—like a registered dietitian—will educate you on healthy foods that will benefit your weight loss. They will also assist you in forming healthy eating habits, such as avoiding overeating. Finally, they may help curate your meal plan, including the types of food you can eat, their portion sizes, and what time you can eat.
Presently, there are many weight loss medicines advertised on the market. Unfortunately, some of these are unregulated and unapproved by the authorities, deeming them dangerous. However, for medical weight loss, expect to be prescribed only FDA-approved medicines. These include Liraglutide (a once-daily weight management injection), Naltrexone-Bupropion (twice-daily tablets), Orlistat (a three-times daily capsule preventing fat absorption, and Semaglutide (a once-weekly weight management injection).
These are deemed safe to use because of their longevity – the first medication for weight management gained FDA approval in 1959. Therefore, you can rest assured that the FDA has had decades of experience examining their safety.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Besides dieting, exercising, and taking medication, you can lose weight by refining your behaviors and habits. For example, if you tend to overeat to cope with intense emotions, you may be recommended to undergo cognitive behavioral therapy. This type of psychotherapy focuses on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In your case, it will target these things concerning diet and physical activity.
This has shown great effectiveness alongside other weight loss practices because altering your behavior can significantly improve how you eat and exercise.
Who Qualifies for This Treatment?
Generally, people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher are eligible for medically supervised weight loss. This is what the CDC defines as obese, so if you fall in this range, consult your doctor about medical weight loss.
Other individuals qualified for this are those with medical conditions like cardiovascular disease and obstructive sleep apnea. This is because their medications can interfere with weight loss, so this can provide them with a better chance of success. However, it’s still best to approach your general physician, to ensure that this fits your health and condition.
Medically supervised weight loss is an effective treatment for obese individuals and those struggling to shed pounds. With this guide, may you have a more successful weight loss journey.
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