How to Know If You Are a Good Candidate For a Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program

Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program

You’ve tried taking the pounds off numerous times. You’ve attempted diet after diet, but after an initial loss, you seem to plateau and then lose motivation. It may be time to consider a medically supervised weight-loss program.

A physician trained in obesity and weight management supervises your progress in this type of program. At Family Medicine and Acute Care of Sandhills, we perform a complete physical examination and order a battery of tests to discover any hidden causes for your excess weight. We also ask you for a history of your weight-loss attempts and any psychological diagnoses that can affect your performance in the program.

We want to ensure that we identify any factors that would prohibit you from being a good candidate for the program.

Medical conditions may be a hidden cause of obesity

Aside from genetics and overeating, there can be numerous causes for obesity, among them:

Any of these conditions could be a reason why weight-loss programs haven’t worked for you in the past. We want to rule out an underlying medical condition that might be the reason your dieting has failed. And you’ll need treatment for that condition from a specialist who can work in tandem with your Sandhills doctor.

Internal vs. external motivation helps determine success

Your physician also talks with you about your motivation for losing weight, along with what’s worked and what hasn’t in the past. Do you truly want to lose 50 pounds, or is it someone else’s idea?

Psychological research indicates that lasting behavior change results from your own deep desire for the change rather than simply because cues from the external environment and comments from others tell you that you need to lose weight.

In addition, you need to feel in charge of your choices in order for behavior change to be lasting. If you do something only because your weight-loss team is recommends a new eating or physical activity routine, you’re not as likely to keep doing it. Taking charge of the change as your own new activity improves the chances that it becomes a permanent habit.

For example, saying “I’m supposed to keep an exercise diary” is the former, while “Charting what I eat helps me stay on track” puts you in charge of the change.

Beginning your weight-loss journey

Once we rule out any possible medical conditions and we clarify your motivations, you start the weight-loss journey with our team of medical professionals as your guides and supporters. Your team helps you work toward autonomy by asking you to set goals during your journey and participating actively in how you’re going to reach them. You learn about the triad of healthy eating, fitness, and healthy behaviors that support weight loss.

In addition to entering a medical weight-loss program to lose weight, you may be getting ready for weight-loss surgery or you may have had it already and want to keep on track. Your Sandhills team is here to support you.

You gain knowledge about nutrition — what foods your body needs to be healthy and the amounts, or portions, you consume to keep it healthy. You and your team work out structured nutritional plans to keep you on track. Your team works with you to develop better responses to your food triggers and reduce stress.

You list your triggers and then develop a list of new responses to them that bring you pleasure. You can keep track of how many times you used the new responses and the result.

To help jump-start you on the program, your team may add pharmacotherapy to your schedule. FDA-approved appetite suppressants may be a help along with prescription-grade supplements.

Does the word “fitness” scare you? If you’ve become a couch potato, it’s time to get up off the sofa. Your team works with you to develop a daily physical activity routine, starting with small steps and graduating to more rigorous forms of exercise. Your routine is custom-tailored to your health and fitness levels.

Call or book an appointment online with Family Medicine and Acute Care of Sandhills for compassionate treatment throughout a medically supervised weight-loss program and for all of your health care needs.  

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