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How Does Medical Weight Loss Work?

Have you tried to lose weight, only to struggle to reach your goals, or fail to keep the weight off? You may be a good candidate for medical weight loss. And you wouldn’t be alone. Millions have sought medically supervised weight loss solutions to help them lose weight, reach their ideal weight and live happier and healthier lives. 

In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about medical weight loss. From the benefits to how it works, you’ll have a good understanding of what medical weight loss is and how to talk about it with your primary care provider. With this in mind, you and your health care provider can decide if medical weight loss is the right decision for you.

Exploring the Science

Weight loss is rarely a one-size-fits all approach. What works for someone else may not work for you, and vice versa. A personalized approach is typically best, but sometimes, a standard weight loss plan isn’t enough to get you where you want to be.

Put simply, medical weight loss takes a medical, evidence-based approach to helping you lose weight. It does this by addressing the underlying causes of weight gain, such as hormonal imbalances, metabolism issues, genetic factors and more. Importantly, medical weight loss is supervised by a medical professional who will recommend science-backed treatment based on your specific health needs.

Typically, a medical weight loss program incorporates a combination of treatment approaches, such as dietary changes, lifestyle changes, exercise and medication, if appropriate. These programs can help you lose weight and keep it off in a sustainable, healthy manner.

Understanding Medical Weight Loss

Medical weight loss takes a comprehensive and holistic approach to weight management. You may have tried losing weight before by counting calories and exercising. While this can be helpful, it’s not always enough for everyone. Medical weight loss takes this process a step further by identifying why it’s difficult for an individual to lose weight and keep it off. Working with medical professionals on your weight goals allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your body, address any conditions that may be affecting your progress and have supervised monitoring of your progress.

Your health care provider can develop a personalized treatment plan specifically made for your health needs and goals. Furthermore, they can offer ongoing support and guidance and adjust your treatment as necessary based on your results.

With that being said, let’s take a deeper dive into some of the primary benefits of medical weight loss.

What Are the Benefits?

If you’re a good candidate for medical weight loss, there are numerous benefits to receiving this treatment. These benefits can include:

  • Individualized guidance — As mentioned, medical weight loss treatment guarantees a highly personalized approach to weight management. Since your health care provider will learn your medical history and your goals, your treatment will be tailored to your unique needs. 
  • Evidence-based treatment — Another benefit of medical weight loss programs is that they are evidence-based and backed by scientific research. The treatments and interventions used in medical weight loss are proven and effective for achieving sustainable weight loss goals. 
  • Improve overall health — While many people want to lose weight to look better, the benefits to your overall health and well-being are also undeniable. Losing excess weight can reduce the risk for various conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and more. Being a healthier weight and having a healthy diet and exercise regimen can also help boost your energy levels and improve your mood.
  • Sustainable weight loss and maintenance — Medical weight loss programs are built to achieve long-term success. With evidence-based treatment and ongoing support, you can achieve sustainable weight loss and maintain a healthy weight for the long-term future. Over time, you’ll build healthy habits that you can maintain in perpetuity, even beyond your weight loss treatment.

Who Can Get Prescribed Weight Loss Drugs?

The administration of prescription weight loss drugs will be up to the discretion of your primary care provider and is determined on a case-by-case basis. Weight loss medication is only prescribed if your health care provider deems it to be safe for you and right for your treatment plan.

It’s also worth noting that prescription weight loss drugs are typically prescribed to those with a BMI of 30 or higher or those who have a BMI of 27 or higher in tandem with a weight-related health condition. It’s also worth remembering that these medications aren’t meant to be quick-fix solutions and that they are most effective when combined with other treatments such as dietary changes, exercise and more.

In any case, you will need to consult your primary care provider to determine if weight loss medication is right for you. After evaluating your condition and your overall health, they will be able to develop the best possible treatment plan for your weight loss needs.

Common Medications

If you’re considering medical weight loss, you may be curious about the types of prescription medications available for treatment. Some of the most common medications prescribed for weight loss include Ozempic, Mounjaro, Metformin, Trulicity, Saxenda, Wegovy or Rybelsus. Typically, weight loss medications work by suppressing the appetite and reducing hunger cravings. There are also medications that target hormones, or that block the absorption of fat. It’s important to be aware of the medications available and their potential side effects.

If your health care provider deems weight loss medications to be medically appropriate, they may recommend one of these prescriptions for your treatment. Make sure to talk to your health care provider about your options, and always let them know if you’re experiencing side effects. These medications always need to be taken under medical supervision to ensure your safety and their efficacy.

Diagnosis & Treatment

If you’ve decided you’re interested in pursuing a medical weight loss program, the first step of your journey will be diagnosis. You will need to set up an appointment with your primary care provider and let them know of your interest in medical weight loss. From there, they can conduct a thorough assessment of your current health and weight. This evaluation will likely include a review of your medical history, questions about your health, a physical examination, blood work and possibly other diagnostic tests.

This diagnostic process can help identify any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to your weight issues. Once your health care provider has a clear understanding of your condition and your individual needs, they can determine if you’re a good candidate for medical weight loss. If you are, they can start developing your treatment plan.

A medical weight loss treatment plan will typically include a combination of the following:

  • Dietary changes — A healthy and balanced diet is often part of any weight loss program. Your health care provider may make specific recommendations regarding your diet.
  • Exercise — Physical activity is also an important part of maintaining a healthy weight. Make sure to speak to your health care provider about what exercise regimen is safe for you.
  • Lifestyle changes — Your health care provider will likely recommend lifestyle changes like improving sleep habits, moving around more during the day if you have a sedentary office job and other lifestyle changes that can help with your weight loss journey.
  • Behavior modification — Your health care provider may also work on identifying behaviors that hinder your progress, such as overeating or stress eating. These behaviors sometimes require therapeutic interventions like cognitive behavioral therapy.

Medication — If deemed appropriate, your health care provider may prescribe weight loss medication to help you reach your goals and keep the weight off.

Helpful Weight Management Tips

When it comes to weight management, small changes can make a big difference. Here are some tips to help you on your weight loss journey.

  • Set realistic goals — Make sure you set measurable and realistic goalposts and milestones. This helps you stay on track and stay motivated.
  • Prioritize nutrition — Remember to follow your health care provider’s nutrition advice. Typically, nutrient-dense whole foods like fruits, veggies, lean proteins and whole grains help create a balanced, healthy diet.
  • Practice mindful eating — Remember to pay attention to your hunger cues. It can help to eat slowly and chew thoroughly, giving your body time to process the meal as you eat. It’s best to stop when you feel satisfied and not when you feel stuffed.
  • Stay active — Regular physical activity can help greatly with weight loss. Something as simple as walking can help, but it can also be great to work in activities you enjoy, such as biking or swimming.
  • Manage stress — Stress can sometimes lead to stress eating, and the way stress throws off your body can sometimes make it more difficult to stick to your weight loss program. Make sure to manage stress with relaxation techniques such as self-care, meditation and breathing exercises.
  • Stay hydrated — Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and help reduce feelings of hunger.
  • Get enough sleep — Sleep is crucial for both mental and physical health, especially if you’re following a medical weight loss program. Ensure you’re getting full nights of quality sleep.
  • Celebrate wins — Don’t forget to celebrate even small wins throughout your weight loss journey. It’s important to stay motivated, and you deserve to be happy with your progress. On the flip side, remember to be patient and kind to yourself when there are setbacks. Weight loss is often a marathon, not a sprint.

Connect with a doctor or online provider

As mentioned, the first step to starting a medical weight loss journey is to speak with your primary care provider. You can connect with a provider in person, or you can even speak to a medical professional online, thanks to advancements in telehealth. With online care, you can access all the same services as in-person care from the comfort of your own home. Whether you’re interested in in-person or online care, Circle Medical is your solution.

Book an appointment with a Circle Medical telehealth provider today!

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Connect with a doctor or online provider

Circle Medical is a full-stack primary care provider that offers both in-person and telehealth care options. We’re focused on providing thorough and comprehensive care for all of your primary care needs, such as medical weight loss. It all starts with meeting with your provider and getting an assessment. Fortunately, Circle Medical makes connecting with an online provider easier with same-day appointments available. Book your appointment to get started on your journey to better health and wellness today!

Book an appointment with a Circle Medical telehealth provider today!

Circle Medical is a full-stack primary care provider that offers both in-person and online healthcare services so you receive care the way you prefer. Setting up your first appointment online is a great way to get the ball rolling for your care, as you can speak to a healthcare professional as soon as today. Book your same-day appointment with Circle Medical now to get started!

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