With weight loss plans like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and Noom everywhere you turn these days, it can be hard to find the one that’s right for you. Luckily, there’s another option.
Medical weight loss programs help people lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way. To explain, we talked to Bridget Slusarek, Fairview’s Director of Comprehensive Weight Management, and Daniel Leslie, MD, who specializes in treating obesity and weight-related issues.
What is a medical weight loss program?
It’s an approach that covers all aspects of weight loss — medical, emotional, nutrition and activity — to ensure patients are successful.
It gives you one plan put together by a team of experts and the support to follow it. Most important, it addresses any underlying medical issues that may have made it hard for you to lose weight on your own.
Everyone’s body is different, so your health history and lab tests will be considered. For example, your hormone levels can contribute to weight gain. You might not realize that some of the prescription drugs you take may make it difficult to lose weight. Some chronic conditions can, too – like sleep apnea, diabetes, or polycystic ovary syndrome.
How is it different from the weight loss plans you see on TV?
Most medical weight loss programs span several months. The majority feature weekly meetings with the provider, dietitian, health coach, or sometimes a chef. By the end, you should be ready to maintain your new healthy lifestyle on your own.
How much weight can I expect to lose?
That’s the million-dollar question! These programs are designed for people who want to lose a significant amount of weight and improve their overall health. One of the first things participants do is define their individualized weight-loss goal with their team.
How much does it cost?
The cost varies by program. Talk to your health insurance company about what aspects of a medical weight loss program your plan may cover. You may also be able to use money from a Health Savings Account (HSA).
How do I know if medical weight loss is right for me?
Talk to your doctor, or call Fairview’s dedicated number to talk to a weight loss advisor. Dr. Leslie says a medical weight loss program “can be a good fit for anybody who wants to improve their life, is ready and willing to change.”