posted in Weightloss Management // 11.23.15
Five Benefits of a Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program
A healthy weight loss program means you can still eat what you want in moderation, while becoming more active and actually enjoying life. However, making this important change can be hard to do on your own. This is how a medically supervised program can make all the difference.
If you feel like you need to lose some weight, you’re not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that over a third of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. This equals more than 78 million people throughout the country.
Obesity creates more problems than just not looking good in a swimming suit – there are serious health risks associated with being chronically overweight. According to the National Institutes of Health, having a high BMI (otherwise known as your body mass index, a possible indicator of unhealthy body fat) can increase your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. You may also be at risk of other complications, including some types of cancer, sleep apnea and osteoarthritis. Many obese people suffer from a condition called obesity hypoventilation syndrome, which means there is too little oxygen and too much carbon dioxide in the blood.
It’s good that you’ve decided to do something about your weight. Shedding the fat and increasing your physical fitness can add years to your life, not to mention improve your appearance and self-esteem. But what if you’ve tried diets, exercise programs and other methods but keep putting the weight back on again and again? The key to banishing those extra pounds once and for all is to make healthy eating and fitness choices that last a lifetime. No, this doesn’t mean going on a crash diet or severely limiting your food choices so you’re miserable and hungry all the time. A healthy weight loss program means you can still eat what you want in moderation, while becoming more active and actually enjoying life. However, making this important change can be hard to do on your own. This is how a medically supervised program can make all the difference. Here are the top benefits you would get from such a program:
1. Customized Doctor Assessment and Diet Plan
With a medically supervised program, you start out by having a certified medical professional evaluate your current physical condition, the typical food choices you make each day and your activity level. Your doctor will then create a custom plan that’s easy for you to understand and adhere to. Worried that making a lifestyle change will deprive you of your favorite foods? This is a mistake that people wanting to lose weight often make when they begin the venture on their own. Your doctor should be able to reassure you that you’ll still be able to enjoy food, while making changes to your diet plan that show you a better way to make use of the calories you take in.
2. Exercise Tips and Instruction Suited to Your Individual Needs
Whether you’ve been a couch potato for years or if you’re active but not taking full advantage of a comprehensive diet and exercise plan, your doctor will be able to structure a fitness program that will be both challenging and possible for you to complete. For example, if your weight is a major issue and you don’t really get around much, your doctor might start you off with a slow walk around the block or on a treadmill. As your lung capacity and endurance improve, you may be advised to increase your walking speed and distance. If, on the other hand, you’re used to walking or running, then your doctor might suggest other workout strategies to keep things interesting, such as swimming, cycling or weight training.
3. Complete Medical Workup
The truly great thing about a medically supervised program is that you don’t go into it guessing – or hoping – that you’re not making choices that can be harmful to your health. As outlined in the point above, you’ll want to exercise, but you don’t want to start something your body isn’t ready for and put yourself at risk of an injury. Before you begin your program, your doctor will screen you for existing conditions that you might not know about, such as pre-hypertension. Then you’ll be given diet and exercise suggestions tailored to your current fitness level and medical needs. As you start to lose weight and your health improves, your doctor will make changes to your program as necessary, while at the same time keeping you up to date on your overall health.
4. Forming Healthy New Habits
When you begin any weight loss program, the initial changes to your diet and activity level may seem overwhelming. Whereas before you might have been too strict with your diet, or allowed yourself to eat as much and whatever you liked, making a permanent lifestyle change can be difficult to implement on your own. However, it doesn’t have to be hard to develop good habits, and it can take less time and effort than you’d think. The key is in the support and instruction you receive from a knowledgeable diet and health professional. “Falling off the wagon” often happens when you don’t have someone to hold you accountable. Even well-meaning friends and family members might inadvertently contribute to unhealthy choices you make. Your doctor, who is committed to helping you achieve your weight loss goals and keeping the weight off, is the accountability partner you need to make your new habits permanent.
5. Health and Aesthetic Results
The final – and perhaps most exciting – benefits you’ll get from a medically supervised program are those that you can see and feel. You may not notice your physical weight loss results at first, but within a few weeks, you’ll begin to feel healthier and have more energy to do the things you want to do. Once your new habits become an ingrained part of your everyday life, you’ll start to notice how much better you look as you shed the pounds. Clothes will fit better or may start to get looser. Friends and family will complement you on your weight loss. Best of all, as you continue to work with your health professional on your diet and exercise plans, you’ll know that the positive changes you’re making are likely to be long-lasting and result in a greatly improved quality of life.