To Lose Weight, Try Medical Weight Loss
By Robert Ziltzer, MD
For years, losing weight has been a self-help condition. If you read the right book, somehow you’d be successful in losing weight. This approach does not work. Unfortunately, you’ll have about as much luck losing weight on your own as you would trying to lower your own blood pressure or treating your own cancer. The fact is, you are unlikely to do it alone. You need help…Professional help.
What are the critical components of successful weight management?
- A board certified weight loss physician (an Obesity Medicine Specialist or Bariatrican, known by some). Why not just see your family doctor? In truth, medical residency training does a poor job at teaching weight management. You’ll end up with a diet that pushes you to eat too many sugars/carbs and no support. This approach has been tried and failed. A specialist in weight loss can design a plan that give you complete nutrition on fewer calories with less hunger and faster weight loss. She can also give you the right appetite suppressant to control any hunger issues you have.
- The right diet. Lots of protein and fiber, and not too many carbs are key to weight loss. It’s important to get complete nutrition in the process. You can do this through the use of whole foods or medical grade full meal replacements. The latter are special foods that provide all of the nutrition you need on as little as 800 calories. With a whole food diet, you just cannot get all of the nutrients you need on fewer than 1000 to 1200 calories.
- The right activity plan. Start small, build from there. Begin with 5 minutes per day and do that almost every day. Brisk walking will do. You’ll need to work up to a total of 2500 calories of exercise per week to keep off the weight, and it’s OK if it takes you 6 months to build up to this. Walking is great for some, weight training for others, swimming still for others. Find the right exercise that works in your life.
- Support. Support. Support. Everyone is different. For some, emotional eating is a problem. For some, travel or a busy grab-and-go lifestyle is the problem. You’ll need a set of tools to become a weight manager, and to get through the stressful times in your life. Group classes run by a weight loss professional have been shown to be more beneficial than online delivered content. Success in managing these times will help you deal better with future challenges to your plan.
- A maintenance plan. Frequent weighing, 1-7 times per week helps you gauge your success. You’ll also need a plan for a weight gain of 3 pounds of more.