No one will tell you that losing weight is easy. It takes hard work, dedication, sweat, and tears. But anyone who has reached a weight-loss goal will tell you it was worth it. For many people, the key to successful weight loss is support, accountability, and guidance. For this reason, many doctors are now specializing in weight loss. And this development makes sense.
The market is great, the money is good, and a real difference can be made in the lives of patients. While your primary care physician is a wonderful resource, he or she may not have the expertise and tools necessary to come along side you in your weight-loss journey. This is where weight-loss doctors and clinics pick up the slack.
Can this new fad in medicine be trusted? Read on to learn more.
You need to lose weight and you’ve tried every diet in the book with no lasting success. Where can you turn? Your trainer may refer you to a weight loss clinic. The reason you’re overweight is multifaceted, and because of that, your treatment must be also. With the help of your personal trainer and medical professionals, you’ll receive a tailored exercise program and get a treatment plan that may include behavioral therapy, education, diet advice, prepackaged meals, cooking classes, psychological counseling, weight-loss medication, health monitoring, and support—all closely supervised by a team of trained doctors, nurses, dietitians, and counselors.
Some clinics require weekly visits, others monthly check-ins, and a few highly specialized clinics offer highly specialized programs that last daily for several weeks to months.
Big Success Rates
Your success with doctor-assisted weight loss will depend on your commitment and the extent of services offered. That said, you can and should expect to lose weight. Some patients report weight loss of up to 50 pounds in the first five to six months. Through the advice, counsel, and education offered, you should also expect to learn how to incorporate the tools necessary to lose and maintain weight the healthy way.
Great as the weight loss may be, it may be short-lived. Once you’ve completed the program and reached your weight-loss goals, unless the new lifestyle changes have become lasting habits, it’s easy for the weight to return. To combat this tendency, many clinics recommend periodic follow-up visits indefinitely to offer continuing accountability and support.
Grow Your Knowledge
Before visiting a weight-loss clinic, you’ll want to do your homework. Weight loss is a big money maker, there are plenty of scams, and people are waiting to take advantage of you. Get referrals from your primary care physician and personal trainer, read reviews of clinics and weight-loss specialists in your area, and talk to patients who’ve had success with specific clinics.
You should know that some clinics are owned and operated by doctors, yet patients rarely if ever see the actual doctor. Take this as a red flag. Because of the risks involved with weight-loss medications, you ought to be wary of clinics that offer patients medications without prior examinations, monitoring, or follow-up. Drugs should be given as a last resort option after diet and exercise fail to produce results.
It’s not cheap to receive these weight-loss services. Depending on your insurance plan, if you have a health condition related to your weight problem such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease, insurance may help cover the costs. Otherwise, you can expect to pay a pretty penny from your own pocket. Clinic visits range in price from $70 per visit to several thousand dollars for the intensive programs.