In the US, about two out of three adults are overweight or obese. There are a lot of weight loss options to address this issue, such as different types of diets, exercise programs, and even surgery. One such option are weight loss clinics. While many of them are credible and efficient at helping patients lose weight, doing your research is important if you are considering this option.
What are weight loss clinics?
The general aim of weight loss clinics or weight loss centers is to help you lose weight and teach you certain approaches and strategies for you to stay healthy.
Most clinics would do this by having you follow a low-calorie diet or a meal replacement plan under a doctor’s supervision, such that you will immediately lose weight upon starting the program. Others may take a step-by-step approach, like helping you lose a couple of pounds or so per week through gradual dietary changes and moderate exercises. Aside from presenting you with diet and exercise plans, they may also offer plans that involve dietary supplements.
Also known as a medical diet or MD diet clinic, an ideal weight loss center will have trained doctors, clinicians and medical staff to provide you with evidence-based approaches for your weight loss journey.
How do you choose a weight loss clinic?
Credible weight loss clinics would guide you through the weight loss process under the supervision of a trained medical professional. Before prescribing you anything, they must ask you for a comprehensive medical history or let you consult with a doctor for medical advice on how your plan should be. You might want to avoid places where they just allow you to quickly buy weight loss pills, as these places are usually unsafe and are not likely to lead you to a sustainable weight loss.
Instead, go for facilities that focus on behavioral treatment, and can give you the tools to make healthier food choices and how you can incorporate exercise into your schedule. They should also help you with stress and sleep management, tell you about the pros and cons of weight loss medications, and offer continuous support and supervision throughout the program.
Are weight loss clinics right for you?
If your BMI is greater than 30, a weight loss program from a clinic might be the right option for you. You may also opt for a medical weight loss program if you have a weight-related health condition, obesity-related cancer, or a family history of such conditions. Weight loss clinics can help you maintain or stabilize your weight during pregnancy or after a weight loss surgery as well.
However, it would be best to talk to your primary care doctor if you are considering such programs. Your doctor can refer you to qualified medical professionals who could prepare you an efficient weight loss plan.
Weight loss and maintenance is a gradual process that requires a lot of hard work. If you see a so-called weight loss clinic that is advertising a quick fix or something like a “lose 5-10 pounds every week” program, they are likely false claims that are not backed by research or medical evidence. The best clinics would help you understand all the work that goes into weight loss, and empower you to make the changes that would improve your overall wellness and health.