Are you struggling to lose weight? Have you tried to lose weight but gained back all of it? Have you tried exercising but it did not help?
If your answer is yes, then this is a good read for you.
In this article, we explore what is Medical Weight Loss and how it can help you lose weight permanently, and safely under medical supervision.
Like most people, you thought you were overweight because you “ate more and moved less.” Isn’t it? But that is so not true. A wrong diet and physical inactivity contribute to weight gain but are not the only causes.
How does it work?
To lose weight, you began eating less food to create a calorie deficit, based on the information you read online. The articles on Google quoted the 2nd law of thermodynamics to support the calorie deficit theory.
You even tried a couple of fad diets like the ketogenic diet, probably prescribed by a nutritionist. You tried working out in a gym, to begin with, and probably even hired a personal trainer to assist you.
You starved endlessly to keep the weight off but eventually gave up. In the end, you ended up gaining more weight than you had lost. You did not just gain weight but also reset the weight set-point in your brain higher without even knowing it. To add to it, you added micronutrient deficiency to the list of your woes.
Does your story sound something similar to this? This is the story of most weight loss enthusiasts who try to do things the way they are on the internet.
So how can you do things Differently?
You might have seen a nutritionist or a fitness trainer. Have you ever thought of visiting a Doctor to lose weight? No. Right?
“Obesity is a medical condition; it needs to be treated like one. Period!”
You need an evaluation and treatment from a Doctor trained in metabolic health.
No, it does not mean that you need to take medications to lose weight.
Why am I not losing Weight?
The question might be bothering you for quite some time. A simple answer to the question is, “the causes of Obesity are diverse and multi-factorial.” There is no one cause of weight gain but many causes adding up.
So where do we begin? Medical Screening!
How can medical screening help you lose weight?
Before answering this question, let us understand what medical screening is and what vital information it can reveal about you.
Your Medical History is a mine of information. It may reveal the underlying medical conditions that you may not know of. An example would be a food craving or frequent hunger pangs signifying Insulin resistance. A symptom of breathlessness can be due to anemia or even a respiratory condition like interstitial lung disease that is prevalent after the Covid-19 pandemic.
A physical examination may reveal high blood pressure or a murmur that reveals an inefficient functioning of the heart. Measuring your waist and hip circumference to derive a waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) helps in classifying you into android (apple-shaped) or gynoid (pear-shaped) obesity. A body composition test provides details like Fat%, Muscle%, and Visceral fat.
The investigations assist in having a complete picture of your health. The blood tests may reveal low hemoglobin which is the cause of your breathlessness during exercise, low iron levels causing hair loss and fatigue, or high white blood cell count suggestive of an infection.
Special biomarkers like a high hsCRP indicate a chronic low-grade inflammation that increases your risk of heart disease. A hormonal screen like Insulin, Cortisol, and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone gives insight not just into the metabolic status but also about lifestyle factors like stress, sleep, etc.
Assessment of micronutrients like vitamin D3, B12, etc helps us to identify deficiencies that need to be addressed by nutrition and supplements. The tests like lipid profile and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) give an idea about fat and carbohydrate metabolism respectively.
Advanced tests like Genomics (DNA test) and Gut Microbiome tests provide insight into the genes responsible for obesity and gut health respectively.
The medical screening not only speaks about current health status but also serves as baseline data for future comparison to assess the effectiveness of the interventions.
In short, medical screening helps us to identify the causes of weight gain, the associated medical conditions and risk factors, and the micronutrient deficiencies. If your goal is to lose weight permanently, and safely without side effects, then medical screening should be the first step.
Now that we have understood why medical screening is vital, let’s see how this data is used to help you lose weight.
Once the medical screening is complete, we can now proceed to other assessments.
- Nutrition Assessment
- Fitness Assessment
- Lifestyle Assessment
- Goal Setting
Nutrition Assessment :-
The nutrition team analyses your dietary habits, hydration, and supplement intake if any. It is assessed both in terms of quantity and quality, as well as the timing.
Fitness Assessment :-
The fitness team evaluates your current level of fitness by a battery of tests to assess your endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance. The assessment includes your motivation, feasibility, any limitations to being physically active, and the availability of equipment for exercise
Lifestyle Assessment :-
The lifestyle team assesses your lifestyle and habits like substance abuse, along with stress and sleep as the prime focus.
By now, it is evident that it is a team that is necessary to help lose weight, it is not just a nutritionist or a fitness trainer.
Goal Setting :-
Once the assessments are complete, the team ideally sits with you to set some goals. The goals have to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Time-Bound) for them to be effective.
After the goals have been set, and you have made up your mind; a personalized plan of action is initiated. The plan consists of nutrition (diet+supplements), exercise (strength+endurance+flexibility), and lifestyle modifications.
A regular monitoring (daily basis) is necessary to ensure that you are compliant with the plan of action. And the body composition and self-assessment (blood glucose for diabetes, blood pressure for hypertension) have to be repeated every week. And the medical investigations may have to be repeated at monthly intervals to help the team assess the effectiveness and make necessary changes from time to time.
At MediFit, we have pioneered the delivery of Medical Weight Loss programs through a customized algorithm.
To begin your medical weight loss program,