Do you know that under weight loss medication, there is a supervised diet for the patients? Being morbidly obese is hard on the body and to treat it timely, weight loss medication is necessary.. The skin stretches beyond normal levels. The overbearing excess weight presses down on your joints, leading to chronic pain. And your organs are forced to work overtime, which can be a detriment to your health. It’s no wonder why those suffering from the disease of morbid obesity can develop up to sixty comorbidities, from type 2 diabetes and heart disease to osteoarthritis and obstructive sleep apnea.
When you become morbidly obese, the weight wants to stick around and won’t slough off without a fight. As anyone with a BMI over 30 can tell you, losing weight is no longer about eating less and exercising. Even if you lose a few pounds, they usually come right back, often at a greater amount than you originally lost.
If any of this sounds familiar, and you have tried for years to drop the excess pounds, but nothing has worked a medically supervised diet could be the answer that has so far eluded you.
What is a Medically Supervised Diet?
Medically supervised diets involve doctors assisting individuals who have difficulty losing weight on their own in weight loss programs. Unlike commercial diet programs you follow at leisure, a medically supervised plan is strict and requires medical monitoring. Sometimes, adding accountability can mean the difference between success and failure.
How Does a Medically Supervised Diet Program Work?
The plans restrict the number of calories and carbohydrates you can eat daily. Western-style diets are often high in calories and carbs with huge portions. Go to your average restaurant, and any entrée will net you a humongous plate of food that will easily put you over your daily calorie and carbohydrate allotments. Since food is fuel, any extra fuel your body doesn’t use becomes fat. A medically supervised diet teaches you how to eat sensibly with smaller portion sizes so that your body gets the fuel it needs without the excess.
While enrolled in one of these diet plans, you will be allotted 800 calories a day and around 50 carbohydrates. To put that into perspective, the average American consumes around 3,600 calories and 250 carbohydrates daily. Your doctor will have you eating around 20% of the average diet in calories and carbs.
As far as what to eat, patients have four choices. You can choose to consume shakes, soups, bars, or puddings. This diet strives to take away your choice of what to eat. When you are stuck deciding if you should have pizza or Chinese food for dinner, you only make deciding what to eat more difficult. And you can end up overeating as a result.
Take away that choice, and eating becomes something you no longer have to think about. The decision of what to eat has been made for you, making weight loss a simpler affair.
Why So Few Carbs?
Your doctor aims to put you into ketosis by placing you on a low-carbohydrate diet. This is when your body breaks down your fat stores, which causes ketones to build up. While that sounds great, remember that ketosis can have side effects, including headache, fatigue, and nausea.
But ketosis isn’t all bad. One of the benefits of ketosis, aside from fat loss, is that you lose a lot of water. If you are on diuretic medication, you may be taken off and told to drink plenty of water while on a medically supervised diet to prevent dehydration.
Your doctor may also change or limit other medications, such as those for diabetes. People with diabetes often have their insulin doses lowered while on these diets.
Your doctor may place you on a modified meal replacement program instead of using sole meal replacement as your only source of nutrition, depending on the heart and other tests. That is a decision you and your doctor made following your initial consultation.
Read our article: What to Expect from Your Weight Loss Surgery Consultation.
How to Get Placed on a Medically Supervised Diet?
Scheduling a consultation with a qualified bariatric surgeon is the first step in obtaining a prescription for a medically supervised diet. During your initial consultation, you and the doctor will discuss your weight loss struggles and goals, your medical history, medications you may be taking, and obesity comorbidities you are suffering from.
We will conduct a series of tests to measure your body mass index (BMI), assess your heart health, and analyze your blood to ensure you can sustain a diet heavily restricting calories and carbohydrates while being healthy.
Read our article: What Does Body Mass Index Mean and How is it Calculated?
After your initial consultation, a medically supervised diet may be recommended if you are deemed a suitable candidate. As part of the program, you will return to the clinic for weekly group classes with the program’s dietician. During these meetings, you will have measurements taken, including your weight, blood pressure, waist size, and heart rate. You will then return for reevaluations and lab work every four to six weeks.
How Much Weight Loss Is Possible on a Medically Supervised Diet?
The average weight loss for a medically supervised diet plan is around 2 to 4 pounds each week. Men tend to lose more weight than women. You may also find that the more you have to lose, the quicker the weight comes off at the beginning of the program.
Success with the program would see you losing a minimum of 5% weight loss after 90 days. Most people on these programs lose weight for up to seven months for a total of 10%, though up to 35% is possible for some.
If you currently weigh 250 pounds, a 10% loss would be 25 pounds, whereas 35% would be a loss of over 87 pounds. Your weight loss experience may vary.
Does Health Insurance cover medically Supervised Diets?
Every health insurance policy is different. Depending on the provider, you may find that your policy covers some aspects of a medically supervised diet. For instance, your office visits and some tests like labs and EKGs are sometimes covered. Most health insurance policies will not pay for meal replacements, however. Imagine what you will save on groceries by engaging with one of these plans.
Medically Supervised Diet Teach You Better Living Habits
In addition to showing you how to eat more sensibly, these medically assisted diet programs work to reprogram your mentality around food. Once you have reached your goal weight with the diet, your doctor will gradually transition you back to eating normal food. You will then be placed on a maintenance program for around 18 months.
During this time, your doctor will advise you to be mindful of what you eat, your environment, and how you feel. You may want to keep a food diary that allows you to record various elements about your meals to maintain a track record and highlight factors that previously led to weight gain.
During the maintenance period, we will encourage you to make healthy food choices such as lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and drinking plenty of water. You will also need to limit or avoid sweets and alcohol since excessive consumption of these foods and beverages can set you back to your starting point.
How you feel is important when eating. Do you tend to eat more when you are stressed or when you are bored? Tracking your mindset in a diary will highlight instances when emotions are causing you to overeat.
Your environment can play a part, too. Do you ever eat in front of the television, for example? Doing so can cause you to zone out. Before you know it, you have consumed double or triple the calories you may have eaten had you been more mindful of what you put in your mouth.
Medically Assisted Means Having Help Every Step of the Way
Aside from having the accountability of your doctor and a dietician, you will often be advised to talk to others who can help, such as a psychologist. The purpose of having these experts guiding you along the way is to teach you healthier ways to relieve stress and cope with life’s difficulties.
Once you get better at controlling your mentality around food, your self-image will steadily improve with the diet’s success under your belt. Other aspects of your life will also get a boost, such as having more energy to do the things you want and getting a better night’s sleep, making you healthier.
Health is what a medically supervised diet is all about. Losing weight is a bonus, but it’s all about ensuring your body is in optimal condition to sustain a long, productive, and happy life.
Don’t Forget Physical Fitness
Eating properly is only one aspect of successful weight loss. The more you move your body, the more calories you burn and the more weight you lose. Your doctor will recommend a fitness program that is easy for beginners, and that can be ramped up as you become more physically fit.
At first, moving your body won’t be so easy. Tips from your doctor could involve sitting less and taking more walks, even around the living room. As you begin losing weight and gain more energy, your doctor may advise walking around the block or engaging in wall-assisted push-ups and other exercises to build muscle and improve cardiovascular health. Your doctor may even refer you to an exercise physiologist who can prescribe a tailor-made fitness program based on your body type and weight loss goals.
Where to Find a Medically Supervised Diet Near You
The term medically supervised diet implies that a board-certified bariatric doctor guides your weight loss efforts. To get prescribed a plan, find a nearby bariatric specialist experienced with these programs. If you’re in Los Angeles or Southern California and face persistent weight loss challenges. Reach out to Dr. Babak Moeinolmolki at Healthy Life Bariatrics.
Dr. Moeinolmolki specializes in bariatric treatments, including medically supervised diets, gastric bypass, and gastric sleeve procedures. Schedule an initial consultation with him to assess your eligibility for these doctor-assisted diet plans. Get started now by calling (310)807-2378.