Frequently Asked Questions about Weight loss
1. Who should seek our services now or ASAP? Those with BMI greater than 25 who are motivated and ready to make significant lifestyle changes with the goal of living longer healthier lives should seek our services. Please keep in mind that a BMI more than 25 but less than 27 may not qualify you for medications. We can pursue 3 of the 4 parts of our sustained medical weight control program. Those who had previous bariatric surgeries (sleeve, balloon, etc) and still want to lose additional weight should seek our services. Those patients considering surgical options can still consult with us before or after surgery.
2. Who should wait to seek our services? If you are still unsure about your motivation or do not have the time to follow up, then wait until you are at a time in your life when you are ready to make these changes. Sometimes major life events need to be worked out such as a change in job, death of a loved one, divorce, or recent hospitalization. These are not good times to start this program. If you are looking for a quick fix, then our service is a not a good match for you. Those with a BMI less than 25 and who never had a history of a BMI greater than 25 do not qualify for our services.
3. How do I know if I have unhealthy weight? BMI screens for unhealthy weight and the abdominal circumference confirms it. Learn more here.
4. Do you sell products in your practice? No.
5. Do I have to use your products or your recommended products? No. We respect your autonomy. However, we recommend certain products and technology as part of our sustained medical weight control program. If you choose to not follow our recommendations and you are not successful in meeting your weight loss goals, then our ability to guide your weight loss journey is greatly limited.
6. Do I have to take medications? No. However, we know that patients with unhealthy weight regain weight because of damage to the neurohormonal system that regulates appetite. Unhealthy weight is a chronic disease that requires chronic treatment. If you do not want medications, you can still consult with us for physician prescribed nutrition, exercise and self-monitoring. In addition, having our team review your current medications and medical conditions can also lead to additional weight loss.
7. How long will I have to take these medications? Medication is 1 of the 4 parts of our sustained medical weight control program. If a certain medication along with the other 3 parts of the program (nutrition, exercise, self-monitoring) achieve your weight goals, then you should be prepared to take this medication life-long.
8. Should I become pregnant while on these medications? We do not recommend becoming pregnant on these medications If you do become pregnant, you must immediately let us know so we can safely remove these medications.
9. Do you use calorie counting as part of your program? Yes. Calorie counting is part of the self-monitoring portion of our program.
10. Will you work with other nutrition programs such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Medifast? Absolutely yes. We will also teach, coach, and develop nutrition plans for you.
11. Do I have to exercise to lose weight? Yes. More importantly, we teach you the definition of exercise and what the research shows on how much exercise you need to do per week to lose and maintain weight loss.
12. Can't I just take the meds and lose weight? No. Medication is 1 of the 4 parts of the program. The data and research are very clear that medications alone, exercise alone, nutrition alone, self-monitoring alone may produce transient weight loss but does not achieve sustainable weight loss. Our goal is sustained weight loss/control that leads to longer, healthier lives. You have to be ready to do all 4 parts of the program. If you want a quick fix, then we are not the clinic for you.
13. Do you use phentermine? Yes. Phentermine is an ingredient in Qsymia. See all options here.
14. Do you check for other medical causes for weight gain? Yes! This is why we require the annual physical and labs prior to the first visit.
15. Do you recommend a personal trainer and/or nutritionist? Depends on the patient. Every patient has a different level of knowledge of exercise and nutrition. Some patients may require additional expert services.
16. Do you have a personal trainer or nutritionist as part of your consultation? No. We do not outsource the exercise and nutrition portion of our program to other professionals, because we find that patients may receive conflicting information. Our team will prescribe the exercise plan and nutrition plan as part of the comprehensive weight control program. If the team feels, a personal trainer and nutritionist is needed for additional support, then we will refer you to one of these professionals. Nutritionists can sometimes be covered with certain medications such as Saxenda.
17. What are your thoughts on bariatric surgery? Our team advises our patients of the best available options to treat unhealthy weight to include surgery and non-surgical options (such as the intragastric balloon and medications). We fully support bariatric surgery as one of the many options for comprehensive weight loss for those who meet criteria.
18. Do B12 shots, "skinny" shots, testosterone/estrogen replacement, and hormone pellets lead to weight loss? B12 shots, "skinny" shots, testosterone replacement, and hormone pellets either have no evidence or very little (weak) evidence in the role for sustainable weight loss. We do not provide/market these services as weight loss options. As the field and research into obesity medicine grows, we offer options that have sound medical research and medical evidence.
19. Do you treat hormones for weight loss? Yes. Unhealthy weight is neurohormonal disease. One of the FDA-approved long-term medications, liraglutide, is an appetite-suppressing hormone. Learn more here.
If you inquiring about testosterone or estrogen, please see question #18.
20. Does removal of my extra adipose (fat) tissue underneath my skin through surgery, liposuction, cold/warm sculpting, radiofrequency sculpting reduce my risk related to unhealthy weight? No. The real risk of unhealthy weight is not adipose tissue underneath the skin; rather, the adipose tissue that surrounds your heart and intestines leads to stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and early death. Learn more here about the real risk of unhealthy weight.
The procedures listed in this question are purely for cosmetic reasons and have no metabolic or medicinal benefit. However, patients who lose a large amount of weight, may need to find a surgeon to remove the excess skin.
21. Are there over the counter (OTC) medications that help with weight loss? Yes. There is one called orlistat or commercially known as Alli. Orlistat is also available as a prescribed medication known as Xenical.
Please do not confuse (OTC) medications with supplements. See question #22 about supplements.
22. Are there supplements that help with weight loss? Probably. From a medical evidence standpoint and in general, supplements by definition do not have the same medical evidence or safety analysis that the FDA mandates on prescribed medications. We do not recommend using supplements because the risk/benefit ratio, side effect profile, and interactions with medications are either unknown or poorly known. Safety concerns about supplements rise to the public and to the FDA usually AFTER hundreds or thousands of people are hurt. Here is a good read about the supplement ephedra.
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