Is Medically Assisted Weight Loss Right for You? What You Need to Know

medically assisted weight loss

Weight loss is rarely easy, as millions of Americans can attest to. Diet and exercise changes, behavioral adaptations, and consistent effort takes a lot of determination and requires the best of support. 

Medically assisted weight loss (also known as physician assisted weight loss) continues to grow in popularity among those who have tried their best alone, often for years, with little results. Learn more about medically assisted weight loss and if it’s right for you:

Medically Assisted Weight Loss Begins With an Assessment


Before you can undergo any medically assisted weight loss program or surgery of any kind, you’ll have to undergo a comprehensive medical examination.

During this initial visit with your physician, you’ll discuss your medical history. This includes your past diet and exercise habits, and any current medical problems that you’re dealing with. Your doctor will need to know about: prediabetes, sleep apnea, diabetes, depression, anxiety, or physical injuries that have resulted from your weight. 

You can also expect to disclose any medications that you’re currently taking to combat obesity-related health issues. It’s not uncommon for patients who are seeking medically assisted weight loss to be on several medications at once. 

There are many different physician-assisted weight loss techniques and this initial examination will help determine which method is right for you. 

Keep in mind that the costs associated with your medically assisted weight loss program will largely be determined by the services you require as a patient.  

Common Medically Supervised Weight Loss Techniques


There are many different medically assisted weight loss techniques that you and your physician will consider together. Some of the most common techniques include:

Beginning With Behavior

One of the first places to begin attempting to lose weight is with behavior modifications. The focus is on changes in exercise and diet habits. This is usually the first option and effort that patients consider. Even weight-loss surgery is coupled with behavioral modifications to ensure that positive changes are long-term. 

Meal Replacement Plans

Meal replacement plans offer patients products that will help them lose weight. Pre-packaged meals are frequently combined with counseling and regular check-ups to keep patients on track. 


Although proper diet and exercise are the preferred methods among doctors for weight loss, there are many cases that are past the point where exercise can solve the problem. Many medically supervised weight loss programs include medication to help patients get a jump start on their weight loss. 

Surgical Weight Loss

Surgical weight loss has been gaining popularity in recent years, especially as methods have improved and results have been drastic. Countless patients have been able to turn their lives around in ways they never would have been able to do alone thanks to weight loss surgery. 

Gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric banding are the most common surgical weight loss methods. 

Gastric bypass is where the stomach is sectioned off, shrinking the size of the stomach and the amount of food a person is able to comfortably consume. Sleeve gastrectomy narrows the stomach into a long sleeve. Gastric banding is a temporary solution where the stomach is banded off and prevents the person from eating more than they should. 

Bariatric surgery is the most extreme technique out of the three. It’s most commonly used among patients struggling with obesity or morbid obesity as well as diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. 

Gastric band surgery has come a long way in the past few years and is able to be performed in a minimally invasive manner. 

Your physician can discuss each of these options in-depth with you and the pros and cons of each. He or she will make a recommendation based on your medical history and your personal needs for the intervention that’s best for you. 

Who Qualifies for Medically Assisted Weight Loss?

There are certain BMI requirements to qualify for most surgical procedures. But other medically assisted weight loss programs require little more than a desire to change and improve and a go-ahead from your doctor. 

Some programs might require you to lose a certain amount of weight on your own and learn to curb cravings before you’re admitted. This proves your determination and your ability to control yourself. Other programs require that you undergo counseling first and get written consent from your doctor before you can exercise or restrict yourself. 

How Much Weight Can I Lose?

How much weight you’re able to lose from a medically assisted weight loss program will depend on a number of factors.

First of all, how much weight do you have to lose? Forty pounds is a lot easier to lose than one hundred and forty pounds. But when you’ve got more to lose, that initial weight loss is often more drastic.

Drugs approved for weight loss that are used long-term (12 weeks or more) have shown to produce significant results compared with placebo. These medications paired with disciplined lifestyle changes result in much greater weight loss than would’ve happened if only you followed your diets!

Your willpower and determination will play a huge role as well. You might find that you need to change your whole environment to succeed at long-term weight loss. That might mean that even after a medically assisted weight loss plan you need to change the kind of food you normally buy, find new hobbies, and even cut some friendships or relationships from your life if future success is a goal. 

What Are Some Side Effects of Weight Loss Drugs?

The most common side effects of weight loss drugs are nausea, constipation, or diarrhea. These symptoms may lessen over time and usually go away completely without treatment. Rarely serious complications do occur with weight loss drugs so it is important to discuss your options thoroughly with a doctor.

Mild complaints like feeling sick or gassy might subside after awhile while more severe ones such as high cholesterol levels will probably remain constant unless action was taken early on.


Find Help Today

Ready to start your journey toward weight loss? Find medically assisted weight loss assistance from professionals. We have the best team on hand to teach you the skills and offer you the support that you need to make big changes in your life.

We’re here to help and look forward to learning more about you!  

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