Many Americans carry around a few extra pounds, but when weight gain exceeds a certain threshold, it can become a life-altering matter. Obesity is defined as a weight that exceeds 20 percent of an individual’s medically-defined normal weight. Once a person has reached a state of obesity, he or she is at an elevated risk of experiencing multiple health issues. Examples include an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, diabetes, certain types of cancer, high blood pressure and various types of breathing difficulties. Most patients will not experience all of these conditions, but very few obese people will avoid at least one of these serious health issues.
There is no shortage of available diet and exercise plans, and most people have tried numerous methods of losing weight over the years. For many obese people, trying to lose weight on their own is a frustrating and demoralizing experience. One of the primary benefits of a medically-supervised weight management program is the support that is available during the weight loss process. Patients begin with a comprehensive physical exam and health history. Then, a customized weight loss plan is created, and patients are educated on how to make the best possible choices in diet and nutrition. Additional services are also available, such as referrals to counseling services, support groups and more.
The answer is different for everyone. Patients will see results based on their starting weight, their age, their commitment to pursuing improved diet and exercise habits and other factors. It should also be noted that many obese patients are also struggling with related health concerns, such as diabetes, hypertension or other matters. In those cases, it may take longer to see results, as lifestyle changes have to be undertaken in light of those health concerns. This is another area where a medically-supervised plan is beneficial, as patients may need to have their medications adjusted as the weight loss process moves forward.