What is a Weight Loss Clinic?

Family looking at girl mixing salad in kitchen

When it comes to things like weight loss, the general populace tends to send and receive mixed messages on how to handle it. For instance, its common knowledge that weight loss is an easy byproduct of will power and personal responsibility.  However, in spite of that common knowledge, we are in a country with one of the highest obesity rates. We are told that it is not polite to talk about weight, yet people are not afraid to outright tell people who look fat, that they are unhealthy, no matter what they are doing at the moment. We are supposed to act like we have the answers but the truth of the matter is that we don’t. And instead of educating ourselves, we continue to repeat a vicious cycle of bad habits, hoping that somehow everything balances out.

However, there are places with people who can help. There are people who have the answers to our questions about weight loss. People who have dedicated their lives to the professional pursuit of studying and solving problems surrounding weight loss. They know the mitigating factors that surround obesity. These surgeons, doctors, personal trainers, and nutritionists sometimes gather all their resources in a single area. A weight loss clinic or diet center.

These centers are a result of both doctors and patients who are demanding safe, medically supervised dieting. It has grown so much in popularity, even in Alabama weight loss clinics aren’t even that unheard of.  What sort of situation requires a person to seek out help from professionals with weight loss? When is the right time to visit one? What makes it different compared to any sort of diet fad?

What is a Weight Loss Clinic?

Orlando Health explains this plainly on their website, ” A weight loss clinic or weight loss center helps people lose weight and learn strategies and approaches for staying healthy. The best clinics will have trained clinicians, doctors and medical staff who will provide evidence-based approaches to help you with your weight loss journey. Some of these centers called medical weight loss centers to focus on doctor-supervised plans that involve diet, exercise, and supplements.”

What do I Look for in an Alabama Weight Loss Clinic?

good weight loss clinic will handle each person on a case by case basis. Patients would meet with a physician who would make a plan, talk to you about the benefits of diet and exercise, then either prescribe medication or other forms of treatment based on what you need. The programs, once it is past the consultation stage, focus on slow, consistent, weight loss through a specialized diet. Then, it will slowly reintroduce foods once the weight loss goal has been reached.

According to an interview with an NYC registered dietitian, Albert Matheny, at U.S. News, ” You didn’t gain 20 pounds overnight. It took time. The same goes for losing 20 pounds. Consistency and change of lifestyle over the long term are what leads to health and weight-loss success.”

A bad weight loss clinic will simply hand you diet pills and send you on your merry way. There would be no consultation or look into a patient’s dietary or exercise history and the approach would be hands off at best. One big red flag is a center that offers unsupported claims of results. No one can naturally lose 5 to 10 lbs a week for several months.  Not without it being temporary at least.

Follow this advice from Orlando Health, “Instead, find a facility that focuses on behavioral treatment, or lifestyle counseling, that will give you tools to make healthy choices and tips for how to incorporate exercise into your regular routine. Some of these strategies can include tracking what you eat and recording how much you exercise every week.”

What does a Weight Loss Clinic Do to Help You Lose Weight?

It all depends on what services these weight loss clinics have to offer and the specific scope of your medical condition.

Orlando Health has stated, “Some weight loss centers may focus on a low-calorie diet or meal replacement plan under the supervision of a doctor to increase weight loss when you first start the program. Others may focus on helping you lose one to two pounds a week with gradual dietary changes and low-impact exercises like walking. It all will depend on your weight, diet, exercise and medical history. If weight regain occurs after you finish the program, bariatric surgery is also an option.”

Several weight loss clinics, including a couple of Alabama weight loss clinics, mostly put their patients through a process that can help them naturally lose body fat. This process is called ketosis when patients are given an all protein diet within a specific period of time.  According to the Medi-Weightloss clinic’s chief medical officer, “After it blows through its own carbohydrate supply, the body begins to burn stored fat for fuel. Ketosis has the welcome side effect of squelching hunger as your body conserves energy in preparation for a siege by starvation.” Over time, to prevent the loss of muscle mass that comes with prolonged ketosis, patients are slowly given more vegetables and fruits to reintroduce behavioral dietary changes.

Some of them may even utilize medication to help combat any issues with cravings.

It all boils down to patients doing their own research to see what each individual offers. Whatever Alabama weight loss center, or any other weight loss center you choose,  make sure you know a few things about them like:

  • How they handle complaints
  • Whether they have published any peer-reviewed scientific articles
  • How long their program lasts
  • How much it costs with or without insurance.

What do I do to Qualify for a Weight Loss Clinic?

If you have a BMI over 30 or at least a BMI in the high 20’s with a comorbid condition like diabetes or sleep apnea, you generally qualify. Talk to your primary care physician whether or not a certain program or Alabama weight loss clinic is right for you.