Weight loss is challenging for many reasons. Age, genetics and lifestyle all contribute to weight gain and the difficulty of losing those extra pounds. Often, medical weight loss plans provide the decisive difference. This approach uses science to determine the reasons behind an individual’s weight gain and correct those issues. Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare in Harrisonburg, VA employs weightloss experts who use medical testing and treatments to create customized weight loss plans that get results.
Top Medical Weight Loss Techniques
Medical weight loss techniques combine lab testing and counseling to help clients determine the weight loss approaches most suitable for them. Top techniques include metabolic testing, hormone balancing, weight loss medications, coping with prescription drugs that cause weight gain, lifestyle changes and SmartLipo.
Life takes energy, which can make dieting a challenge. Working out, preparing healthy meals and just being active in general means you need to take in the right nutrition. Often, extreme dieting results in lower energy, which only reduces your ability to be active. Worse, it puts the body into starvation mode, where the metabolism slows in order to conserve energy. This sets you up for an unproductive diet that produces little in results and lots of discouragement.
For this reason, people with slower metabolisms have difficulty losing weight from diet and exercise changes alone. In fact, people with slower metabolisms need to use different techniques to make weight loss effective. Medical weight loss utilizes techniques that are tailored to the individual. In order to determine the best approach for each client, Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare uses metabolic testing.
How Metabolism Works
Metabolism is the energy a body creates from food and beverages. This biochemical process affects our entire bodies, including everything from breathing to blood circulation to cell repair. Sometimes, metabolism needs to increase for a weight loss program to be fully effective.
Many factors affect metabolism, including sex, age and muscle mass. Unfortunately, as we grow older, metabolism tends to slow, resulting in lower energy levels and, in most cases, weight gain. The good news is we don’t have to accept adding extra pounds each year as inevitable.
A slowing metabolism can be boosted no matter your age. Exercise, diet, medications and other techniques can speed your metabolism regardless of age. To determine if a slow or slowing metabolism is contributing to weight gain, visit Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare for metabolic testing.
Weight Loss Through Hormone Balancing
Our hormones impact our body weight and a number of other important health factors. When it comes to weight, certain hormones encourage the body to conserve fat while others help reduce bloat and build lean muscle. Because of the important role hormones play in body weight, some clients struggle to shed pounds despite following intense exercise routines and sensible diet plans.
Hormones that interfere with weight loss include cortisol, insulin, estrogen and testosterone. To determine if hormones are to blame for weight loss difficulties, our healthcare providers run lab tests that determine if there are any imbalances. Clients then receive treatment that brings hormone levels back into balance, resulting in rapid weight loss.
Stress can become a silent killer. Prolonged, intense stress affects people physically, mentally and emotionally. In addition to elevating blood pressure, reducing immunity and contributing to a short temper, stress also induces our bodies to store fat. In fact, stress often makes it difficult or nearly impossible to shed unwanted pounds.
Excessive stress results in weight gain because it induces the release of the hormone cortisol in unhealthy proportions. In particular, cortisol raises fat levels in the belly and makes trimming our middle sections much harder. It also disturbs sleep, and inadequate sleep is another contributor to weight gain. Worse, cortisol increases sugar cravings, and excessive sugar is one of the major factors in America’s struggle with obesity.
Medical weight loss focuses on bringing down high cortisol levels. Exercise, a healthy diet, stress reduction and medications can all bring high cortisol levels back into balance. Once cortisol levels return to normal, exercise and dietary plans are able to work effectively.
Before determining a suitable weight loss plan, it’s important to determine if thyroidism is having an impact on body weight. The thyroid controls metabolism. Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, can contribute to weight gain and make losing extra pounds difficult. If thyroidism is a factor in weight gain, our weight loss professionals treat this underlying condition in order to make weight loss goals attainable.
Estrogen & Testosterone
Levels of estrogen and testosterone affect fat storage. When these hormones grow out of balance, the body stores additional fat, making it much harder to lose that extra padding. Our lab testing determines if testosterone or estrogen imbalance are impacting body weight and prescribe supplements when indicated.
Insulin stores fat, which makes it difficult to lose weight if insulin levels are out of balance. Laboratory testing determines if insulin levels are a factor in weight gain. Our healthcare practitioners prescribe medication to control insulin levels if it is a contributing factor.
Weight Loss Medication
In many cases, diet and exercise alone are not enough to achieve weight loss goals. Medical conditions, hormone levels and age all play a part in making weight loss challenging for some people. For this reason, medical weight loss programs provide medication where needed. To determine if clients need weight loss medications, healthcare professionals evaluate a patient’s body mass index, health history and lab results. When appropriate, medication is prescribed as part of an overall weight loss strategy that includes a healthy diet and exercise.
Coping With Medications That Cause Weight Gain
Medications save lives and reduce or eliminate the debilitating symptoms of many diseases. Unfortunately, many come with unwanted side effects, and one of those can be weight gain or inhibition of weight loss. These medications change body chemistry, which, in some cases, affects the processes that build fat. Medications interact differently based on the individual. Lab results help determine if a medication may be causing an issue, such as a slower metabolism.
Prescriptions for treating epilepsy, depression, arthritis and high blood pressure are the most frequent contributors to medication-induced weight gain. Antihistamine and birth control prescriptions also frequently cause changes in weight. In addition, antibiotics that destroy healthy colon bacteria can cause increased fat retention. Our medical weight loss providers understand how certain medications impact weight gain and loss.
Few people lose significant amounts of weight without changing their lifestyle. Diet and exercise are key lifestyle factors, but losing weight and keeping it off means doing more than casual activity and trying to eat less. There are specific types of diets and exercise that result in healthy and long-lasting weight loss.
When it comes to diet, it’s important to choose a plan that suits the individual. For example, some people are able to metabolize certain foods better than others. For this reason, we test each client to determine their physical makeup and any foods that their body will have a tendency to store as fat rather than burn.
In addition to counting calories, medically-prescribed diets also focus on the types of calories. The body tends to store sugar as fat, so added sugars are a no-no. Calories from trans fat also need to be cut. Medical staff works with clients to determine which types of foods are most responsible for weight gain and recommend alternatives that help maintain a high energy level while discouraging the body from adding to its fat stores.
Education and Lifestyle Changes
Education is an important part of lifestyle changes, which is why dietary counseling is so important. Rather than trying to direct people to avoid certain foods, dietary counseling makes them understand the impact certain foods have on their body weight, making it easier for them to make healthier dietary choices.
For example, many people are surprised to learn that they consume many times the recommended amount of daily sugar intake. This happens because sugar is so prevalent in processed foods that it’s impossible to not exceed a healthy amount unless you put specific effort into finding out how much sugar is in each food you consume. All this excess sugar is stored as fat. Sugar is added to so many other foods that it’s not unusual to exceed the daily recommendation by more than 500%.
Exercise Routines Must Be Specific
Exercise routines need to be geared toward eliminating fat, which occurs from workouts that combine cardiovascular development and muscle-building. Cardiovascular exercises, such as running, biking, swimming and cross-country skiing, burn enormous volumes of calories. The body is forced to adjust to these high-intensity sessions by burning off excess fat. In addition, muscles used in these activities strengthen, replacing fat with muscle.
Weight training may, at first glance, not seem like the ideal exercise to lose weight. After all, muscle is heavier than fat. However, completing endurance lifting workouts (at least 8 to 12 repetitions) won’t add bulk muscle. Instead, the body gains definition as fat is replaced by lean muscle. Best of all, enhanced muscle mass increases metabolism, even while at rest: a recipe for losing weight and keeping it off.
Many times, diet, exercise and medications take off a great deal of weight but fat stubbornly remains in tough-to-lose areas, such as the belly, neck or thighs. SmartLipo provides the solution to this hyper resistant fat.
The SmartLipo procedure uses the latest laser technology to destroy these fat cells with a minimally invasive process. Unlike other lipo procedures, SmartLipo tightens the skin, so there is no sagging skin left where the fat used to be. Popular body areas for SmartLipo include the following:
Most clients see results within a week and enjoy continued improvement for three to six months. SmartLipo allows clients to return to their normal activities right away and experience no bruising or other side effects. This can be a great way to contour your body and get uplifting results that allow you to show off how hard you’ve worked to get your weight under control.
Start Your Weight Loss Journey at Shenandoah Women’s Health
If you’ve been putting off getting into a weight loss routine, a consultation with a medical weight loss expert at Shenandoah Women’s Health will get you started. Through medical testing and counseling, we will help you devise the weight loss program that works best for you. It’s all about finding the reasons behind weight gain and using proven techniques that combat them. To shed those extra pounds for good, call Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare in Harrisonburg, VA today.