Understanding Medically Supervised Weight Loss

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Dr. Mustafa Ahmed with Southern Nevada Bariatrics offers tips on who can benefit most from this common weight loss intervention

Dr. Mustafa Ahmed

Medically supervised weight loss is a specialized, “made for you” diet program that takes into consideration your personal health and medical conditions related to your weight.

Name a diet and you’ve likely tried it – only to find the pounds crept back on despite willpower and vigorous efforts. If so, it may be time to commit to medically supervised weight loss, especially if excess body weight is affecting your health and quality of life, according to Mustafa Ahmed, MD, of Southern Nevada Bariatrics.

About one-third of Americans cope with obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, according to the National Institutes of Health. Another one-third of Americans are categorized as overweight, and close to 30% of the American population is engaged in the ongoing struggle to lose weight and keep it off, says Dr. Ahmed, a bariatric surgeon who is also a trained obesity medicine physician.

But unlike most diet regimens, medically supervised weight loss is a specialized, “made for you” diet program that takes into consideration your personal health and medical conditions related to your weight, such as pre-diabetes and diabetes; sleep apnea; high blood pressure; and heart disease, along with related health factors.

“You could try any one of the hundreds of diets out there on your own, but medically supervised weight loss helps you manage your weight based on your personal health and lifestyle requirements,” explains Dr. Ahmed, who completed a bariatric fellowship and is board-certified in surgery and surgical critical care. “We can look at the cause and effect of each of these factors to help you lose weight safely and steadily in a way that’s tailored to your individual circumstances.”

What does medically supervised weight loss entail?
Medically supervised weight loss doesn’t mean someone is watching you every minute to make sure you stick to your diet program. What is involved? The first step is typically an office visit with an obesity physician that lasts about an hour and offers a focused medical evaluation for diseases related to obesity. Your current health, weight loss attempts, medications and other factors will also be covered, Dr. Ahmed explains.

Personal factors – such as anxiety or depression triggered by struggles with your weight, work or personal life – will also be addressed to maximize your weight-loss efforts. Some patients are taking several medications that actually promote weight gain, and these medications can often be substituted with a better option.

Based on this information, the physician will personalize a weight-loss plan to your needs, perhaps recommending additional testing depending on your medical history and the weight loss plan as it moves forward. Each patient’s customized diet program may or may not include dietary options such meal replacement, but the vast majority of patients use food they can buy at their neighborhood grocery store.

“To get long-term results, we need to look at the big picture,” Dr. Ahmed says. “In addition to overall health and medical condition, we’ll assess the impact of your behavior and lifestyle along with your current activity levels and how they can be improved. Your diet and nutrition are, of course, factored in and optimized to help you achieve your personal weight loss goals.”

Who’s a good fit for medically supervised weight loss?
You may be wondering if medically supervised weight loss would work well for your circumstances. Dr. Ahmed highlights those who may be a good fit:

  • People who are overweight or obese but need outside help to sustain a weight-loss plan, especially if their excess weight affects their health
  • Those who aren’t interested in or able to undergo bariatric surgery
  • Those who desire regular medical check-ins, support and instruction to boost their efforts

“If you’ve struggled with your weight and tried fad diets that have left you disappointed and dealing with regained pounds, it’s high time to embark on a weight-loss program that will equip you for a lifelong change,” Dr. Ahmed says. “Medically supervised weight loss is a great option that can help you get there.”

Southern Nevada Bariatrics is a Las Vegas-based weight loss program offering patients individualized weight loss care. https://southernnevadabariatrics.com

Mustafa Ahmed, MD, FACS, is board certified in surgery, surgical critical care and internal medicine. He is an obesity expert, bariatric surgeon and medical weight loss management specialist and the founder of Southern Nevada Bariatrics.

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