Understanding Weight Loss Methods

Written by: Natalie Livingston, RD, LD Metabolic and Surgical Clinic According to a HealthDay survey, 43 percent of adults said they gained weight during the pandemic and 71 percent of...

Written by: Natalie Livingston, RD, LD
Metabolic and Surgical Clinic

Natalie Livingston, RD, LD

According to a HealthDay survey, 43 percent of adults said they gained weight during the pandemic and 71 percent of those are concerned about their weight gain. Are you one of them?

Successful weight loss requires a close examination of all the factors that could be preventing your weight loss. Then you have to choose the best weight loss method, which can depend on your specific goals, any medical conditions you may have and your lifestyle. At Cullman Regional’s new Metabolic & Surgical Clinic, highly specialized physicians and a team of weight loss specialists are helping patients approach weight loss the right way for long-term success.

If weight loss is your resolution for 2022 then understanding the three major methods of weight loss is an important first step.

Medical Weight Loss

Medical weight loss is an option for anyone struggling to lose weight. Endocrinologist Lakshmi Kannan, M.D., starts by analyzing your medications as well as your metabolic and endocrine health through comprehensive blood work. Any concerns uncovered during this physician-led process are addressed, which could include changes to your medications.

If you qualify for and desire weight loss medication, Dr. Kannan will discuss which medications are a good option for you and develop a plan for your weight loss goals. She may also suggest a new lifestyle plan for eating, intermittent fasting, physical activity, or refer you to the clinic’s registered dietitian for more in-depth nutrition guidance and support.

Surgical Weight Loss

Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is not the right option for everyone but it can be an effective option for people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40, or for people with a BMI over 35 who also have other medical conditions such as Type 2 diabetes. Weight loss surgery involves making the stomach smaller and sometimes re-routing the intestines to decrease calorie absorption.

Choosing to undergo weight loss surgery is a big decision. It also requires a big commitment to a new lifestyle. It’s important to make an informed decision so you can improve your chances of success. Surgeons at Cullman Regional’s Bariatric Center of Excellence offer free information sessions twice a month, which is a great way to learn more about weight loss surgery.

For patients who decide to have weight loss surgery, there is a three to six month preparation process that can include multiple medical appointments to be sure other health issues would not make surgery too risky, developing pre- and post-surgery exercise plans with a team of exercise physiologists and/or physical therapists, and working closely with a dietitian to create your nutrition plan.

Lifestyle/Behavioral Weight Loss

Lifestyle and behavioral weight loss is an option for anyone interested in weight loss. In sessions with a registered dietitian, you’ll identify what areas are a struggle for you, learn about tools and lifestyle modifications that will help you struggle less, and develop the knowledge and habits you need to create life-long health and wellness. Some common topics you and your dietitian may cover are nutrition basics of weight loss, food/meal/snack brainstorming, how to use a meal plan and meal rotation, understanding the difference between exercise and physical activity, and tips to use when trying to make lasting changes.

No matter what method of weight loss you think may be best for you, Cullman Regional’s comprehensive weight loss programs can help. The collaborative teams at the Metabolic & Surgical Clinic and the Bariatric Center of Excellence are ready to get your weight loss journey started.