Maybe you’ve been here before – hoping to lose weight in the New Year. You’ve made resolutions, tried every conceivable diet, joined and quit gyms and tried fitness trends.
We know losing weight can help keep us healthy. So why is it so hard to do it?
That’s where North Memorial Health comes in to support you with medical weight loss programming. We understand that losing weight is personal. Each person experiences their health conditions and weight loss differently, so North Memorial Health practitioners partner with you to develop an approach tailored to your needs and lifestyle. The ultimate goal: Take the weight off and keep it off, in a way that works for you.
“Obesity is truly a chronic disease,” says Jennifer Beissel, APRN, CNP. “It requires ongoing management. Weight loss can dramatically improve a person’s health risk, so there is no need to wait until you have gained a certain amount of weight. Early treatment is important in order to prevent complications and most effectively manage it.”
Interested in medical weight loss? Here’s how North Memorial Health can help you, starting now.
Getting Informed About Medical Weight Loss
Step number one: Get the right information. As we know, the world is crammed with ideas of how to lose weight and keep it off—much of it wrong.
“As most people know intuitively, weight is complicated. We can’t just boil this down to eating less and being more active,” Beissel says. “There is a lot at play.”
All these factors are covered at a monthly seminar which alternates between the Blaine Medical Center and Fridley Medical Center. The evidence-based information covers misconceptions about obesity and provides an overview of how foods and other factors—such as insulin, gut hormones, and environmental factors—may affect your weight.
While attending a medical weight loss seminar is not required, it is suggested, because it will give you great background before your first visit at the clinic.
Booking a Medical Weight Loss Consultation
Your first appointment is a consultation with a nurse practitioner or physician assistant —consider it a “getting to know you” visit. “It is really important to know the history in order to make a plan for the future,” Beissel says.
Together, you’ll review medical history, medications, your weight history, trials and failures with weight loss, and what your current lifestyle looks like.
This information provides the necessary insight to your weight journey, and guides your weight-loss plan.
Because everyone’s body and journey is different, everyone’s plan looks different, too. But generally speaking, you could expect to be seen every two to three weeks for the first four visits. After that, future visits are scheduled every four to six weeks, based on how much structure, troubleshooting, and accountability is needed for each person. And the length of time all depends on the support you need and time you need to reach your goals.
And Beissel says, some people who have reached their goals still come back a few times a year to make sure they are staying on track.
Discussing the Surgical Side To Medical Weight Loss
“There are a lot of misconception out there about surgery,” Beissel says. “People think that by participating in a medical weight loss program, surgery is not an option, or assume it’s a copout.”
But there are physiologic benefits that came come with surgical interventions, she says. And for those who would qualify for a surgical intervention, it is an ongoing conversation and consideration. We can help to provide you with information about your options and connect you to a program.
Monitoring Results and Maintaining a Healthy Weight
No real lasting change happens with a “set it and forget it” mentality.
A weight loss program is going to require lifestyle change. It takes some sacrifice, planning, and intention,” Beissel says. And it’s why the program involves monitoring medical conditions throughout the supervised weight-loss journey.
“This offers a more comprehensive picture and the ability to make sure weight loss is happening in a safe way, keeping an eye on other conditions that would be impacted by weight loss,” she says.
Meeting Goals and Staying Motivated
“I will say this: Every person who comes and does the work, will lose weight,” Beissel says. “I don’t set a specific number goal at our initial visits. Instead we watch progress, co-morbid medical conditions, how they feel, and what they can picture doing long-term in order to settle in on a goal.”
And, she continues, “What is always so amazing is how a small amount of weight loss can make a huge difference in how people feel. They are breathing better, having less joint pain, improved mood, better-managed hypertension and diabetes—they are enjoying life more and staying motivated to continue with healthy habits. It is so remarkable and very rewarding.”