Choosing a medical weight loss center is an important decision that can have a significant effect on your overall well-being. The right weight loss center has programs designed to help you reach your goals and maintain a healthy weight, cares for the mind as well as the body and is staffed by a team of professionals so you can lose weight in a healthy way.
Visiting medical weight loss centers in person is essential to choosing the right place for you. Before attending a visit, talk to your doctor about any medical conditions that may need to be addressed at the center, and write down any questions you have. During the visit, take notes and do not hesitate to ask for clarification or more information if you do not understand something. Ask for brochures, website information and past patient referrals, and consider bringing a family member or friend with you for support.
Center Staff Interviews
During your visit, take time to interview the medical weight loss center’s professional staff. Ask about their weight loss programs, including group classes and individual counseling. Do they keep food records or follow specific meal plans? Do clients have to purchase special supplements, drugs or foods? How does the center handle food allergies or special dietary preferences?
Talk about the lifestyle changes encouraged by the center. Does the center offer exercise instruction and encourage clients to be more physically active? How does the center teach clients to make healthy and positive behavioral changes? Is the center’s program sensitive to your cultural and lifestyle needs?
What happens after you leave the center is just as important as what goes on while you are there. Discuss the ways the center teaches patients to keep the weight off. Do they teach clients skills to maintain a healthy lifestyle during social outings or times of stress or illness?
Consider the qualifications of the staff at the center. What type of education and experience do they have? Are they supervised by a trained physician?
Talk about the potential risks of the center’s programs. How will recommended supplements or drugs affect your health? Do participants have regular access to a physician? If you have a medical condition, will the center’s staff collaborate with your own personal doctor? Will your personal doctor have input in the program?
The cost of attending a program at a medical weight loss center can be prohibitive for some patients. Talk to the director about the program’s costs and discuss other expenses, like attendance fees or supplement and food purchases. Is a follow-up program included in the center’s fees? Are medical tests covered?
Finally, ask to see evidence of results from past participants. How much weight do patients lose on average? How long do they keep it off? Ask for referrals and discuss the center’s programs with past patients.
The answers to these questions will help you determine if a medical weight loss center is for you. Discuss your options with your personal doctor and select the center that best matches your needs, preferences and goals.