COUNSELING FOR WEIGHT LOSS

Why would I need counseling to lose weight?

Dramatic weight loss can be both satisfying and confusing. Often we are following diets that we may not completely understand. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that one in four patients who are overweight or obese are confused regarding diet information. There are many fad diets out there with conflicting opinions on weight loss. Additionally, counseling by primary care physicians or through established weight loss programs is often lacking.

Fad diets only work for short periods of time. Some of these plans eliminate entire foods groups and others are full meal replacing plans. Neither form is really sustainable for more than a few months. Research suggests that patients lose 13 pounds on average, but more than half regain that weight. These diets don’t equip you for the tools to make healthy choices after leaving the weight loss clinic. In fact, many of them don’t promote healthy choices while you’re there. Making fundamental changes to your diet and exercise regimes will best equip you for losing that weight and keeping it off. 

Effective counseling really just boils down to patient education. In order to deliver a comprehensive and holistic approach to weight loss, we offer counseling. We want you to feel supported and have medical professionals that you can turn to with your questions. It's important for you to understand why we're recommending you adopt certain habits and change others.

Do I have to have weight loss counseling at Peak Medical?

We will never make anyone do anything they don't want to, but we do have the experience to tell you that weight loss counseling is a good idea. For example, many weight loss programs don’t distinguish between initial and sustained weight loss. Some fad diets can be successful in dramatic initial weight loss. You may have experienced that yourself. But, up to 95% of patients who do a popular weight loss program regain their weight within five years. At Peak Medical, we believe counseling services are essential to achieving sustained weight loss.

The truth is, even a small weight loss can have a dramatic effect. For patients with a BMI of 30 or higher, even a little change in weight can resolve other medical conditions, like high blood pressure. A 5% decrease in weight reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 60%, as an example. Setting realistic expectations and having support available throughout the process is incredibly important to achieving sustained weight loss.

People who include a psychological element to their weight loss journey lose up to 15 pounds more than people who only stick to diet and exercise. According to the CDC, up to one-third of obese patients achieve long term weight loss when the medical therapy includes diet, exercise, medication, and counseling. This holistic approach to weight loss can serve as disease control and prevention for obesity and related illnesses. For some patients, especially those with a Body Mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher may need bariatric surgery.

What type of therapy will support my weight loss journey?

There are many types of counseling services out there. At Peak Medical, we can't stress enough how much we believe in a holistic approach to weight loss. This means that you will need to transform your habits to match your goals. Diet and exercise alone won't get you to your goal weight. Nor will just discussing the root of the problem. You will need to commit to all methods if you want to achieve long term weight loss, including changing your behavior. The most effective way of changing behavior is to address the root of the problem, and actively work on changing it.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the recommended type of counseling to treat obesity. It serves as a more hands-on approach to changing diet and exercise habits. Working with a specialist to discuss what types of unhealthy habits you currently have and how you can work towards changing them will lead to sustainable weight loss.

Changes to diet and exercise in the short term are not enough. A behavioral therapist can help discuss whether you might have a fear response to your diet and exercise habits. Focusing on the reason for the behavior, instead of the habit itself, is a successful method to achieving positive habitual transformation. Utilize counseling to center yourself to achieve a sustainable healthy weight. Healthy eating and exercise can only get you part of the way towards long term weight loss.

What types of things will I learn with weight loss therapy?

Throughout cognitive behavioral therapy, you will discuss and learn how to:

  • Track, monitor, and evaluate your eating habits

  • Change environmental triggers that lead to overeating

  • Increase your level of physical activity

  • Create a sustainable diet and exercise plan

  • Set (and achieve!) realistic goals

To succeed in behavioral therapy, you’ll need to come with an open mind and be ready to discuss diet and exercise habits honestly. The only way to change your current habits is to put them out in the open and decide how you are going to change them. We use an mobile app that serves to keep track of your diet plan and fitness goals to keep you accountable and motivated! You can think of it as a digital food diary where you're able to communicate with our staff when you need to. You'll also have access to work-outs, nutritional information, and other helpful resources. Linking it to your phone will also allow you to organically count your steps to see how active you are during the day.

Are there any supporting materials to help me further?

At Peak Medical Weight Loss Clinic we want you to succeed. We often offer weekly updates and newsletters that allow you to use the skills you’ve acquired and put them into practice. Upcoming information include:

  • Food prep ideas

  • Mindfulness and medication Newsletter

  • Tips and Tricks for avoiding triggers

  • Digital cooking lessons

  • Nutritional education seminars

As we progress at Peak Medical, all the information above will be available in the a members only login area, so that members can have access to the entire back-catalog of information. 

Not all counseling services allow you to practice what you're discussing at each session. These newsletters and lessons are a great way for you to gain insight into niche areas that are most interesting to you, and then confer with your trainer or account manager on your next visit. Our goal is to incorporate achievable healthy eating habits and help make them manageable to suit your lifestyle.

The purpose of Peak Medical Weight Loss Clinic is to help you achieve long term weight loss. We’re building a community to keep you motivated and supported throughout your weight loss journey. If you’d like to discuss our programs or speak with a specialist, call our office for a consultation. 

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