Medical weight loss is a comprehensive weight management program managed by a medical practitioner in conjunction with other health care professionals, like a dietitian.
By consulting a medical practitioner for your weight loss requirements, you can rest assured that your health status, preexisting medical conditions and any other underlying factors will be taken into consideration when developing your own individualized weight management plan.
Your doctor will firstly assess your status and identifying any contributing factors that may be playing a significant role both in your weight gain and in your inability to lose weight. Initially you will be presented with comprehensive weight loss eating plan along with an exercise schedule. This is the simplest and most effective way of losing weight and keeping it off. If you have any underlying conditions, like hypothyroidism, which may be contributing to your weight gain, then your doctor will take the necessary steps to assess the condition and ensure proper management.
A medical weight loss plan is developed with three points in mind :
- Lose weight gradually.
- Prevent further weight gain.
- Improve the patient’s health status.
This is usually done with a weight loss diet and activity schedule.
Your medical weight loss eating plan may encompass one or more of the following approaches:
Calorie restricted diet.High protein diet.Low GI (glycemic index) diet.
- Calorie restricted diet.
- High protein diet.
- Low GI (glycemic index) diet.
Failure to yield any results while on a medical weight loss plan will prompt your doctor to investigate further and consider other options. This may include :
- Weight loss drugs.
- Weight loss surgery.
These options are reserved for extreme cases where a morbidly obese patient is at a high risk of complications due to obesity and serious medical intervention is required.
A medical weight loss plan will also focus on the psychological component of weight gain. Your doctor may refer you to a psychologist for counseling and to learn coping skills to deal with improper eating habits like comfort eating. Psychological conditions like depression may require professional treatment to ensure the success of your medical weight loss plan and your doctor may also request that you consult with a psychiatrist at some stage in your program.
Glycemic index is the measure of a food’s ability to influence your blood glucose levels. Food is digested, absorbed and processed in the body until it is broken down into the simplest chemical form. Carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars like glucose within the liver. These compounds are then passed into the blood stream where it can reach the cells of the body. This transport mechanism increases the blood’s glucose levels but the entire process is regulated by two factors.
1. The rate at which the body’s cells take up the glucose from the blood stream.
2. The rate at which the liver processes and releases the glucose into the blood stream.
High glycemic index foods are rapidly absorbed, processed and released into the blood stream. This causes a spike in the blood glucose levels as the body’s cells will not take up the glucose fast enough. The endocrine system then steps in and increases the production of a hormone known as insulin. This forces the cells to take in more glucose than they need in order to reduce the blood glucose level and maintain it within the normal range. Insulin also triggers the body to convert excess glucose into fat and store it for later use.
Low glycemic index foods are slowly absorbed and processed. This means that there is a gradual release of simple sugars into the blood stream. The blood glucose levels do not increase sharply. The body’s cells are not forced to take in more glucose than they require and glucose conversion into fat will not be necessary.
Simply, the glycemic index of a food is the rank of its ability to increase your blood glucose level which in turn determines fat storage. It is commonly referred to as the GI of a food and is most relevant for carbohydrates.
By understanding the properties of foods you will be able to control what and how you eat in conjunction with your medical weight loss plan. Glycemic index is a fundamental component of any weight loss program along with other dietary aspects like calorie restriction and protein intake.