Weight loss is not an easy journey.
Whether it’s 10 pounds or more than 100 pounds, dropping extra weight can be a challenge. And when traditional methods aren’t working, it can seem like a losing battle.
Medical weight loss offers hope. A multi-pronged approach, medical weight loss makes use of FDA -approved drugs to help people shed the pounds, incorporate healthier habits, and make lasting lifestyle changes to improve overall health.
“We get people feeling better. We get blood sugars down and weight down … we know that it’s helping and working,” says Lisa Murphy, APN, an advanced practice nurse at the Elmhurst Bariatric and Weight Management Center.
Edward Elmhurst Health offers medical weight loss clinics in Naperville, Hinsdale and Elmhurst. The non-surgical approach makes use of lifestyle modifications and medication to help individuals lose weight and address some of the factors contributing to weight gain.
“Medical weight loss is a process,” Murphy says. “I always tell my patients that the whole goal is a lifestyle change. We are creating a new lifestyle that is conducive to weight loss and weight loss management.”
While some may opt to work the program without medication, oftentimes medications help control appetite and address underlying issues, such as binge eating and cravings. When used properly and with a provider’s care, the medications offer the support patients couldn’t find in fad diets or other weight loss attempts.
“By the time they get to us, they have tried many, many things,” Murphy says. “People essentially know what they need to do, but they just don’t have the medication support to work in the background.
“If we can help treat medically, then they have the focus to do what they need to.”
Providers work with their patients to determine if medication is needed and closely monitor them to see if adjustments in medications are necessary. Some patients may only use the medications for a short time and others may stay on them for a year or more, depending on the provider’s recommendation.
While medication may give patients the ability to address some underlying issues, attention is also focused on lifestyle changes. Patients talk to their provider about ways to deal with stress, improve sleeping habits and address any other health concerns.
If needed, patients may be referred to other weight loss experts, such as a counselor, exercise specialist, or physical therapist to help incorporate healthy lifestyle changes. Patients also regularly meet with dietitians to address diet and nutrition.
“Health creation begins at the end of the fork,” Murphy says. “We can’t out-exercise bad diets or medicate bad diets. We are treating a lifestyle-induced disease and we have to undo that through lifestyle changes.”
She encourages her patients to return to a whole food, plant-strong diet and stay away from processed foods.
A little self-affirmation throughout the weight loss journey isn’t a bad idea either, says Murphy, who has her patients write a prescription of self-affirmation that they can read daily. She also encourages her patients to journal. She says it’s important to recognize that there will be bad days and to quickly put those slip-ups in the past and refocus on the goal of lasting weight loss and maintenance.
“We recognize that there’s going to be a bad day, but we need to just get up and do it again,” she says. Yesterday was yesterday, let’s move forward.”
Endeavor Health® Weight Management offers medical weight loss clinics at several locations. To schedule an appointment call, 331-221-6100.
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