Weight loss can be a challenging journey that each person experiences differently. Struggling with diet and exercise, without seeing sustained results, is a frustrating reality for millions of people facing obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 75% of Americans are either overweight or are suffering from the disease of obesity, and many of them are also living with obesity-related conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. If this sounds familiar, and you are ready to take the next step toward wellness, we are here to help.
Obesity is a serious, chronic, progressive disease. Just like any other chronic medical disease, obesity needs to be addressed and managed by a health care provider. Memorial Hermann’s NewStart™ Medical Weight Management Program is a scientifically based, medical approach to weight loss. Our process is different from traditional weight-loss models because it is a personalized plan from a full team of obesity experts that focuses on sustainable change and long-term follow up.
If obesity is holding you back from living a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life, our weight management program may be the solution. It’s not just about the number on the scale. Weight loss can improve your physical and mental health, increase longevity, and have a positive impact on your overall quality of life.
Medical weight management is a comprehensive, science-based approach to long-term weight loss. The specially trained physicians affiliated with Memorial Hermann are on the forefront of obesity medicine and consistently produce healthy outcomes for patients through individualized treatment plans. Our goal is to help you create and follow a physician-guided plan for weight loss and long-term wellness.
For most people living with obesity, physician-led support is necessary for effective disease management. We aim to help you bridge the gap between behavior and biology with medications or other therapies.
Each patient has unique needs. To meet individualized weight-loss goals, medical weight management can include:
Scheduling an appointment is the first step toward a healthier life. Before your initial visit, take some time to think about your own weight journey. It can be helpful to write down some information to take with you to the appointment.
Ask yourself some questions:
When you meet with your obesity medicine physician, you can feel comfortable knowing you are working with a partner who cares about your health and well-being. This is a truly collaborative process.
The purpose of your first visit is to collect information to identify possible contributors to obesity and begin the treatment planning process. This evaluation includes a physical exam and an in-depth discussion about your psychological, behavioral, and environmental history. Knowing your complete history and understanding your body’s physiology are crucial to creating an effective plan for the future.
Your first visit may include the following:
Once the treatment plan is established, you will follow up with additional appointments to implement the action steps. The plan may include medication, dietitian counseling, mental-health counseling, or remote patient monitoring with a team coach, as well as lifestyle and behavioral modifications.
Your team will include multiple clinicians who specialize in intensive lifestyle intervention and obesity treatment:
We can also provide referrals for behavioral health, psychological or psychiatric support, and advanced testing when needed.
Response to obesity treatment is based on each patient’s individual physiology. Healthy weight loss is typically 1% to 1.5% of total body weight per week, although some people will lose more, and others will lose less. It is important to maintain muscle mass during weight loss.
The 10% mark is often the first goal for medical weight management. From a health-improvement standpoint, losing 10% of total body weight is recognized as sufficient to improve, reduce the risk or, or lower the need for medications for related health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, reflux, metabolic liver disease, arthritis, and more. After that, we will help you determine what our “best weight” is and how to sustain that weight, long term.
It is not uncommon to experience weight plateaus. We will work together to re-evaluate the tools we can use to help you reach your goals. Consistent follow-up allows us to adapt treatment to your individual physiology so you can continue to make progress. Try not to be discouraged by some ups and downs in the process. This is to be expected while we discover the treatments that your physiology responds best to, and we will work through it together.
Weight loss will also drive changes in your obesity-related health conditions. Many patients discover that with successful weight loss, diabetes or other chronic conditions are controlled, quality of life increases, mobility improves, and they are better able to participate in life’s activities with a brighter outlook.
Obesity management doesn’t end when you reach your target weight, or what we call your “best weight.” This is a chronic, progressive disease that needs long-term management just like diabetes, hypertension, or other diseases. However, this does not mean you will necessarily have to continue frequent office visits. The intensity of your treatment can change when your disease is in different stages. If your obesity is well controlled, an annual maintenance appointment is usually sufficient. When symptoms return, including hunger or cravings that were previously controlled or unexpected changes in your weight, it’s time to re-engage for more active treatment. This may include making changes to your treatment plan.
Remember that our program is a safe, bias-free environment. We understand how hard it is to live with this disease. If you are struggling with your plan, or are re-gaining weight, don’t give up or avoid scheduling another appointment. These changes in progress happen to many patients, and they are directly related to your physiology and the progressive nature of the disease…not your willpower. If symptoms are not under control, it’s time to come in for additional treatment.
The obesity-medicine specialists affiliated with Memorial Hermann’s NewStart Medical Weight Management Program are here to help people struggling to lose weight. When you are ready to start, let us guide you on a path to better health with a medical plan to control obesity. Specialists are located throughout Greater Houston, and most insurance plans are accepted.
Medical weight management (MWM) is a science-based medical program for people with obesity. Our goal is to help you create and follow a physician-guided plan for weight loss and long-term wellness.Learn More