Expectations For Weight Loss
Managing expectations before any medical weight loss program is one of the most important responsibilities we have to our patients. Expectations, of course, can vary between patients and what is published in research. Excess weight loss numbers are ultimately just a sample average and not a guarantee. Proper expectations are important because so much of the success of the program relies on the patient’s willingness and ability to change their lifestyle now and into the future. This includes a complete diet and exercise overhaul that has to be maintained indefinitely.
And expectations are not limited to weight loss numbers. How long will it take to lose the weight? Will the post-program diet and exercise routine be hard? How will the patient feel psychologically as they lose weight? All of these factors need to be managed so that patients set realistic expectations before embarking on our program.
What about negative and overly positive expectations? I can’t do it. It’s too hard. I’ll never lose enough weight – Or – This is going to be easy and the program is all I need. I’ll be able to lose all my excess weight fast. Negative expectations can not only preclude a patient from trying medical weight loss, but may also fuel the general negative attitude that may be a part of their obesity problem. Overly positive attitudes are similarly harmful because they will invariably end in disappointment. A thorough introduction to the program and discussion with our staff can help manage these thoughts.
To offer a rough idea of the results of our program, we aim to help our patients eliminate between 20 and 35% of their excess body weight. For patients coming to us after a bariatric surgery, we look to help them lose an additional 5-15% of their excess body weight on top of the weight loss offered by the surgery alone. Some patients will lose much more while other s will lose less. The bottom line is that we not only want you to lose the weight but we want you to change your life for the long term.
While no one can predict exactly how much weight can be lost, our medical weight loss program does offer a step in the right direction, using behavior modification as well as diet to shed the pounds and improve obesity related diseases.