Trying to lose weight quickly can turn out to be a frustrating experience. In many cases, the unwanted pounds, shed through starvation or by buying into diets based more on fad than fact, reappear soon after they disappear.
On the other hand, losing weight by participating in a program based on medical knowledge, using products developed by physicians and supervised by an experienced doctor can be a fulfilling and life-changing experience. Just ask Yvonne Gregory, an active 58-year-old who dropped nearly 30 pounds with the help of the Center for Medical Weight Loss in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. On her own, her efforts to slim down certainly would have been more difficult and might have added to her medical problems – lactose intolerance and a hiatal hernia. Under the guiding hand of Dr. Loren Frankel, Yvonne was able to enhance her lifestyle, improve her self-image and probably say goodbye to those extra pounds forever.
Like all other patients of the Center for Medical Weight Loss, Yvonne's customized program started with a complete body composition profile. Dr. Frankel used a body composition analyzer to determine exactly how much of Yvonne's weight was made up of fat, water and muscle. Using this information, the analyzer determines an individual's resting metabolism – how many calories a person can consume each day to remain at a specific body weight – and, therefore, how many calories, combined with exercise, will be necessary for a person to lose weight.
With this information in hand, Dr. Frankel can produce a customized plan for each of her patients. The six- or eight-week programs might include nothing but shakes and energy bars; shakes and bars combined with a light dinner; or appetite suppressants and supplements that increase the patient's metabolism rate. Dr. Frankel sees each patient every week to monitor their weight loss and possible changes in health and to make sure they are using the proper medications. She said in some cases, diabetics who go through the program are able to stop taking insulin completely, and often patients are able to discontinue cholesterol or antihypertensive medications.
Dr. Frankel's main concern is that her patients reach their target weight safely.
"The shakes and bars we use were medically designed to be safe substitutes for meals," she explained. "Other products on the market do not always provide the necessary nutrients patients need when certain foods are eliminated from their diet."
"Other plans leave almost too much choice to the patient, and they don't necessarily learn about good nutrition," she added. "We want everything balanced for safe weight loss. Even when patients complete their program, we encourage them to keep coming in."
Dr. Frankel pointed out that personal motivation is a key factor in her patients' success.
"Patients like Yvonne who are super disciplined will achieve good results. It is hard to lose weight, so you have to have a good mind-set," said. "The first few days are hard, but then you aren't hungry anymore and you start dropping the weight, which is good motivation. Everyone needs some degree of motivation."
Changing your health for the better is a huge achievement. But for Yvonne, the icing on the cake was her high school reunion in California, held just after she completed her weight-loss program. When she headed to the West Coast, she was the same size as when she was a high school senior.
"I plan on staying on the shakes and bars forever," she said. "It is nutritionally balanced so you don't have to worry about not getting the important vitamins. This has been a wonderful thing for me."
To learn more about the weight loss programs at Palmetto Women's Health, call (843) 884-2206 or visit www.PalmWomensHealth.com.