Have you beaten yourself up trying to diet your way to better health? If so, you’re not alone. There are hundreds of diets and retail weight-loss plans out there. It can be overwhelming. And no single plan works for everyone.

Weight loss is different for everyone

At Park Nicollet, my medical weight management team works hard to understand what makes your struggle with weight unique. We set goals that are individual to you. There’s no standard diet, no standard exercise regimen and no standard medication that works for everybody. Our primary focus is on improving your health. There are many ways to do this that are independent of the number on the scale.

Breaking down the stigma of weight

The best part of my job is being able to use science to break down the shame and stigma of being overweight.
Patients often come in feeling horrible about themselves, like they’ve failed. When I explain why it’s so hard to lose weight and maintain it – by describing the compensatory mechanisms the body puts into place during weight loss – I can honestly say, “Your struggle with weight isn’t your fault.”

When patients hear that for the first time, it can be a very emotional experience. They’re so happy someone believes them … and believes in them. And equally important, has solutions to help them. We help people realize how much they tie up their self-worth in weight and shape. Untangling them from one another is really important to me. You have the same value as a person whether you weigh 250 pounds or 140 pounds.

It takes more than ‘eating less and moving more’

I went into primary care because I wanted to treat health problems early and prevent heart attacks, strokes and cancer. During my early schooling, I quickly found out that no one really knew what to do about patients’ struggles with weight outside of telling them to “eat less and move more,” which clearly wasn’t working. So, I set out to learn more. I attended a specialized obesity medicine program through Mass General and Harvard Medical School. It was there that someone first was able to explain to me, using scientific data, why it’s so hard to lose weight and maintain it.

Are you a candidate for medical weight management?

Good candidates for medical weight management are those who’ve tried lifestyle changes, but struggle to maintain them. If you have uncontrolled hunger, cravings and “brain chatter” about food, medical weight management might be perfect for you. This program helps you identify and change habits to lose weight.

Weight management takes a team

All medical weight management patients at Park Nicollet see a bariatrician and a dietitian. Depending on your needs, you may also work with nurses, physical therapists and psychologists. We identify the best people, tools and resources for your long-term success.

How weight-loss medication works

Bariatricians are medical weight management experts who can determine if medicine can help manage your weight. Medications can help control hunger, provide a feeling of fullness and improve cravings for certain foods. It’s a chronic treatment for a chronic disease.

Medications can lower your set-point body weight. This means the brain stops defending a higher weight and is comfortable at a lower weight. Instead of having hunger go up and metabolism going down, we’re combating physiologic responses to weight loss with hormonal changes from medications.

Long-term weigh management goals

Our team helps patients get to where they’re comfortable with their weight. We track stability for 3-6 months and then send patients back to their primary care doctor for ongoing management. By this time, weight management is a “stable” problem. Similar to blood pressure medication, you need to continue weight-loss medication to manage your ongoing chronic condition.

Health insurance often covers some costs

Many of my patients are able to get coverage for prescribed weight-loss medications through their health insurance. This can offset some costs and make weight management more affordable. This program is a great investment in your long-term health.

We’re ready to help

Come to a place where we understand the struggle, work with you to break down shame, encourage body positivity and improve health by working to reduce body weight. Call 952-993-3180, take a free online seminar or sign up for a free group info session.