Lose Weight the Medical Way

Friday, June 01, 2007
By Abbey Khan

drkaplan_2.jpg If you’ve tried every diet in the book and just can’t seem to shed the pounds or keep it off, then you haven’t visited The Center for Medical Weight Loss. Founded by Dr. Michael S. Kaplan, The Center for Medical Weight Loss is the first national network of physicians that takes a medical approach to losing weight.

The good thing about this program is that every client receives individualized treatment with one-on-one care that includes nutrition, fitness, medication, motivation and counseling. Whether you want to drop a few pounds or suffer from obesity, there are three different plan options that are catered to your individual needs. These include the low calorie diet, appetite suppressants, and the food diet. All options also incorporate counseling and exercise.

Since it’s already swimsuit season, you may want to lose weight fast. No, they’re not psychics, but Dr. Kaplan and his team can predict how much weight you can lose in a given amount of time. Of course you have to follow the program for it to work. But we can tell you that the average weight loss experienced by his clients is 21 pounds in four weeks.

Still have questions – that’s why we asked Dr. Kaplan all the questions you want answers to.

FUSN: Who’s a good candidate for treatment at your centers?
MK: Candidates vary, half my practice is cosmetic with people wanting to lose a few pounds and have normal BMI’s (18.5-24.9). The other half are obese (BMI of 30 or greater) or overweight (25-29.9) patients, so it’s a real range. As long as someone has a few pounds to lose we treat everyone.

FUSN: How do you treat someone with pre-existing health conditions – don’t they require special attention?
MK: Most obese patients have some sort of medical problem associated with it. Often times when someone loses weight, problems like diabetes disappear. If the patient wants, we also correspond with their doctors and let them know what treatments we are giving them. We treat men and women 18 years of age and over.

FUSN: At what point do the three different option plans intersect or can you combine the different programs to get results?
MK: The program a patient chooses depends on whether or not the person thinks they can follow a low calorie diet with only protein shakes and bars for the first week or so. This plan only works if a person is motivated to lose weight, so we customize the plan according to the patient’s needs. If a patient is struggling we can add appetite suppressants or adjust the plan, but it’s really case-specific.

FUSN: Exercise is a big part of your program, what types of exercise should your clients incorporate into their individualized programs?
MK: Everyone should exercise for a minimum of 3 days/week for 45 minutes to an hour. It should be a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise (cardio and weights).

FUSN: Some weight loss programs encourage eliminating alcohol completely. Are your clients allowed to drink alcohol while they’re on the program?
MK: While a person is on the low calorie diet they should avoid alcohol because it adds unnecessary calories. If someone wants to enjoy a drink occasionally that is fine. You can’t control what people do, the important thing is to watch calories and keep the count low.

FUSN: Of course, everyone’s wondering what the average cost and length of the program is.
MK: It’s hard to answer this because it really is different for each person and what their goals are. If someone wants to know they can go to www.centerformedicalweightloss.com or call 1800.MD.BETHIN to find their local center.

FUSN: Ok, so the person is on your program, they lose the desired weight and they’re done. But a lot of people have trouble keeping it off– how do you make sure they don’t gain it back once they stop coming to you centers?
MK: The counseling that comes with the program helps patients keep the weight off once they stop coming to the center. They learn to change their eating habits and lifestyle. A patient can always call the center if he or she has questions and is welcome to come back at any time. The Center for Medical Weight Lost strives to help their patients lose weight, but more importantly keep it off, so we give patients the tools and knowledge necessary to do so.

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