10 Common Questions While on a Medically Supervised Diet

Everyone has question when they first start any diet, especially one that is medically supervised. Here are the 10 most common questions that we've been asked and our best answers.

1. If my appetite is completely controlled by the prescription appetite suppressants given on my medical weight loss program, do I have to eat the food on my calorie meal plan?

Yes, you need to consume the food on your meal plan. You do not necessarily have to consume 100% of each meal but the purpose of the meal plan is to start regulating your metabolism by improving its efficiency. Keeping your body nourished at regular intervals will encourage the metabolism to burn calories consistently throughout the day. Your body also needs the nourishment daily in order to receive the 40+ nutrients needed for good health. During the weight loss phase, eating the frequent meals will also prepare you for the maintenance phase, which also encourages frequent meals. Eating frequently will also prevent intense hunger from one meal to the next which could lead to binges or high calorie meals.

2. Can I still have a glass of wine or beer with dinner?

Alcohol can be added to your meal plan in moderation, but there are a few very important facts that need to be known regarding alcohol consumption. It is very dense in calories for such a small volume and considered to give you empty calories because it provides none of the vital nutrients you need. When you consume alcohol, the body is very limited in its ability to burn fat because alcohol cannot be stored therefore it is metabolized first not allowing the body to burn the stored fat which in turn allows for weight loss. Alcoholic drinks also stimulate the appetite causing you to eat more at that meal than you normally would without the alcohol. The key to enjoying a drink and still losing weight is moderation. When following a calorie controlled meal plan, do not eliminate your food to make up for the alcohol calories especially if you are on 1200 calories or less a day. It is encouraged to burn the excess calories through exercise and remember alcohol in moderation.

3. Are frozen entrees allowed such as Weight Watchers or South Beach?

On occasion using these convenience foods is fine. Important facts regarding frozen entrees; is that they are usually very high in sodium and other preservatives, as well as, low in fiber. It would be better to consume one of these items then to skip a meal. If you are prone to high blood pressure or water retention try to avoid these products or use the lowest in sodium possible. To determine which items to choose, add up the calories in your meal plan for that particular meal you will be using the convenience food item and get as close calorically as possible.

4. How much exercise is needed during weight loss?

Exercise is very individualized and should be discussed with the physician based on your current level of mobility. Keep in mind the equation for burning calories resulting in weight loss is the fact that calories in via foods/beverages consumed needs to be less than calories burned in daily activity. A moving body burns more calories and will significantly aid in your weight loss. According to the experts inactive people with low level intensity exercise can benefit from a 30 minute or more routine 3-4 days per week. This would allow for improved health benefits. Overall health benefits, which include maintaining weight loss, can be reached by performing 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most and preferably all days of the week. Experts also recommend aerobic activity most days with strength training 2-3 days per week