There are many different weight loss programs out there, but patients who lose a large amount of weight usually are most successful doing so through a medically supervised weight loss program. These programs still use diet and exercise as the core of their plans, but they also include a lot of other treatments and strategies that make them more effective than your average diet routine. Here's a look at some of the elements of successful medical weight loss programs.

Hormone Balancing

For many patients, weight gain is related to an imbalance in hormone levels. Women may gain weight if their estrogen levels are too high. Men may gain weight if they have a testosterone deficiency. High levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, can also cause patients of both sexes to overeat and gain weight. Most medically supervised weight loss programs involve a blood test to measure levels of various hormones. Then, if needed, a doctor can prescribe supplements or other medications to re-balance hormone levels. This will help control cravings, raise energy levels, and encourage the body to let go of fat.

Appetite Suppressants

Some patients really struggle with weight loss because they always feel hungry, which causes them to give in to the temptation to overeat. Over-the-counter appetite suppressants are not always safe, but in a medically supervised weight loss program, a doctor can prescribe an appetite suppressant and monitor the patient for any side effects to ensure their health is not compromised by the medication. An appetite suppressant can be really effective when used, over a period of weeks or months to help a patient form new eating habits and get used to eating smaller amounts. Once the patient stops taking the medication, the new habits persist.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Being overweight is often related to mental and emotional trauma. If you're depressed or anxious, this may cause you to over-eat, which makes weight loss difficult. Being overweight can also trigger feelings of depression. As a part of a medically supervised weight loss program, you will often take part in cognitive behavioral therapy. Your therapist will help you identify feelings and triggers that cause you to eat, and then find better ways (instead of eating) to deal with those feelings. This can not only help you lose weight but can also help you keep the weight off.

Medically supervised weight loss programs contain elements that should really only be administered or overseen by doctors and other medical professionals. It's these treatments that make these programs more effective.