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Diet and exercise vs. surgery: your weight loss options explained

Medical weight loss can change your life

Many of us have struggled with weight our whole lives. We’ve tried diet after diet, only to lose some amount of weight, then gain it all back (and perhaps then some?). Your Google searches for weight loss solutions are probably frustrating and overwhelming. Diets like Keto, the Mediterranean diet, the Paleo diet, and Weight Watchers sound great but you’ve probably tried them all, to no avail.

Perhaps you’re even considering weight loss surgery, but you’re at a loss as to which direction is best for you.

Or maybe you only have 20-30 pounds to lose, and you’d like to try personalized diet planning, accountability, or possibly medication support.

No matter how much weight you have to lose or which program you choose, we at Nashville Weight Loss Solutions educate you on the core principles of why we have to eat, teach you how to lose weight healthily, and give you the tools necessary for sustained weight loss.

We offer both surgical and non-surgical weight loss solutions, so we can scale your support tools based on how much weight you have to lose and how much help you need to maintain the weight loss. Our non-surgical options include accountability programs like Ideal Protein and STAR Coaching, weight loss medications, and ultimately gastric balloons to achieve the most weight loss medically. Our main surgical options include gastric sleeve and gastric bypass surgery.

Below, we explain the various ways you can go about your weight loss journey here at Nashville Weight Loss Solutions. We are confident if you choose one of these solutions you can have the most positive outcome possible and live a healthier, more active life.

When a nonsurgical weight loss solution is the answer

Our non-surgical weight loss programs are usually perfect for anyone looking to lose between 20 to 60 pounds and include:

  1. Accountability programs Ideal Protein and STAR Coaching

  2. Weight Loss Medications

  3. Obalon Gastric Balloon Program

Non-surgical weight loss solution #1: The Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method

Imagine losing weight while experiencing fewer hunger pains, a feeling of fullness, more energy than you ever thought possible, weekly support and coaching, and best of all: safe and rapid weight loss! If you are looking for a more aggressive weight loss choice, then our Ideal Protein Weight Loss program is the answer. On our Ideal Protein Weight Loss program, you will be eating high-quality protein which helps prevent the overproduction of insulin, permitting your body to burn off fat stores while maintaining lean muscle mass.

In addition to this new way of eating, you’ll be regularly meeting with a dietitian who is there to assist you with your food diary, coach you on your efforts and challenges, and keep you accountable to your goals - all while cheering you on along your path. Moreover, there is daily video support sharing tips and tricks on the program, providing nutritional education, and offering moral support during your journey.

Keep in mind - this is a medically designed weight loss protocol that is only offered to preferred healthcare partners. You will be meeting with physicians and dietitians who have years of experience in helping people lose weight. Ideal Protein places a strong emphasis on using this experience to make a permanent lifestyle change through improved eating habits and education on how the body processes the foods you used to eat, compared to the foods you’ll be eating going forward.

Most importantly, these services don’t end when you reach your weight loss goal. We find that with many patients, keeping the weight off is just as critical as losing the weight in the first place. Therefore, your entrance into this program grants you lifetime access to our weight loss coaches, Ideal Protein products, and many other resources such as support group meetings and video library.

Non-surgical weight loss solution #2: STAR Coaching

STAR Coaching is a 6 week program designed for clients seeking a personalized one-on-one accountability approach for overall weight health. This program involves no drugs and no meal replacements. It begins with a comprehensive nutritional assessment by our registered dietitian where you will be weighed, measured, given meal plans, and educated on how to eat healthily for weight loss.

After the initial assessment, you will meet with the dietitian every 2 weeks to answer questions, review progress, adjust meal plans, and receive encouragement. In addition, you will also have daily access (via text or email) to the dietitian between office visits for an added layer of clarity, accountability, and motivation.

At the end of the 6 weeks, clients may choose to continue the program on a monthly basis for continued weight loss or ongoing support for maintenance.

The STAR Coaching program is perfect for those who really want one-on-one accountability and coaching for a concierge style approach to weight health.

Non-surgical weight loss solution #3: Weight Loss Medications

There are many powerful weight loss medications on the market today that work in different ways to help suppress appetite, decrease cravings, reduce portions, and even boost metabolism. We are utilizing these medications with great success in conjunction with dietary education and lifestyle modifications.

Here are just a few of the prescription weight loss drugs we offer:

  • Adipex-P®

  • Belviq

  • Contrave

  • Saxenda

  • Qsymia (Phentermine/Topamax)

Each of these weight loss drugs works by either increasing or decreasing different neurochemicals in the brain. The best drug is the one that works for your body, and Dr. Houston will assist you in deciding which one is right for you.

After choosing the right medication, you will continue to meet with our providers on a monthly basis to monitor potential side effects, as well as the effectiveness of the medications. In addition, you can also meet with one of our registered dietitians at each visit to answer questions about your diet, review food journal, and adjust your eating plan as necessary for continued success.

Sometimes these weight loss drugs are covered by your insurance plan so give them a call to find out. But even if they’re not, you might be surprised how affordable they can be.

If you have struggled sticking with a diet plan and feel like you just need a little “boost”, then one of these new weight loss medications may be all you need to kick start your weight loss journey.

Non-surgical weight loss solution #4: Obalon Gastric Balloon Program

While the Ideal Protein Weight Loss and STAR Coaching are ideal for patients wanting to lose weight via traditional measures, our Obalon Gastric Balloon Program works best for patients wanting to lose 40-60 lbs in a more rapid time frame without any medications, incisions or downtime.

Specially designed gastric balloons are swallowed into the stomach and inflated in a quick 15 minute office setting. The balloons remain in the stomach for 6 months, and patients experience reduced appetite and inability to eat large portions of food. As a result, there is a dramatic reduction in caloric intake and you are able to achieve your weight loss goals. After six months, the balloons are removed, but you will continue to work with our support team for six more months to ensure long-term success.

During the first six months with the balloons in place, you will be learning to modify your lifestyle and create healthy eating and exercise habits that will sustain your weight loss after the balloons are removed.

If repeated dieting and exercising alone has not helped you lose your excess weight, our 12 month Obalon Gastric Balloon Program might just be the right solution for you.

When a surgical weight loss solution is the right choice.

Perhaps you have more than 100 pounds to lose. You may also be suffering from weight-related, potentially life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea. When you reach this point, you are more than likely the right type of candidate to consider weight loss surgery as your solution.

We offer many different types of surgical weight loss solutions, and all of them are performed in a minimally invasive way. Dr. Hugh Houston was actually one of the first surgeons in the country to complete a fellowship dedicated specifically to laparoscopic bariatric surgery, so you won’t find another surgeon more qualified and experienced to lead you through your surgical weight loss journey.

The two most common procedures we perform are gastric bypass and gastric sleeve. Each procedure results in profound weight loss, but the profile of the ideal candidate for each is slightly different.

Gastric Bypass: the “gold standard” of weight loss surgeries

With gastric bypass, patients typically lose an average of 75% of their excess weight by one year after their surgery. Performed laparoscopically, the procedure literally bypasses a large portion of the stomach, and the small intestine is reconnected to the smaller upper stomach via a small opening that limits how fast food empties out downstream. For you, this means it takes a very small amount of food to make you feel completely full, and your body’s intake of nutrients and calories is restricted. In addition, there is also a profound reduction in your appetite and desires for food via the elimination of our body’s main hunger hormone called grehlin.

The surgery itself takes about 1.5 hours and requires only an overnight hospital stay. Most patients are able to return to work in 1-2 weeks. The procedure is safe, reliable, and effective, with excellent long-term results. There’s no foreign material introduced into the body, and the gastric bypass has been performed for over 60 years. You can understand why gastric bypass has long been considered the “gold standard” for obesity surgery!

Gastric Sleeve: no rerouting of the intestine equals more normal anatomy and better absorption of nutrients

With the gastric sleeve surgery, patients typically lose around 70-75% of their excess body weight by one year after their surgery. Performed laparoscopically just like gastric bypass, the main difference between gastric sleeve and gastric bypass is that about 80% of a patient’s stomach is removed, changing the shape of the stomach from the size of a football to a medium banana. For you, this means you get full faster and aren’t subject to some of the malabsorption of nutrients that takes place with gastric bypass. The hunger hormone grehlin is also eliminated with gastric sleeve surgery.

The surgery itself takes less than an hour to perform, can be done outpatient in select cases, and most patients are able to return to week in one week. The gastric sleeve procedure is sometimes preferred over gastric bypass if the patient wants to be more tolerant of certain medications like steroids or NSAIDs. Also, because there’s no rerouting of the stomach like gastric bypass, your risk of potential intestinal obstruction is eliminated and the risk of anemia is dramatically reduced. However, some patients after gastric sleeve are prone to acid reflux or heartburn.

Accountability programs, prescription medications, gastric balloon, or bariatric surgery: how do you know which solution is right for you?

If you have weight to lose, you’re doing the right thing by doing your homework and researching your options. No matter what solution you choose, Nashville Weight Loss Solutions’ goal is to teach you how to manage your weight healthily for life.

We want you to reach your weight loss goals, to avoid or eliminate the types of life-threatening diseases that come along with obesity, and to feel good about yourself again. Let us support you and give you the guidance you need to make the best decision about your ultimate health.

If you would like to partner with us, your next step is setting up a consultation with Dr. Houston so you can be evaluated and advised on the best solution for your unique weight loss needs.

Nashville Weight Loss Solutions offers a comprehensive range of proven weight loss programs, including both surgical and non-surgical weight loss solutions. Lead by Dr. Hugh Houston, a 15-year pioneer in the weight loss field, and one of the country’s first surgeons to complete a fellowship specifically dedicated to laparoscopic bariatric surgery, you won’t find a more qualified weight loss practice to healthily and safely help you succeed in your weight loss journey. Whether you want to lose 20 or 200 pounds, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

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