Medical weight loss clinics
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Medical weight loss clinics




Medical weight loss clinics are medical facilities that focus on helping patients lose weight in a safe and effective way under medical supervision. These clinics utilize an evidence-based approach to weight loss that involves a combination of medical weight loss interventions like prescription medications, nutritional counseling, fitness guidance and behavioral modification techniques.

How Do Medical Weight Loss Clinics Work?

Here is an overview of how medical weight loss clinics typically operate:

  • Initial Consultation – Patients meet with a medical provider (doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant) for a comprehensive health evaluation. Medical history, medications, eating habits, activity levels and weight loss goals are discussed.
  • Physical Exam and Lab Tests – Vital signs are checked and blood work may be ordered to screen for any underlying conditions that could impact treatment. These tests help customize the weight loss plan.
  • Prescription Medications – If appropriate, medications like appetite suppressants or fat absorption inhibitors may be prescribed to assist with weight loss. These are only used under medical supervision.
  • Meal Planning – A registered dietitian works with patients to create a nutritious, reduced calorie meal plan tailored to food preferences and health needs.
  • Exercise Recommendations – An exercise plan is developed based on the patient’s current fitness level and mobility to help maximize weight loss.
  • Behavioral Therapy – Cognitive and behavioral strategies are taught to promote long-term weight management. This may involve journaling, mindfulness or counseling.
  • Follow-Up Visits – Patients have regular check-ins to monitor progress, adjust medications if needed, identify challenges and maintain accountability.

Services Offered at Medical Weight Loss Clinics

Some of the common services provided at medical weight loss clinics include:

  • Medical weight loss medications
    • Appetite suppressants (phentermine, Qsymia)
    • Fat absorption inhibitors (Xenical, Alli)
    • Diabetes medications for weight loss
    • HCG hormone injections (controversial)
  • Dietary counseling and meal planning
  • Exercise programming and fitness guidance
  • Behavior modification coaching
  • Body composition analysis
  • Nutritional supplementation when needed
  • Pre-packaged meals or protein shakes
  • Maintenance programs for sustained weight management
  • Support groups and community education

Who is a Good Candidate for Medical Weight Loss Clinics?

Medical weight loss clinics are suited for individuals that struggle with:

  • Obesity (BMI over 30)
  • Being overweight with obesity-related health issues
  • Repeated failed attempts losing weight with diet and exercise alone
  • The need for prescription medications or professional guidance to lose weight
  • Emotional or binge eating that sabotages weight loss efforts

Candidates should be medically cleared and monitored throughout their treatment. These programs work best for motivated patients willing to make lifestyle changes. Quick fixes or extreme diets are not promoted.

Benefits of Medical Weight Loss Clinics

Some benefits of losing weight under medical supervision include:

  • Higher success rates – Studies show medically-supervised weight loss results in 7-8% body weight reduction compared to 2-3% with self-directed efforts.
  • Improved health – Weight loss can reduce risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and other obesity-related illnesses.
  • Nutrition guidance – Meal planning support helps manage calories, adopt healthy habits and avoid restrictive dieting.
  • Accountability – Regular weigh-ins and follow-up appointments promote adherence to diet and exercise plans.
  • Lifestyle training – Behavioral strategies help patients overcome obstacles, avoid triggers and maintain weight loss long-term.
  • Prescription medications – Access to prescription medications enhances weight loss results for some patients under medical care.
  • Multidisciplinary support – Ongoing support from doctors, dietitians, coaches and other professionals.

Types of Medical Weight Loss Clinics

There are a few different models of medical weight loss clinics:

  • Independent medical weight loss clinics – Stand-alone facilities specializing in medically-supervised weight loss.
  • Hospital-based weight loss clinics – Based in a hospital or major medical center, sometimes affiliated with bariatric surgery programs.
  • Primary care weight loss clinics – Weight loss services provided within a family or internal medicine practice.
  • Medically monitored weight loss centers – May have doctors overseeing treatment and prescribing medications based on health profile.
  • Telemedicine weight management clinics – Provide services and medical supervision virtually using phone consults and online tools.

What to Look for in a Medical Weight Loss Clinic

When choosing a medical weight loss clinic, look for one that:

  • Has licensed medical providers supervising care
  • Provides comprehensive services – diet, exercise, counseling
  • Develops customized weight loss plans
  • Uses evidence-based treatments, not fad diets
  • Emphasizes lasting lifestyle changes
  • Offers support and accountability
  • Takes health insurance if possible
  • Has a good reputation and positive reviews

A reputable program focuses on slow, steady weight loss of 1-2 lbs per week for the healthiest long-term results.

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Cost of Medical Weight Loss Clinics

The cost of medical weight loss programs can vary greatly depending on services provided:

  • Consultation fees – $100 – $200 to establish care
  • Monthly fees – $100 – $500 per month is typical
  • Meal replacement products – $100 – $300 monthly if used
  • Lab tests – $50 – $300 may be needed initially
  • Weight loss medications – $50 – $200 per month, if prescribed
  • Health insurance – Some clinics accept insurance, which lowers out-of-pocket costs

Many clinics provide free consultations to quote pricing. Discounts for prepaid packages or cash payments may also be offered.


For individuals struggling to lose weight, medical weight loss clinics can provide the extra support, accountability and medical interventions that lead to successful weight reduction and improved health. However, these medically-supervised programs require an investment of time and money. Working with healthcare providers experienced in weight management gives patients the best chance for long-lasting results compared to self-directed dieting attempts. With guidance on nutrition, fitness and lifestyle changes, patients have the tools to achieve a healthier weight and manage obesity-related conditions.


  • Jensen MD, Ryan DH, Apovian CM, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS guideline for the management of overweight and obesity in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society. Circulation. 2014;129(25 Suppl 2):S102-S138. doi:10.1161/
  • Kahan S, Fujioka K. Obesity pharmacotherapy in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Spectr. 2017;30(4):250-257. doi:10.2337/ds17-0022
  • Wadden TA, Butryn ML, Hong PS, Tsai AG. Behavioral treatment of obesity in patients encountered in primary care settings: a systematic review. JAMA. 2014;312(17):1779-1791. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.14173
  • Gudzune KA, Doshi RS, Mehta AK, et al. Efficacy of commercial weight-loss programs: an updated systematic review. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162(7):501-512. doi:10.7326/M14-2238


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