What to Expect from Medical Weight Loss Centers – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

weight loss clinic

What to expect from weight loss clinics

We live in strange times. People obsess over their physical traits to the point of believing in everything that promises to move the weighing scale to the favorable side of zero. That may be quackery in the form of miracle herbs that can melt away your belly fat, or a magical dust that when sprinkled over your food, keeps you from eating for the next few hours.

At such a juncture, when a physician supervised and scientifically proven weight loss program hits the market, it quickly becomes the buzzword in medical and fitness circles.

Medical Weight Loss Centers appeared out of nowhere in a market that was saturated with nauseatingly fake claims and fly-by-night unscrupulous companies peddling their wares to gullible customers. It felt like a refreshing breath of air. No herb sourced from an underground cave in a pristine rainforest. No mystery ingredient picked from the bottom of the ocean either. Just pure science-backed weight loss that combines diet, exercise and medication.

But somewhere down the road, the allure started to fade as reports, some very controversial ones, started to appear in the media. These were quickly refuted by a barrage of positive press highlighted by some very motivating success stories.

If you are an overweight person, then these conflicting reports do nothing to instill confidence in Medical weight loss centers. In fact, all it does is keep you on the fence.

Today, we try to separate fact from fiction and help you to keep your claws sharp. Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly of medical weight loss centers.

The Good

Let’s talk about the good things first.

Medical weight loss centers work on the premise of medically supervised weight loss programs that have been tailored to suit your physical requirements and current health status. It claims that it is not a cookie-cutter program that throws a bunch of pills at you and expects you to do the rest.

Rather, it follows a scientific approach where you undergo a Body Composition analysis. The metabolism, the BMI, the body fat percentage and other parameters are analyzed to narrow down on a number that is then implemented into a nutrition plan, while keeping the macro ratios in mind. That’s your daily calorie goal that will allow you to eat enough to sustain but not enough to gain weight.

Sounds sophisticated? It’s basic nutritional science that is backed with a bunch of support tools.

For example, there is behavioral counselling that helps first timers ease into their programs and cope with the dramatic changes that the body undergoes when you start. Behavioral counselling forms the crux of their programs and they have as many as 43 different modules for different types of users. The counselling sessions help you understand what you can expect from the program and what you cannot.

Then analyzing your progress, you may be introduced to their meal-replacement plans. Pharmacological therapy may or may not be introduced depending on your progress to the program.

Throughout the program, a doctor will be a part of your support team, monitoring your health and guiding you in your weight loss crusade. You can walk in anytime, with a prior appointment of course and meet the doctor in your team with your concerns and doubts. That is what makes it different from any conventional diet program where you are pretty much left to fend for yourself.

Moreover, your initial consultation and your further counselling sessions may be covered by Insurance.

And then there’s the success stories. A large number of people who have signed up with medical weight loss centers have achieved some degree of success. The weight loss for some people have been nothing short of dramatic and they have been able to completely transform their bodies. But even if one were to take an average number of people who have been successful, it paints a pretty picture.

Medical weight loss centers have exploded in popularity since the program was launched a few years ago. Today, there are more than 300 clinics around the world and you can very easily find one close to your home.

That sums up the good things that we have to say about it.

The Bad

All said and done, it goes without saying that every single one of the above mentioned things can easily be propagated if you have a strong marketing team on your side. All that one needs to do is bury the bad press with an avalanche of good stories before it snowballs into something big. Happens all the time in the media. That’s precisely why the occasional bad story deserves some amount of attention.

The first and most obvious disadvantage is the cost. While an initial counselling session can be covered by insurance and only costs as much as $35, it is only the precursor for the actual program. With dietary changes, meal replacements, ongoing counselling sessions and weight loss pills (we will come to this in a second), you may be looking at as much as $600 a month or maybe more.

Some medical weight loss centers charge as much as $2000 a month, depending on the popularity of their results.

However, that is not a deal breaker for someone who’s desperate to lose weight. Labelled as the most comprehensive physician monitored weight loss program in the world, Medical weight loss centers continue to expand to newer areas serving as a platform to anyone looking to drop pounds in a clinically proven fashion.

And then there are some pretty tall claims being made. A brochure procured from one of the centers claim that you can drop as much as 10 pounds in the first week and then up to 20 pounds few weeks later. It certainly does back it up with results to prove the claims. There’s their star customer, Natalie El- Haddad who’s lost 70 pounds in a span of 6 months after joining a medical weight loss center.

Natalie has become the face of the diet program and a motivation for thousands of other people who are struggling with fad diets.

If you thought that there’s nothing bad about it, then here’s the ugly for you.

The Ugly

Behind the glossy packaged claims of healthy eating, behavioral counselling and physician monitoring, may be a murky practice that thrives purely on a battery of pharmaceutical pills, which have for long been associated with a horde of side effects. Some of the side effects can be life altering.

There have been reports that you can walk into a medical weight loss center and walk out with a pack of diet pills without even meeting a doctor. And you aren’t receiving a Garcinia Cambogia diet pill either. These are prescription drugs that are not safe to be used for weight loss in many circumstances.

Phentermine: Phentermine is an amphetamine that has been linked to a slew of dangerous side effects including hypertension, palpitations, anxiety attacks and depression. Why is it given to customers in medical weight loss centers? Because it is an appetite suppressant. Are you willing to suppress your hunger in exchange for the above mentioned side effects? That’s for you to decide.

Metformin: A prescription drug given to diabetes patients or for treating patients with metabolic syndrome. The side effects include blue/cold skin, lactic acidosis, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and slowed heart rate.

Diethylpropion Er: Another appetite suppressant that stimulates your central nervous system to amplify your heart rate. This is called thermogenesis and can help you burn fat at a faster rate. Side effects include jitters, anxiety, palpitations, chest pain, seizures, involuntary muscle movements and more.

Furosemide: A diuretic or a water pill that may be responsible for the initial drop in weight that customers experience. Can cause electrolyte imbalance, jaundice, clay colored stools and liver damage. It also exerts severe pressure on the kidneys.

This is not an exhaustive list of medications that are given to customers in medical weight loss centers. But it’s close.

It would be fair to say that not everybody can lose weight with diet and exercise alone. In many cases, it warrants the use of pharmacological therapy. But those are only in extreme cases where obesity can become life threatening. If you walk into a weight loss center to lose those few extra pounds and reveal your abdominal muscles, you are putting your body and your internal organs under a lot of unwanted stress for a cosmetic effect, which will be, at best, temporary.

Medical weight loss centers claim to empower you to become what you want to be. There are a few positives that are riddled with the risks that come with the use of prescription drugs. You may be monitored by a physician at all times. But the risks are enormous.

We hope that this helps clear off any doubts that you may have regarding medical weight loss centers. No matter what diet plan or program you choose, always do your research and make an informed choice.


Can Aloe Vera Juice Help With Your Weight Loss? 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Aloe Vera Juice and its Health Benefits

aloe vera drink

Benefits of a glass of aloe vera juice

The rule for losing weight is simple – eat less, train harder. But what about those people who don’t have time to work out regularly nor to pay attention to the diet? Those people are in a need of an alternative. Although there isn’t a magic potion that will help you lose weight, some organic foods are proven to have fat-burning properties.

There are a few things you need to know before starting your weight-loss voyage. First, you shouldn’t hope for instant results. It took years for the fat tissue to build up in your body; you can’t expect it to disappear in a few days. The other thing you should be clear about is that you’ll have to make some changes in your everyday diet. The first step is saying goodbye to sweets and sodas.

If you manage to adjust your diet and add a bit of exercise, you have every right to hope to slowly, but steadily lose the excessive fat. However, if you want to speed the process up, you might want to think about starting to use aloe vera juice more regularly. Keep on reading to find out about 5 benefits of aloe vera, which will help you improve your overall health and burn some unwanted fat.

1. Aloe Vera Juice is great for Detox

Perhaps the best way to start battling excessive body fat is to find the cause for it. In most cases, people get fat on the belly and the buttocks because of the bad lifestyle. The combination of stress and inactivity is ideal for getting fat. Add to that the unhealthy nutrition and you’ll see that fat tummy is not only an esthetical problem. It’s also a sign that a serious health issue might happen soon. Getting rid of the excessive fat is a sure sign that you are improving your overall health. Knowing this, why you still haven’t started with a detox program?

Adding aloe vera juice to your daily diet can work as a sort of detoxification treatment. A good idea is to make your own cleansing drink by using aloe vera juice and a few more ingredients that are proven to be great for liver and kidney detox.  For example, you could add equal amounts of cranberry and grapefruit juice to the aloe vera juice, together with a bit of green tea. All of these ingredients have a great effect on cleansing your internal organs that are probably full of toxins.

2. Drinking Aloe Vera Juice Will Accelerate Your Metabolism

In many cases, weight problems are caused by slow metabolism. If a body isn’t fast enough to turn the food into spendable energy, it will store it in the form of fat. That is why it is important to accelerate your metabolism. You can do this by drinking aloe vera juice on a regular basis. However, it would be even better if you mixed it up with other natural ingredients.

Spices are known for their effect on human metabolism. In fact, countries in which spices are commonly used are among the fittest nations on the planet. Still, you can’t simply mix all the spices you have in your cabinet into a bottle of aloe vera juice. The reason is simple – the drink would be disgusting. With that in mind, we’ve decided to suggest you a super tasty juice recipe that is bound to accelerate your metabolism.

Here is what you will need
  • A teaspoon of ground ginger
  • Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Half a teaspoon of rosemary
  • A pinch of ground cumin
  • Few drops of lemon juice
  • A teaspoon of honey
  • 32oz of aloe vera juice

All you got to do to make this drink is mix all the ingredients together and stir so that the honey would blend in nicely.

3. Aloe Vera Juice Can Improve Your Immune System

Let’s face it – loosing fat without working out is almost impossible. The weight loss will happen only when the amount of calories you ingest is lower than the amount you spend. For normal functioning of the vital parts of your body, you need to take about 2000-calories-worth of food daily. If you work out, you will burn calories from the stored fat. However, this lifestyle regime may take a toll on your immune system.

Because of that, you need to support it with additional intake of valuable minerals and vitamins. Vitamin C is the most important when it comes to boosting the immunity and aloe vera is very rich in it. It also contains a wide range of essential nutrients, meaning that if you combine aloe vera juice with lemon or cranberry juice, you will create a super-drink.

4. Aloe Vera Juice Will Improve Your Digestion

Getting used to a healthy lifestyle can be very difficult for some people. If you decide to suddenly stop eating fast food, as well as candies and carbonated drinks, you will certainly crave for it. However, the change will not cause only troubles in your mindset, which a strong will can solve. Changing the diet regime can also cause problems with your digestion. It won’t be a surprise if this problem happens. After all, your body is used to digesting junk, not healthy food.

In order to avoid digestive problems, it is smart to drink aloe vera juice for few times a day, at least during the first couple of days of the new diet. This is because aloe vera is an adaptogen. Basically, this means that this juice will help you solve all digestive problems, regardless of whether it’s the diarrhea or constipation that’s bothering you.

A great thing about aloe vera juice is that you do not need to use it exclusively as a drink. You can include it in your diet by adding it to your meals. For example, you can make a vegan zucchini stew, which is perfect for any weight loss program as it contains a minimal amount of calories. Here’s how it’s made.


  • 2 zucchinis cut into small pieces
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoon of aloe vera juice
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • A pinch of salt

To make the stew, you need to heat the oil up and add onion and carrot. After a couple of minutes, when the onion gets its golden shade, you should add the chopped zucchini and cover the pan. If you think the stew will burn, feel free to add some water to the mixture. In the meanwhile, mix chia seeds with aloe vera juice and let it sit for a couple of minutes. You will be able to use this gel-like mixture as an egg-replacement to make the stew thicker. Simply pour it into the stew while stirring. Cook a few minutes more and the dish is ready!

5. Aloe Vera Juice Will Build Your Muscles

The more muscles you have in your body, the more energy you need. This means that if you put on a muscle mass, your stored fat might disappear. Of course, in order to achieve this, you need to exercise on a regular basis, but also to pay close attention to what you eat. Speaking of diet for building the muscle tissue, the most important nutrient is the protein. However, not all proteins are the same. To build lean muscle mass, you need protein of the highest quality.

Aloe Vera contains a huge number of amino acids – molecules of which a protein is made of. There are 22 amino acids your body uses for building muscles and aloe vera contains 20 of them. Of those amino acids, 8 are essential, meaning that you need them not only for getting slim, but also for proper functioning of your whole organism. These amino acids are used for building tissue of your hearth, but are also necessary for proper brain function, etc.

Other Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe vera owes its popularity to the fact that it’s great for the skin. People have been using it for ages to treat burns and dry skin problems. In fact, this plant is one of the key ingredients in a huge number of skin care products. It moisturizes the skin and feeds it with precious minerals and vitamins.

You need to know that losing weight does not mean erasing your history as an overweight person. Certain evidence will probably be left. By that, we mean stretch marks, cellulite or loose skin that’s left after losing a lot of weight. All of these issues can disappear if you use aloe vera juice, both as a drink and as a body lotion.

There are hundreds of products for skin care that contain aloe vera, but if you wish, you can make your own body lotion. All you got to do is mix the aloe vera juice with essential oils like avocado, coconut or hazelnut oil. Add beeswax to the mixture and you get yourself a superb body lotion. The amount of these ingredients depends on how thick you wanted your lotion to be.


What You Should Probably Remember About Weight Loss But Most Likely Forget

diet planning image

Any diet plan takes a great deal of time and effort, no matter how effective it may be at burning through pounds. Even the best diet plans require a long term commitment on the part of the dieter, as well as a great a deal of self control. It can be hard to pass up an easy meal of fast food or a TV dinner, but the determination to make a healthy meal despite the circumstances is essential for losing weight. Further, some information about what to eat is quite important, as important as knowing what not to eat.

What to Avoid

unhealthy food to eat

While many diet plans lay down long and complex rules for what not to eat on that particular diet, a few things do come to mind as being best avoided. These are generally the foods that come with a massive amount of fat and calories, as well as other unpleasant nutrients such as gargantuan amounts of sodium or MSG. Most forms of fats are to be avoided in sizable doses. Some amount of fat is inevitable, and some forms of fat are even good for the human body, but anything with a huge amount of fat is likely best avoid. The same is true of calories; a diet with too few calories will only leave you hungry and definitely not at your best, but taking in a thousand calories at a meal is always a bad idea. Moderation is quite important.

Sodium can be another diet killer. Again, some amount of sodium is inevitable and desirable, but huge amounts of sodium are not good for the human body. Sodium dries out the human body in large quantities, which leads to thirst. But one odd quirk of the human body is that it oftentimes can not tell the difference between being hungry and thirsty, and excessive sodium tends to lead to an enlarged appetite for food the body does not actually need. A similar fact lies within MSG; MSG is an appetite stimulant, and while it may taste delicious, sizable amounts of it will only make you hungry later, another time when the body ingests more calories than it needs.

The two biggest sources of all four dark nutrients in modern society are fast food and TV dinners. Indeed, some fast food meals and TV dinners contain over a thousand calories in a single serving, which only the most malnourished people should even consider. Even “healthy” forms of fast food and TV dinners tend to have massive amounts of sodium in them at the very least, which will inevitably mean getting hungry again later and ingesting more calories one does not need. Cutting both out of your diet is not the easiest resolution in the world, but it will lead to amazing results if you stick to it.

What Should Be Eaten

With all this in mind, nobody should have to starve themselves anywhere in the modern world of mass agriculture. But people these days do need to be careful about what they eat. On top of the dizzying array of food allergies human beings can suffer from, people also need to adjust their calorie intake based on the physical activity they engage in every day. But losing weight requires burning more calories than one takes in, meaning that any diet plan, however long or short term, requires that people take in fewer calories. But how does one do that without going mad from hunger? Fortunately, research into human biology has afforded dieters a great many answers to that complex problem.

First off, human beings need protein. A lot of protein goes into fueling the human body, and getting enough of it is essential to every diet plan. Most people should ingest between 46 and 56 grams of protein a day. The exact source will vary depending on one’s preferred diet, but getting enough protein is important, no matter what form it comes in. Reading nutrition facts labels on the food you by at the store is a good idea, with your intent being to maximize the amount of protein you get on as few calories as possible. Some food manufacturers, recognizing that more people are seeking out high protein and lower calorie diets, are creating new formulas of common foodstuffs that do just that.

Additionally, while the other health benefits of organic food are somewhat suspect, if you can afford to eat organic food, many organic products contain a bit more protein and other nutrients than non organic versions of the same product.

In a similar vein, one should also get enough fiber in their diet. While excessive fiber can lead to problems, most people these days could easily afford to take in more fiber, even if it’s just a few pieces of fresh produce or whole grain bread. Fiber does have an interesting weight loss benefit, however; it stays in the stomach, convincing the body it’s full and content rather than hungry and frustrated. While not amount of fiber can truly overcome the need for calories, a diet that gets a good amount of fiber will be able to function better on fewer calories.

The Bottom Line

While making these changes can happen in the short term, sticking to them requires a great deal of determination over a very long period. Still, with enough protein and fiber, a lower calorie diet will not leave anybody hungry and irritable. It can be done if one is willing to be smart, patient and determined.