In our society, obesity has become an epidemic, with its own unique brand of health risks and challenges. For women, the dangers of being overweight include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, problems with breathing, and the increased risk of strokes, high blood pressure, and pregnancy problems. Weight and Obesity (2022). Weight and obesity. Office on Women’s Health. (n.d.). Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://www.womenshealth.gov/healthy-weight/weight-and-obesity
For example, conception might take longer than usual, or the labor might be more difficult, leading to further health concerns. The chance of a miscarriage or birth defects is also more likely with obesity. Templeton A. (2014). Obesity and women’s health. Facts, Views & Vision in ObGyn, 6 (4), 175–176. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4286855/ If diabetes is present, a dual diagnosis means that additional treatment might become necessary, requiring changes in diet and lifestyle to maintain your health. Hu, F. B. (2003). Overweight and obesity in women: Health risks and consequences. Journal of Women’s Health, 12(2), 163–172.https://doi.org/10.1089/154099903321576565
With all these concerns—and more—it can seem like the only solution to addressing your weight is to simply buckle down and start being healthy, including eating right and going to the gym. However, even people with a “healthy lifestyle” can be at risk of obesity. In fact, genetics play a large contributing factor, as high as 70% in some estimates.
Whether it’s the result of a condition like Prader-Willi syndrome causing early-onset obesity or genes causing increased fat storage, obesity doesn’t always mean you’re simply not caring for yourself. Herrera, B.M., Lindgren, C.M. The Genetics of Obesity. Curr Diab Rep 10, 498–505 (2010).https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-010-0153-z As a result, beginning a simple self-care routine may not help you successfully address your weight. With this in mind, fixing the problem may seem like a lost cause, but there’s still an answer to the question of how to lose weight.
We offer women a medically assisted weight loss program. We’re here to help you stay healthy, with an individualized treatment plan that fits your specific needs. No two women are the same, so why should every woman have to go through the same exact program?
Make a Weight Loss Goal
You’re probably wondering, how does a medical weight loss program work? First, you’ll work with a provider to create a plan tailored to you and your unique needs and body. It must consider not only your diet, medical history, and age, but also your family’s medical history, your genetics, current stressors, and hormones, all of which play a significant role in both causing and treating obesity. Knowing your situation and your personal weight loss goals will help us create a plan tailored to you, which will, in turn, help you meet your goals in the way that suits you the best.
For example, just as genetics can influence body weight, they can also help us figure out a potential recovery speed and methods to getting there. In one study, people with different levels of a certain gene mutation utilized the same weight loss service, and the control group without the gene lost weight faster and had lower odds of being diabetic. Benecke, H., Topak, H., von zur Mühlen, A., Schuppert, F. (2000). A study on the genetics of obesity: Influence of polymorphisms of the beta-3-adrenergic receptor and insulin receptor substrate 1 in … Continue reading
Another study showed that having a leptin deficiency not only increases the odds of mortality, but also the desire for food and an aggressive response to the lack of it, along with particular body fat distribution around the limbs. When injected with leptin, these patients began to lose weight, showing a potential treatment option for a specific genetic condition. Farooqi, I.S., O’Rahilly, S., (2007), Genetics of Obesity in Humans, Endocrine Reviews, 27 (7), 710–718. https://doi.org/10.1210/er.2006-0040
Want to Lose Weight? Manage Your Stressors
Stress can be another significant hurdle you must overcome in your weight loss journey. Not only can stress lead to over-eating, less exercise, and less sleep, but it also makes it hard to self-regulate. Then, because obesity is stressful in and of itself, the stress may create a self-perpetuating cycle that only makes the problem worse. Tomiyama, A. J. (2019). Stress and obesity. Annual Review of Psychology, 70 (1), 703–718. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-010418-102936 It’s even been noted that women in high-ranking jobs suffer more stress than their male counterparts. Frankenhaeuser, M. (1996). Stress and Gender. European Review, 4 (4), 313-327. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1234-981X(199610)4:4%3C313::AID-EURO139%3E3.0.CO;2-Z
Regardless of the source of stress, men and women seem to be subject to different stressors and have different coping methods, with women tending to prefer emotional comfort — something that all too often includes comfort foods and relaxation. Bergman, B. Ahmad, F. Stewart, D. E. (2003). Physician health, stress and gender at a University Hospital. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 54 (2), … Continue reading A provider can help you create a plan that accounts for these problems while looking at ways to help you de-stress, manage stress in the future, or cut down on stressors entirely. We know that stress can be tough to overcome, so our treatment is designed to avoid stressing you out more.
Managed Weight Loss Support
Of course, you’re not on your own after we develop your unique medical weight loss plan. Our team will assist you throughout, monitoring your progress and offering you advice each step of the way. We know that losing weight can be challenging no matter the circumstances, so we’re here to offer our support. Each month you will check in with your provider and discuss your progress as well as any concerns. We know that things don’t always stay the same, and new concerns or solutions might become more apparent as we work; if you need any adjustments, the plan can be altered to fit your new needs.
What, Exactly, Is Your Medical Weight Loss Program?
Our program is known as a medically assisted weight loss program. This means weight loss medications will be incorporated into your weight loss treatment. The idea might seem daunting, at first. What if the treatment doesn’t work? Will there be any weird or scary side effects? How long do you need to take it?
It’s important to remember that truly effective weight loss medications are always being tested, compared, and improved by scientists, and the medication aspect is only one part of the overall treatment plan. It’s been suggested by at least one study that taking weight loss medication before losing weight can help prevent future weight gain, including after bariatric surgeries Edgerton, C.Mehta, M.Mou, D. et al. (2021). Patterns of weight loss medication utilization and outcomes following bariatric surgery. J Gastrointest Surg 25, 369–377 (2021). … Continue reading
Because we’ll be working with you every step of the way, we can help you select a medication without a risk of significant side effects. We’ll also ensure you receive the proper dosage and use the medication in tandem with other weight loss methods. In fact, these other weight loss methods make up the bulk of the program and include a low-carb diet and an exercise plan.
Healthy Eating Tips
Even if your weight is a result of a medical issue, changing your diet can help you take the first steps toward a healthier weight and a healthier you. With healthy eating in mind, we can help you find weight-loss tactics and meals that fit your lifestyle, budget, and tastes. Changing your diet may seem daunting, especially if you’re used to eating comforting favorites, high-carb foods, or don’t think you have the money to pay for the healthier options. However, there are plenty of tips and tricks that don’t break the bank and still hit the spot.
For instance, at Thanksgiving, you can skip the normally fattening holiday menu and go for some healthier, low-carb alternatives that taste just as great. Use Greek yogurt or hummus as an appetizer dip instead of sour cream or cheese and replace those greasy chips with fresh vegetables or vegetable-based chip substitutes. If your family enjoys making macaroni and cheese as a party dish, find a replacement like bean- or vegetable-based noodles, or replace the cheese itself with something healthier like a turmeric and cashew sauce. Eat white meat instead of dark and try a glass of red wine instead of a sugary soda-based cocktail.
You’ll also want to find alternatives to surprisingly sugary foods like ketchup, bread, fruit juice, and honey—all of which contain large amounts of sugar, even if our society considers them “healthy.” You don’t need to cut out the sugar entirely, but too much can contribute to excess weight gain, so keep an eye out for alternatives and read the labels before using more than you need. With tricks like these, you’ll soon be craving healthier meals, while still enjoying the dishes you and your family love most.
Maintaining an Exercise Plan
As for an exercise program, that also depends on your specific requirements. No matter what age you are, you should be active and moving regularly, even if the exercise moves necessary changes over the years. Since you’ll be starting a diet, working out at the gym will help do wonders for your body, more so than if you did these steps separately.
Start with simple, small changes first: park your car further from the store entrance, use the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator, or get in a round of squats, sit-ups, or jumping jacks when commercials come on TV. It may feel like just a drop in the ocean at first, but it’ll add up over time, and become easier the more you practice at it.
Once you get more into working out, you can develop a routine that isn’t just effective, but fun too. Keeping up with your routine is more important than starting the routine, and if you find one that you can do often without forcing yourself to move, you’ll start to see the results.
Create a Full, Personalized Medical Weight Loss Program
The basis of the medical weight loss program offered is a combination of safe medications, a personally-crafted diet, and an individual exercise routine. After a consultation, there may be a few other steps you and your doctor deem necessary. Since this is a personalized program, the exact details will depend on your personal health history, needs, and interests, but the result should be the same in the end — a healthy body, a happy mind, and a new, healthy lifestyle.
Start YOUR Weight Loss Program
We’re dedicated to helping women like you stay healthy and tackle all the unique problems that come with being a woman. That includes offering a medically assisted weight loss program for women in Arizona, personalized to fit the patient, and focused on strategies that don’t just work, but have consistent results with easily adopted methods. Our doctors know how to help you reach your weight loss goals and keep your ideal body weight no matter what life throws at you. Whether it’s genetics, work-related stress, or even just an unhealthy diet, you can overcome your obesity and all of the associated health problems.
Ashley is a PA who started working at Arizona Gynecology Consultants in January 2022. Her prior experience includes working for a general OB/GYN office for 1.5 years before joining our team. She believes all women are deserving of quality medical care and is passionate about women’s health. Her approach is to educate and develop a strong relationship with her patients. Her special interests include sexual health, menopause, contraception management, and vulvar complaints. She became a NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner in July 2022!
Ashley is a California native, but moved to Arizona after graduating PA school in the Fall of 2019. In her free time, she enjoys painting and calligraphy as well as cooking with her husband. She rescued a golden retriever with epilepsy in March of 2020 and enjoys supporting Rescue a Golden of Arizona.
|↑1||Weight and Obesity (2022). Weight and obesity. Office on Women’s Health. (n.d.). Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://www.womenshealth.gov/healthy-weight/weight-and-obesity|
|↑2||Templeton A. (2014). Obesity and women’s health. Facts, Views & Vision in ObGyn, 6 (4), 175–176. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4286855/|
|↑3||Hu, F. B. (2003). Overweight and obesity in women: Health risks and consequences. Journal of Women’s Health, 12(2), 163–172.https://doi.org/10.1089/154099903321576565|
|↑4||Herrera, B.M., Lindgren, C.M. The Genetics of Obesity. Curr Diab Rep 10, 498–505 (2010).https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-010-0153-z|
|↑5||Benecke, H., Topak, H., von zur Mühlen, A., Schuppert, F. (2000). A study on the genetics of obesity: Influence of polymorphisms of the beta-3-adrenergic receptor and insulin receptor substrate 1 in relation to weight loss, waist to hip ratio and frequencies of common cardiovascular risk factors. Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology, Diabetes, 108 (02), 86–92. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2000-5801|
|↑6||Farooqi, I.S., O’Rahilly, S., (2007), Genetics of Obesity in Humans, Endocrine Reviews, 27 (7), 710–718. https://doi.org/10.1210/er.2006-0040|
|↑7||Tomiyama, A. J. (2019). Stress and obesity. Annual Review of Psychology, 70 (1), 703–718. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-010418-102936|
|↑8||Frankenhaeuser, M. (1996). Stress and Gender. European Review, 4 (4), 313-327. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1234-981X(199610)4:4%3C313::AID-EURO139%3E3.0.CO;2-Z|
|↑9||Bergman, B. Ahmad, F. Stewart, D. E. (2003). Physician health, stress and gender at a University Hospital. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 54 (2), 171–178.https://doi.org/10.1016/s0022-3999(02)00484-1|
|↑10||Edgerton, C.Mehta, M.Mou, D. et al. (2021). Patterns of weight loss medication utilization and outcomes following bariatric surgery. J Gastrointest Surg 25, 369–377 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11605-020-04880-4|