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Woman choosing the right weight loss clinic

Choosing the Right Weight Loss Clinic

When choosing the right weight loss clinic, you need to ask yourself: What makes one clinic better than the other? Do I follow the recommendations of family or friends? Do I look at results from strangers claiming to be legitimate reviewers on the Internet? In short, you need to do your homework. If you’re going to invest time, energy, and money into a clinic, you need to feel confident that your chosen clinic will set you up for success. 

Accountability

When you’re trying to lose weight, willpower alone often isn’t enough to keep you on track. And even if you think you’re maintaining your goal weight, it’s all too easy for a few pounds to creep back on your frame. A study published online in the Journal of Women’s Health found that many women were unable to recognize small weight gains — between 4.5 and 8.8 pounds — over six months. And those little gains can add up fast. In the beginning, it is important that the weight loss clinic you choose offers weekly weigh-ins, rather than provide you with a plan and send you on your way for 4-6 weeks. A clinic needs to stay on top of your weight loss journey by meeting with you frequently face to face. 

Don’t Go It Alone

You might have a love-hate relationship with your bathroom scale, and normal daily fluctuations can be annoying when all you want is a lower number. But it can still be a handy tool. Most successful dieters will weigh themselves weekly, proving that a scale is important for weight-loss management. If weight begins to creep up, a weight loss clinic will notice and offer suggestions to get you back on track instead of losing precious time. 

We’ve all heard of an accountability partner. Having a buddy on a similar journey reinforces accountability and provides positive weight-loss and weight-maintenance motivation. Think of your weight loss clinic specialist as your buddy. Even better? Bring a friend with you to the clinic to cheer each other on! You can call your friend or clinician if you find yourself wavering. A little friendly competition never hurt either. You can challenge each other!

And don’t forget to reward yourself! Once you reach a goal, celebrate that success with a new outfit or a salon service. Setting a specific goal can also be an effective weight-loss strategy. Often people want to work toward a specific weight for an upcoming event, like a wedding or vacation. However, if you only focus on short-term weight loss for that isolated event, you might revert to your old habits that didn’t serve you. A weight loss clinic should care about your end goal…and beyond. Set permanent objectives, such as living longer or even feeling more comfortable in your clothes.

Being accountable is one reason why some weight loss clinics see success. Each week, specialists should check your blood pressure and weight to ensure you’re losing (or maintaining, depending). Once you are established as a patient, a weight loss clinic should also offer some flexibility if weekly isn’t convenient for you.

You cannot put a price on encouragement and motivation, and losing weight requires a lot of support.

Methods and Variety of Programs Available

Although people are encouraged to take safe weight-loss strategies into their own hands, unsupervised weight loss programs can increase the potential for health complications. Losing weight is a lifestyle change, and involving a weight loss clinic can greatly affect your outcome.

When researching weight loss clinics, ensure that the facility offers a large selection of weight loss methods, programs, and medications. There are tried and true programs, but a weight loss clinic should stay on top of revolutionary programs with the most up-to-date and successful offerings. Medications used should be FDA approved and fully endorsed, and make sure that medications used have little to no side effects and work with your body. Ultimately, with any program you and your specialist decide suits you, the end goal is helping you shed unwanted pounds.

Weight loss programs should be tailored to each individual. We already know that no two bodies are the same; therefore, clinics shouldn’t subscribe to a “one size fits all” mentality. Weight loss programs are designed to achieve and even exceed weight loss goals efficiently and safely. For example, Valley Medical offers FDA-approved medications, appetite suppressants, and supplements to aid weight control. Valley Medical also provides custom-formulated metabolic injections for weight loss, often called lipotropic shots or fat burning injections. Other programs include weekly, monthly, HCG, youth programs, and injections. 

Frequency and Timing of Visits

How often you check in with your specialist at a weight loss clinic contributes to your overall success. If you find that a weight loss clinic prescribes you medication and then sends you on your way for 1-2 months, that might not be the right facility for you. During the first week, specialists must ensure that any prescribed medication is the right fit and dosage for the patient. They will check in with the patient, confirm their appetite is curbed a bit, and ensure they aren’t experiencing any adverse side effects, tailoring the medication or protocol accordingly. 

At the start of your weight loss journey, you should plan on coming to the weight loss clinic frequently. The clinician needs to get to know you, your body, and how you react to the initial weight loss method. Eventually, you may space out your visits at a mutually agreed-upon interval. Clients should always feel comfortable calling to ask questions about their medical weight loss plan whenever they feel it is necessary. Make sure the clinic you choose is willing to take these phone calls. 

During follow-up visits, you should discuss your diet plan, exercise habits, and progress. The client and clinician should revisit objectives and goals with open and honest dialogue. During follow-up appointments, you may find that you decide to explore new weight loss options. Always remember that this is your body and your health. It may take a few visits to find the program that is just right for you. A weight loss clinic will work with you and guide you every step of the way. 

Hidden Costs/Contracts

Investing in yourself and your weight loss is a financial investment as well. But it does not need to be a financial burden. Some clinics charge an exorbitant amount of money for their services. Be sure that when you’re doing your homework, you consider the costs involved and what you actually get for those costs. It is possible to provide people with an affordable solution to losing weight. Additionally, there should not be any upfront fees or start-up costs. 

A popular program we see many clients choose costs $31.95/week. This weekly program consists of your physician consultation, weight loss guidelines, appetite medications, two different supplements for cravings and energy, a B12 injection, and a water pill if the doctor recommends one. This is just one example of a potential program option.

Consultations should be free. There should never be any contracts, hidden fees, or up-front costs. Pay-as-you-go is a fair and ethical way of offering services at a weight loss clinic. If you decide that the clinic is not right for you after a consultation, you shouldn’t feel any pressure or obligation to move forward. A consultation should be exactly that-a consult.

You’re looking for fast and affordable. And it IS possible to have both; you just need the right clinic. 

Staff

The individuals at a weight loss clinic are an integral part of your successful journey. A team should dedicate time to creating a no-judgment zone and making you feel comfortable. If you’re going to stick with a program, you should have the best experience possible.

Consider a weight loss clinic’s front desk staff. After all, they are your first impression. They are there to answer your phone calls, greet you, and make you feel welcomed. You deserve compassionate care, and a solid team will recognize that you, the patient, are the most important focus.

Weight loss coaches should comprise a team of licensed medical physicians and highly trained medical assistants. Take a look at how much experience the team has. A team with years of experience can bring you the most cutting-edge weight loss treatments.

The Value of Doctor-Supervised Weight Loss Programs

By working with doctors, patients can hope for better, longer-lasting results. When under a doctor-supervised weight loss program, people will receive periodic doctor consultations, doctor recommended and administered FDA-approved appetite suppressants and medications, and cutting-edge weight loss supplements and injections. There should be doctors on hand to offer advice and bring you to the next level of success.

Medical assistants may be your weekly counselors to ensure you are experiencing weight loss success throughout your program, and they should be your biggest cheerleaders throughout your journey. Doctors have an ethical and legal responsibility to be present and supervise all staff if offering injections or dispensing medications, not to mention they should always be available for more detailed medical questions or concerns.

The value of doctor-supervised weight loss programs is to ensure proper surveillance of a person’s weight. Doctors are great resources for advice and tips that someone couldn’t normally get from researching the Internet. Physicians can review your medical history and give you a brief physical, and they can explain the program in detail along with their expectations.

It would be best if you had an initial consultation with a physician, and then again after 12 weeks. The physician should continue to monitor your progress and may request to see you if they feel you have hit a plateau. A physician should always be available to discuss any questions you may have throughout your program.

Results and Testimonials

It is clear that every patient and body is different and will respond better to different treatments. Each individual also has a different amount of weight to lose. When choosing the right protocol, the weight a patient needs to lose is taken into account. Everyone wants to know how quickly they can lose weight and how much. As with most things in life, it depends. 

There is no magic pill, and there are no guarantees as everyone loses weight at a different pace with different results. With the proper lifestyle changes in nutrition and exercise, most patients should lose weight, typically 2-3 pounds per week. It does take hard work and dedication, but clinicians will provide you with the proper tools to help.

Exercise is highly encouraged unless you are on the HCG program. The more effort you put in, the more success you will have.

If you aren’t satisfied with your results, a weight loss clinic should be able to issue a refund on the products remaining in your package. A 30-day window is a reasonable amount of time to ask a patient to inform a clinic of their choice to discontinue. 

While investigating weight loss clinics in your area, look for a testimonial page and before and after photos. A photo can provide a clear picture of the actual results the clinic has achieved. . The more positive testimonials, the better! 

If interested in a free weight loss consultation, there is no need to book an appointment. We are a walk-in-only clinic. Come in at your convenience, Mon, Tue, Thu, or Fri between 9 am-4:30 pm, or Saturdays from 8 am to 1:30 pm, or you can contact us HERE with any questions. 

HCG Diet-Happy Woman on Scale

What is the HCG Diet, and Is It Right for You?

As there are so many weight-loss programs available, its important to educate yourself and determine which program is right for you. One diet you may have heard of is the HCG diet. Let’s explore what the HCG diet is and what it can do for you as you commit to losing weight.

What is HCG?

During early pregnancy, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is released in large amounts. Home pregnancy tests use this hormone as a marker. It has also been used to treat fertility issues in both men and women. It stimulates the ovaries, helps a woman’s eggs mature, and stimulates testosterone production in men’s testicles. Additionally, it helps maintain the production of important hormones such as progesterone to support the healthy growth of the uterus and fetus. Levels of HCG decline after the third month of pregnancy. HCG can be a powerful source to boost metabolism, and a boosted metabolism leads to fat burning. ACAM’s (American College for Advancement in Medicine) Andrea Purcell, ND explains how this hormone works:

“One of the roles of HCG in pregnancy is to increase metabolism by allowing the fat that the pregnant woman has stored to be accessible to her during famine. In other words, the fat stores can be broken down by the HCG and used as food for her and the baby should the food supply run out while she is pregnant. This ensures a healthy, full-term pregnancy. In a non-pregnant person, we can recreate this metabolic situation by administering HCG and putting the patient on a low-calorie diet. When we do this, the fat that the patient wants to lose becomes the primary food source as it is broken down and used as energy. In essence, we are forcing the body to burn its own fat stores. Thousands of calories in stored fat are released and are used by the body or expelled.” (Purcell, HCG for Weight Loss, ACAM, April 2014)

The origins of the HCG diet

In the 1950s, British physician Dr. Albert T. Simeons claimed that the HCG regimen could cause the body to preferentially burn stored fat, particularly from the stomach, hips, and thighs.*

“While treating adolescent boys’ low testosterone levels with HCG, Dr. Simeons observed they began to slim down and began losing abnormal belly fat. Knowing that HCG positively affects the hypothalamus, he hypothesized that this area of the brain was responsible, in part, for the regulation of normal and abnormal fat. Over the next ten years, Simeons experimented with specific amounts of HCG and specific foods. He observed and documented that when both the correct amount of HCG and his food plan were followed as he had designed, both males and females had the ability to lose extraordinary amounts of abnormal fat in relatively short periods of time as compared to diet and exercise alone.” (HCG Diet Council, The History of HCG and Weight Loss, 2022)

Therefore, the HCG diet is a weight-loss protocol that combines daily injections of HCG with calorie restriction, typically around 500 calories per day.

How is the HCG different from other diets?

The HCG diet is short-term, participants eat real food, muscle mass is maintained, and cellulite (toxic fat) is burne.  What people lose with HCG isn’t simply weight but unwanted fat. The HCG diet allows you to rapidly lose a specific amount of weight in a relatively short amount of time.

One concern with many weight-loss programs is that individuals understandably do not want to lose muscle. Dr. Simeons assured dieters that they would lose more fat than muscle and would not be as hungry or irritable as they might expect on such a calorie restriction. In 1954, Simeons reported that he had treated 500 patients and found that those who followed the HCG weight-loss plan for 40 days lost 20 to 30 pounds without feeling weak or excessively hungry. As a result, the HCG diet became popular throughout the 1950s, and many people still follow the program today. The HCG diet may reduce feelings of hunger and support weight loss by redistributing body fat from the thighs, stomach, and hips.

Dr. Woeller’s Contribution

Valley Medical Weight Loss is excited to hear from Dr. Woeller as our HCG expert. She is starting the HCG diet herself and is offering tips, recipes, and support on our Facebook page. Dr. Woeller confesses that since becoming a newlywed, she has indulged a bit too much, and was looking for a way to get her diet back on track. She began the HCG protocol a couple of weeks ago and looks forward to sharing her progress and hearing from others doing the protocol along with her. Dr. Woeller will log what she’s eating, weight loss, recipes, and encouragement and answer any questions on the social media platform. Post headings will say, “Losing it with Valley Medical; Dr. Woeller HCG weight loss.”

As it goes for the beginning of any new diet supplement, preparation is everything! To prepare for the HCG diet, Dr. Woeller recommends eating clean for about two weeks before starting; otherwise, it can be a shock to your system from eating a high-calorie, high-fat diet of primarily processed foods to moving the HCG diet. She recommends the 10 day lean and clean program. She says, “If you are releasing fewer toxins while you are dieting, you’ll have a more comfortable and positive experience.” You will set yourself up for success if you plan, clean out your refrigerator and pantry, purchase groceries, and get your mindset ready. It’s also important to focus on what you CAN have on this diet instead of what you CAN NOT have.

HCG Friendly Foods to Keep on Hand (including but not limited to):

Radishes
Cucumbers
Celery
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Onions
Cabbage
Apples
Oranges
Red grapefruit
Strawberries
Lean sirloin steak
Shrimp
Tilapia
Chicken breast
“HCG-legal salad dressing” (for recipe click HERE)

For a more comprehensive list, check out the HCG diet food list on HCGplan.net.

Are there side effects?

The high levels of HCG produced during pregnancy have no negative effects on the pregnant woman’s body. This is why doctors have used HCG for many years to help women experiencing hormonal issues or fertility problems. Minor side effects, such as low blood pressure or low blood sugar, can be easily managed with proper medical supervision for non-pregnant individuals. As with any diet, patients may experience side effects that include fatigue, irritability, and restlessness, but should resolve when the body adjusts to the new protocol.

Is the HCG diet right for you?

HCG is one of many options to address weight loss. The best way to determine if HCG is right for you is to consult with our doctors, and our doctors will educate you on the protocol to help you determine if it’s the right program for you.

An ideal candidate for the HCG diet is any man or woman who has at least 15 pounds to lose and is otherwise generally in good health. These individuals are looking for a jumpstart to their weight loss to stay motivated. It can be frustrating to feel like you are eating clean and exercising without losing weight, and the HCG diet might be the initial boost you need to see results quickly.

During a consultation with our doctors, they will cover your health history and current weight loss goals. Additionally, they can go over the HCG diet and ultimately decide if it is the path for you to take.

If you have an interest in a free consultation with one of our HCG doctors, booking an appointment is unnecessary. We are a walk-in only clinic. Simply come on in at your convenience. We are open Mon, Tue, Thu, or Fri between the hours of 9 am-4:30 pm. Or Saturdays from 8 am to 1:30 pm.

Mention this article to receive $50 off your HCG package.

 

*CAVEAT FROM FDA: Since 1975, the FDA has required labeling and advertising of HCG as follows. HCG has not been demonstrated to be an effective adjunctive therapy in the treatment of obesity. There is no substantial evidence that it increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or “normal” distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie-restricted diets.

losing weight makes you healthier

6 Benefits of Weight Loss: How Losing Weight Makes You Healthier

While looking and feeling more like yourself is one major reason you may have decided to lose weight, your overall health drastically improves. Learn six of the ways losing weight makes you healthier.

Although much of the focus on weight loss is on our outward appearance, losing weight changes you from the inside out.

When you lose weight, you don’t just look better, your health improves too. It’s the reason why doctors all over the country are concerned about the obesity epidemic and want to educate people on healthy lifestyles. Healthy weight loss plans save lives. 

Losing weight can increase your lifespan and your overall quality of life.

How losing weight makes you healthier

  1. Improved mental health

Losing weight helps improve an often-overlooked measure of wellbeing — your mental health.

Weight loss helps improve your mental health in a few ways:

  • Improves sleep quality: If you are overweight, you’re more likely to have difficulty sleeping. The excess weight around your neck can obstruct your airways as you sleep. Some who are overweight even develop sleeping disorders. Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes your breathing to be disrupted, is common in those who are overweight. But losing weight can help get your sleeping back to normal again.
  • Improves self-esteem: Many people experience a boost in their self-esteem when they lose weight. To start, activities that promote weight loss can also help you get a boost of happiness too. During exercise, your body releases endorphins—molecules in your body that make you feel exhilarated. On top of that, there are studies that show how losing weight helps you feel better about your body image and overall self-worth.
  • Improves energy: Extra weight makes it harder to energize your body to move. As a result, when you lose weight, it takes your body extra energy to perform daily tasks like walking up stairs, cleaning, and taking the dog for a walk. It also takes the pressure off your respiratory system and improves your sleep quality, giving you more energy and making it easier to move. 

Increased energy, better self-esteem, and nightly high-quality sleep are all important parts of maintaining your mental health. If you feel that your weight might be contributing to mental health struggles, getting on a plan to lose weight can be the first step to feeling like yourself again.

2. Increased mobility

Carrying excess weight makes it harder to get around. Losing weight can make it easier for you to do regular daily tasks without feeling exhausted or in pain. On top of that, with increased mobility often comes reduced joint pain. Being overweight can cause your joints to become inflamed and damaged. Part of the cause is the extra pressure the weight puts on your joints. The extra weight can cause your joints to wear down and experience more friction than they otherwise would. That damage is what causes stiffness and pain in your joints.

3. Decreased risk of cancer

Cancer is a disease where cells when your body grow and divide uncontrollably. These rapidly dividing cells destroy healthy body tissue and can be fatal.

Losing weight helps you drastically cut your risk of developing certain cancers. Some of the cancers you can help prevent by getting to a healthy weight are: 

  • Colon and rectal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Endometrial cancers

While the link between being overweight and getting cancer isn’t fully understood, there is a correlation between being overweight and getting cancer. Research done by the American Cancer Society suggests that complications caused by obesity account for 7% of all cancer deaths. Their research also finds that weight has a greater role to play in some cancers versus others. They specifically cite that weight plays a critical role in the development of endometrial cancers, with more than half of those cases being influenced by weight.

4. Reduced risk of diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that develops when you become insulin resistant. Insulin is a hormone produced in your pancreas that helps your body use the sugar you eat. Those with diabetes have to regularly track their “blood glucose level” — in other words, the amount of glucose, or sugar, in their blood because their bodies no longer respond to insulin. Too much sugar in your blood (called hyperglycemia) can cause damage to blood vessels and increase the chance of stroke, kidney problems, and heart disease.

One of the biggest risks of weight gain is developing diabetes. It turns out, that the majority of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. As a result, type 2 diabetes is a treatable and preventable disease. 

By losing weight, you can reverse type 2 diabetes if you already have it. That doesn’t mean symptoms or the need for medication will be eliminated in everyone. But it does help improve insulin sensitivity and prevent developing diabetes if you don’t have it.

5. Improved heart health 

Your heart is greatly impacted by your weight. One of the most important ways losing weight makes you healthier is by taking pressure off your heart. 

When you lose weight, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. This lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol. 

Your blood pressure is the pressure against the walls of your blood vessels. When pressure is too high, it damages your blood vessels and makes it harder for blood to get to important organs. 

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that’s found in your body. While we often hear about cholesterol in a bad light, it’s not all bad. We need some cholesterol to stay healthy. But with high fat and highly processed diets, it’s common to have too much cholesterol buildup in your arteries.

Both high blood pressure and cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease. But losing weight can decrease your blood pressure and reduce your cholesterol. 

6. Reduced risk of stroke

Similar to your heart health, high cholesterol and blood pressure levels can lead to a greater risk of stroke.

A stroke is when the supply of oxygen is reduced to your brain. The shortage can be because of a blood vessel breaking, blockage, or narrowing the blood vessels. As a result, blood cannot reach brain cells and the cells can die. It’s a dangerous health risk as some who suffer a stroke can recover, but others face life-long health complications after the fact.

Losing weight can reduce your risk of stroke by lowering the chance of obstruction. Not only that, but strokes are associated with other health conditions related to obesity. Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol all increase the risk of a stroke.

Make your weight loss happen faster

When losing weight makes you healthier, it’s normal if you want a solution that can help you lose weight fast. When you’re ready to achieve your weight loss goals, our doctors and staff at Valley Medical Weight Loss are here to help you. We help our patients lose weight quickly and keep the weight off. Our patients get personalized diet plans that work and the healthy lifestyle knowledge they need to stay healthy for the long run. And, we make sure you get regular check-ins and support from our doctors. 

For a premier weight loss program and supplements that can make your weight loss easier, book a consult with one of our doctors at your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss location today.

stress and weight gain

What’s Connection Between Stress and Weight Gain? Lower Stress Can Help You Lose More Weight

There’s a connection between stress and weight gain that can make your committed attempts to lose weight even harder than it already is. Here’s how stress and weight gain are connected and proven ways to relieve stress and reclaim your health.

More than 75% of Americans cite being stressed on a regular basis. And that number jumps to 80% when Americans are asked about whether they feel stress at work. 

Many of us experience fatigue, irritability, or aches and pains as a result of ongoing stress in our work or other parts of our lives. 

But did you know that stress also impacts your weight? Researchers find a clear link between weight gain and stress. 

The connection between stress and weight gain

When stressed, your body releases more of the hormone cortisol. 

Cortisol is the hormone that helps you respond to a threat. When you perceive a threat, your adrenal glands release cortisol and those hormone levels remain elevated until you no longer sense a threat is near. Then, the levels return to normal. 

But cortisol levels can be elevated for dangerous amounts of time. If you feel stress on a daily basis, for many hours throughout the day, your body produces an excess of cortisol and doesn’t spend enough time in a relaxed state. As a result, you can feel hungrier than you normally would throughout the day.

It’s why many of us want to reach for ice cream, cookies, or our favorite chips when we feel stressed. We feel hungrier and want to eat something that will give us a surge of happiness to counter our elevated stress. 

As if that’s not enough, stress can also lower your metabolism. The combination of slower metabolism with increased appetite is a recipe for unintended weight gain.

How to know if stress is impacting your weight loss

Stress is most often looked at as a cause of weight gain after other factors like diet or an underlying condition have been ruled out. This usually comes up in the course of conversations with your doctor or specialist you’re working with to lose weight.

These are some of the symptoms of stress to help determine if this is in fact a factor in your weight:

  • Regular trouble sleeping and exhaustion
  • Aches and pains that seem otherwise inexplicable  
  • Headaches and tension in your shoulders, neck, and jaw (maybe even clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth)
  • Irritability 
  • High blood pressure 

How to reduce stress and get back to a healthy weight

Fortunately, stress can be remedied by building some healthier habits and better routines.

While many facets of your life might be difficult to change like work schedules and family responsibilities, there are steps you can take to reduce the stress that builds up from all of your responsibilities.

Plus, a few of the activities that help you relieve stress can also help you lose weight–getting you back on track for your weight loss goals even faster.

Below are 5 effective stress relievers to try if you think stress is impacting your weight loss journey:

  1. Exercise

Exercise does more than help you get fit and lose weight—it helps you reduce stress in a few ways:

  • Helps you focus on the present when you get caught up in the activity or game you participate in  
  • Releases endorphins—the feel-good neurotransmitters  
  • Reduces cortisol levels 
  • Improves your mood and boosts self-confidence

The best part is you don’t have to be an athlete to reap these benefits. Just 30 minutes of movement like walking, hiking, or swimming can give you stress-relieving benefits.

2. Sleep

Lack of sleep makes you more likely to be stressed. The reason is because of all the facets of our lives and health sleep impacts:

  • Mood regulation
  • Improved decision-making
  • Concentration

So, if you want to reduce stress, one of the ways to counteract feeling stressed is to get more sleep. 

Make sure you get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night—the average recommended amount for adults.

3. Make time for non-work related connections with others

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Laughter is the best medicine.” Well, it turns out that laughter is a bit like medicine. 

Multiple studies now show the power of laughter to reduce stress and improve our overall well-being. One study found that people who laughed more had less stress and better immune function. 

By making more time for friends and family who you find fun to be around, you reduce your stress levels and by extension, improve your health. So whether it’s getting together with friends for an evening or going on a day trip with family, time spent with people you can relax and laugh around will reduce your stress.

4. Find a creative outlet

Creativity is one of the best options to get yourself out of the routine of worrying about daily responsibilities.

A 2016 study found that when participants engaged in any creative outlet of their choosing for 45 minutes, their cortisol levels dropped by 75%

And you don’t have to be a professional artist or writer to experience these benefits. Anyone can create for fun and get the stress relief benefits of being creative.

5. Schedule time just for yourself

When we have a lot going on between work, family obligations, and personal responsibilities, it’s hard to find time to relax. This is especially true if you are introverted or need time to recharge after social events. 

One way to help is to schedule time for yourself that is non-negotiable. Give yourself 30 minutes every day that is uninterrupted time for you to decompress from the responsibilities of your day. You can journal, read a book, go for a walk, or do anything else that makes you feel relaxed and refreshed. Whatever activity you enjoy, taking that time for yourself will help you reduce daily stress levels.

Get help overcoming stress and weight gain

At Valley Medical Weight Loss we help make weight loss a far less stressful challenge. 

Our patients get results because of the personalized support they get from our doctors. When you choose us, you get weekly check-ins, diet planning, and exercise strategy that’s tailored to your health history and goals. We also help you select supplements to support your weight loss goals if they’re appropriate for your goals.

We can help you figure out if stress is impacting your weight loss journey and help you get a plan to overcome it.

Visit your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss for your initial consult.

lose weight after 50

How to Lose Weight After 50

When you want to lose weight after 50, it’s hard but not impossible. Here’s why weight loss gets harder and what you can do about improving your health and living a longer life.

When you hit 50, it can feel like you suddenly start gaining weight. One minute you’re in your 40’s and feeling energized, the next you feel more tired and less like yourself. You don’t know where it’s coming from or why it’s happening.

If that’s been the case for you, you are NOT alone. The effects of aging he everyone in one way or another, with common experiences related to predictable changes that happen as we age.

Women produce less estrogen, accumulate more fat around their hips and midsection, and lose bone density.

Men produce less testosterone and lose muscle mass as well. They also experience a rise in instances of diabetes and heart disease after the 50-year mark.

Many of the hormonal changes and aging processes are unavoidable. And when it comes down to it, it’s not your fault it’s harder to lose weight as you age. 

But that does not mean you can’t do anything to prevent or reverse the effects of aging on your weight. It’s never too late to start.

With the right strategies, you can get down to your goal weight and feel confident in your skin. You can reverse the effects of aging on your weight and even prevent major weight gain that many people experience in middle age.

Doing so just requires understanding what’s going on with your body and how to counteract it.

3 common barriers to weight loss after 50

  1. Loss of muscle mass

Sarcopenia, the gradual loss of muscle tissue, sets in around age 40. The loss in muscle mass doesn’t happen overnight, but by 50, many people lose 10% of their muscle mass

Muscle does more than give us a toned body. It influences your metabolic rate and how you burn calories.

When it comes to the types of tissues and cells we have in our body, certain types burn calories more efficiently. Muscle burns more calories than fat, which makes having more muscle helpful to lose weight.

So as you lose muscle, your resting metabolic rate begins to decline–by some estimates as much as 2% per decade. So by 50, your metabolic rate has slowed down and you lose muscle mass, which leads to noticing weight gain and other related health concerns manifesting around that time frame.

2. Sleep changes

For a long time, researchers have noted a link between sleep and weight gain.

Those who stay up and eat late into the night are more likely to be overweight than those who stop eating in the early evening and have a consistent, early bedtime.

There is also a connection between sleep deprivation and weight gain–those who don’t get the full recommended 7-9 hours of sleep eat more the following day and seek out calorie-dense foods.

Not only is your body trying to make up for lost energy, but sleep impacts your hormone regulation. The hormones ghrelin and leptin which regulate your appetite and fullness can get out of balance. As a result, your body craves more calories than you would normally seek out and you feel like you can eat more than usual.

3. Hormonal changes

As you age your levels of estrogen and testosterone drop. When this happens, your body starts to store more fat and it’s harder to drop any extra fat that accumulates. 

At the same time, the hormones ghrelin and leptin act differently as well. They help you accurately determine when you are hungry and when you are full. But when these hormone levels fluctuate, you feel hungrier than you used to and it’s harder to feel full. As a result, you end up eating more than you once did and it’s difficult to limit your calorie intake.

How to achieve your weight loss goals after 50

Lift weights

It’s important for anyone to include 3-4 days of strength training in their week. Starting before 50 can help prevent the common health concerns that arise at 50. 

One study found that adults who exercised at least four days a week experienced no loss of muscle mass or related effects at the same time others in their age group who didn’t exercise were showing signs of losing muscle mass and a slowing metabolic rate.

But even if you haven’t taken preventative measures and find yourself wondering how to lose weight over 50―it’s not too late at all.

You can regain lost muscle mass and prevent further loss by lifting weights just a few times a week.

As a result, you will increase your bone density which prevents osteoporosis, or loss and weakening of bone. It also keeps your muscle mass at levels that keep your metabolism efficient.

Stay active

While lifting weights is important to retain muscle mass and boost your metabolism, it’s important to stay active in other ways too.

It’s common to feel like you slow down after 50, but you can keep up much of your energy by maintaining an active lifestyle.

Cardio for one is an important piece of keeping an active lifestyle. Cardio exercises like swimming, running, or hiking help you maintain your heart health. An unhealthy heart and cardiovascular system are associated with fatigue and changes in overall health. A healthy heart helps you keep up your energy levels throughout the day so you can burn more calories and stick to a routine sleep cycle. 

Cardio is also a great way to burn calories during exercise. HIIT in particular is known for begin effective to burn a high amount of calories during the workout plus it helps build strength to build your resting metabolic rate as well.

But the most important thing to do is find a form of exercise and other activity that you enjoy most so you keep doing it and reap the health benefits of staying active.

Reduce intake of refined sugars

As your metabolism slows down, it becomes harder for your body to process the foods you used to eat with ease. You may have always been able to get away with eating your favorite sweets and snacks without noticeable weight gain over time, but that changes in middle age.

To adjust to a slower metabolism, it’s important to be more aware of what you choose to eat every day. While you don’t have to cut out ALL the tasty food you enjoy, limiting intake each week is advised. 

This is not only beneficial for your weight, but also for preventing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Get support

Studies have shown that people with a workout or diet partner are more likely to follow through.  We feel more supported and it’s more enjoyable to work towards a goal with another person.

This means we are more likely to do better if we choose a friend or family member to get healthy with. You can hold each other accountable and follow through on your plans for a healthy diet and exercise.

You’re also more likely to successfully lose weight if you have the support of a doctor or weight loss professional on your side.

It’s understandable to try and go it alone to lose weight because in theory, it sounds as simple as changing your diet or exercising more.

But the truth is that it’s hard to know what to do for your particular situation and get the results you want. It’s common for people dieting alone to cut out too much of the wrong foods or develop an unhealthy relationship with food. And it’s even more common to lose steam a few weeks into your diet plan. Sticking to a diet or exercise regime when you have frequent temptations around is a challenge. That’s why having someone who creates a sustainable plan and check-ins improves the likelihood you follow through and see results.

At Valley Medical Weight Loss, our doctors help you create a weight loss plan that is personalized for your needs and helps you learn healthy diet habits for the long run. We know how important it is to still enjoy food even while you diet, so we help you get to your goal and then teach you how to maintain it without a lifetime of extreme dieting.

To get your weight and health back on track after 50, visit one of our locations for a consultation today. No appointment necessary.

what are lipotropic injections

What Are Lipotropic Injections?

Lipotropic injections are a widely used option to help you overcome weight-loss plateaus and kickstart your weight loss journey.

The cornerstone of weight loss plans rests on a healthy diet and exercise. But when you feel stuck in your progress, or want an extra boost to start, how can you make that happen?

There are a variety of options out there to supplement your weight loss efforts. And if you’ve been searching for support in your weight loss journey, you have probably seen lipotropics come up in your search. We’re going to break down what those are and if they’re right for you.

What are lipotropic injections?

Lipotropic injections are a mixture of amino acids and vitamins designed to help you lose weight. They are 

These are often confused with B12 injections. The reason is that the base of lipotropic injections is vitamin B12. But the injections are used for different purposes.

The B12 shot typically only uses vitamin B12 for the purpose of increasing energy. B12 helps your body produce more red blood cells which carry oxygen throughout your body. With more oxygen flowing, increased energy is a result.

Lipotropics, on the other hand, do more than boost energy. They also improve metabolism, clear out toxins, and help you burn more fat. The concoction in lipotropics goes farther and does more to efficiently boost energy while burning fat.

How do Lipotropic injections kickstart weight loss?

All the different vitamins and amino acids in the lipotropic injections serve different goals. 

Improve metabolism and burn more fat

There are multiple amino acids that help increase your metabolism. L-carnitine is included in lipotropic injections because it helps convert fat into energy. The amino acid makes your body more efficient at not only breaking down these fat cells but also using them. In addition, it helps your body more efficiently break down food into energy so it does not get stored and turn into fat. 

L-carnitine isn’t the only amino acid putting in the work to improve your metabolism and shed fat. There’s also methionine, inositol, and choline.

Together, these three amino acids help your body release fat throughout your body. Inositol helps remove stubborn fatty build-up from your liver and makes it harder for fat to store there again. Choline prevents fat build-up in your arteries. And finally, methionine helps your body release the fat stored in your cells so it can be efficiently used by your body as energy.

Here’s a breakdown of the vitamins and amino acids included in lipotropics and how they help you lose weight:

  • Methionine which as we know helps break down fat in your body. But it also helps treat depression and inflammation. And through the conversion of L-cysteine, it helps neutralize toxins, making it a powerful antioxidant. 
  • Inositol reduces fat build-up which leads to weight loss. But in addition, due to the reduced fat in your arteries, can help improve your overall health. It’s also improves mood and helps control appetite.
  • Choline is essential for weight moderation, and a deficiency in it can increase weight gain. It helps your body break down energy and transport nutrients throughout your body. 
  • Vitamin B1 improves your heart and brain health while helping to manage stress
  • Vitamin B2 helps turn fat, protein, and carbs into energy. Plus, it helps keep hair and nails healthy.
  • Vitamin B3 can help improve digestion and lower blood pressure.
  • Vitamin B5 is an essential nutrient to help with energy and the catabolism of fatty acids and amino acids.
  • L-Carnitine can reduce fatigue and suppress appetite, plus increase strength to build more muscle and a healthy metabolism.
  • Adenosine helps minimize inflammation, lower blood pressure, improve sleep and promote weight loss.

The key to getting the right lipotropic injection for you is to talk with your doctor about your goals and what your health history is so they know how to help you best.

How often do you get injections for the best results?

There isn’t a one size fits all way to approach lipotropic injections. The dosage and frequency of getting the injections depend on a few things. 

For one, earlier in your lipotropics regime, it’s common to get the first few treatments in the span of one week. Then, the longer you use lipotropics, the more spread out the injections become. So how frequently you get the lipotropic injections depends on where you’re at in your weight loss journey. A standard amount of time for patients who are past the first week is getting regular injections a couple of times a month.

Aside from timing, it will also depend on your own metabolism and body chemistry. Depending on your starting physical health, age, and activity level, you may require the injections more or less frequently than someone else.

The good news is that however frequently you end up getting the injections, most patients feel a noticeable difference in the days following the first shot. Our patients have cited feeling more energized—especially those who pair the injections with exercise.

While lipotropics are effective, they are not a rapid weight loss scheme. They’re beneficial in tandem with a calorie deficit and exercise. It will still take time to lose weight, but they can help you lose weight faster and without frequent fatigue that can come with a change in diet and exercise routines.

Are lipotropic injections right for you?

Lipotropics are just one piece of a weight loss strategy, but they can be helpful for anyone experiencing the following:

    • Having difficulty losing weight—either starting or if you’ve reached a plateau and have been stuck at the same weight for awhile
    • Feeling sluggish while on a weight loss plan
  • Experiencing extreme fatigue due to weight and possible vitamin or amino acid deficiency

But lipotropics should not be used in isolation. They’re a good option if you are ready to follow a diet and exercise regularly as well. 

To try lipotropic injections for weight loss, you first have to talk with a doctor about options. 

At Valley Medical Weight Loss, we provide a range of lipotropic options to suit your weight loss goals. To talk with one of our doctors and kickstart your weight loss journey, visit one of our weight loss centers in Phoenix today.

time to ask for help

When It’s Time to Ask for Help on Your Weight Loss Journey

How do you know when DIY weight loss isn’t working for you? Here’s when it’s time to ask for help and work with a doctor or weight loss professional who can help you lose weight faster and keep the weight off.

With all the readily found information out there about health and weight loss, it’s easy to think that with the right knowledge we can do everything by ourselves.

And while that’s true for some things like changing a tire or trying a new step-by-step recipe, it’s harder to get right when it comes to complex changes like weight loss.

When you decide to lose weight, there are years of habits and lifestyle choices to overcome. There aren’t quick and easy fixes to how to fix your whole mindset and make new habits in ten minutes or less. 

The changes to lose weight and keep the weight off can take time. That’s why seeking out support can help you overcome the most common barriers to weight loss. Barriers like:

  • Stress
  • Lack of social support or being in an unhealthy environment
  • Food cravings

So if you’ve been trying to lose weight on your own but feel like you aren’t making the changes you wanted to see, here’s how to know when it’s time to ask for help in your weight loss goals.

If you keep hitting the same roadblocks

Losing weight becomes a struggle for many people because of how many roadblocks there are to smoothly achieve weight loss goals. Roadblocks like…

  • being too busy to meal plan 
  • not enjoying exercise
  • not having enough information
  • feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information out there about weight loss
  • Intense food cravings

It’s common to get stuck in a cycle of starting and stopping your weight loss journey because you don’t see any progress.

If you’ve been trying to stick to a diet for a month and see only two pounds lost…it’s discouraging. It makes you wonder why you’re putting yourself through the trouble in the first place. And it’s reasonable to wonder why it’s worth trying. You may even think that weight loss just isn’t possible for you.

If you keep trying new DIY programs and don’t see any progress, that’s a clear sign that you can benefit from an expert perspective and support.

Experts in weight loss know more than ever gets talked about in the generalized health advice on the internet. They’ll be able to see why you haven’t made progress yet and help you stick to a plan that’s actually sustainable and manageable for you in the long run. 

If you have any medical condition

Losing weight is helpful for overall health and wellbeing. But if you’re dealing with health complications either related or unrelated to your weight, it’s important to make changes to your diet and lifestyle with health concerns in mind.

Managing different conditions requires changes to diet, lifestyle, and sometimes medication. So if you plan to take additional weight loss supplements or make dietary changes that could interfere with your management of a condition, you want to have all the information so you can do it right.

A doctor can help you decide what kind of diet is best for you in your situation. They can also monitor your progress and health vitals on a consistent basis to make sure you’re losing weight safely. 

If you don’t feel supported by your friends and family 

While we always want to give friends and family the benefit of the doubt and remember they also have their own concerns in life, sometimes they just aren’t supportive of big lifestyle changes.

And it usually has nothing to do with you.

It’s because they’re afraid of having to make changes to their own lifestyle now that you are. Or they may even feel guilty for not taking a proactive stance about their health after seeing you make a change. And sometimes they truly don’t understand why you’d want to change—even when your health is on the line.

But having support is one of the most important pieces of a successful weight loss journey. When you have support, you’re more likely to complete your weight loss program, achieve your goals, and keep the weight off in the long run.

So if you don’t have the support from friends and family, it’s worth the investment to get support so you get someone in your corner cheering you on. Plus, that support comes from a real weight loss and health expert. You will get the personalized support you need most.

If you want to try the faster weight loss methods like phentermine or HCG

If medical weight loss is on your radar, then working with an expert is necessary.

Options for medical weight loss include phentermine, an appetite suppressant. It’s an FDA-approved medication that can be used to suppress your appetite. It’s helpful when starting out your diet so you can adjust to a new diet without intense cravings that pull you off track.

There’s also the HCG program. It’s a short-term low-calorie diet combined with lipotropic injections. The diet helps you cut calories to lose weight fast over the course of three to four weeks. And the lipotropic injections help you increase your energy and promote weight loss.

Neither of these options are meant to be done alone, however. They are prescribed and overseen by a doctor. So if you’re looking for a way to kickstart your weight loss in a powerful way, it’s time to ask for help from a doctor who can safely guide you through a medical option.

Not all weight loss programs are created equal

There are a lot of weight loss programs out there, but they don’t all offer the same level of support.

But we know how important it is for you to get both knowledgeable and compassionate support from an expert.

This is why when you visit any of our locations, you’ll work with a doctor who is compassionate and knowledgeable. You’ll get weekly health and accountability check-ins. Plus personalized changes for your plan depending on what you need for progress.

We have hundreds of happy patients and helped them achieve their weight loss goals with the right support after hitting many of the same roadblocks you may have experienced for years.

If you feel like it’s time to ask for help and you’re ready for life-changing weight loss support, visit your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss location today.