Weight problems come in all shapes and sizes – literally. And no matter our size or shape, so many of us could benefit from a little weight help now at different times in our lives. The best news is that you don’t have to be considering bariatric surgery or battling obesity to benefit from the guidance of a trained professional.

In fact, Longstreet Clinic’s Center for Weight Management providers see patients of many sizes, including those who are simply looking to lose stubborn belly fat or that 20 pounds that just won’t seem to go away.

The best news is that the caring providers at the Center for Weight Management have seen it all – and will help you find the solutions that best suit your needs, whatever they may be.

For a lot of patients that starts with the simplest solutions, including diet and supplements – but the experienced staff at the Center for Weight Management is careful to look at every possible angle.

“One of the most common questions I hear is: How do I lose belly fat?” said Eileen Javellana, M.D., an internal medicine and medical weight loss specialist at Longstreet Clinic. “Belly fat can come along with stress, with poor sleep; certain medications cause belly fat to accumulate. Artificial sweeteners can cause belly fat to accumulate. There are at a lot of different reasons why it happens. Losing it, however, requires us to look at all these different possibilities and look at lifestyle, behavior, diet, exercise, the whole lot, to determine how much belly fat needs to be lost and how quickly we can lose it.”

Dr. Javellana and her colleagues also work with plenty of patients with very specific numbers in mind. And sometimes those numbers mean more than just physical appearances. In fact, for many people, losing just 20 pounds can make a real difference in their overall health, as carrying that extra weight may contribute to other conditions – such as diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), or sleep apnea.

“It’s very common for me to see patients that just want to lose 20 pounds,” said Sonali Ganguly, M.D., an endocrinologist with the Center for Weight Management. “Twenty pounds means different things to different people. For someone who weighs 200 pounds, a 20-pound weight loss would be 20 percent of their weight, which can certainly impact the control of their medical conditions. So, if they have diabetes or hypertension, or sleep apnea, those things could either be resolved or improved with a 20-pound weight loss.”

Not all numbers are the same, however, and that’s why Longstreet Clinic providers never view weight loss as a cookie cutter – where one solution works the same for every case.

“For example, a very common scenario is a woman in perimenopause or menopause, who may have had a normal BMI of 23, 130 pounds, but has gained 20 pounds during menopause. That extra 20 pounds is very, very distressing to them,” Dr. Ganguly added. “How do they go about losing that? We have a lot of options. The cornerstone of weight management is always lifestyle modification, diet, and exercise. We have a medical weight loss program; there are medications as well. It all really depends on what the starting BMI is.”

One of the most successful options that the Center for Weight Management offers are scientifically created and measured meal replacement supplements. These protein-rich, low carbohydrate options are fortified with 100 percent of all necessary nutrients and are often a cornerstone of Longstreet Clinic’s medical weight loss approaches.

“In the medical weight loss program, we have different plans, depending on what the weight loss goals are for the patient,” said Mercedes Hall, FNP-C, a certified nurse practitioner who specializes in medical weight loss. “We use the meal supplements as the basis for our very low-calorie diets and low-calorie diets.”

These diets are proven to trigger weight loss at rates of up to 3-5 pounds a week (very low calorie) and 2-3 pounds a week (low calorie).

“Do patients have to stay on meal replacements for the rest of their lives? Absolutely not. It’s not something we want them to feel like they have to take,” Dr. Javellana said. “We don’t want them to think of it as ‘the fix.’ It simply helps them like a power tool, to get things done in a shorter amount of time.”

However, the power of meal replacements – combined with following other plans set out by the providers at the Center for Weight Management – can also be dramatic.

“I tell patients that they can stay on the plan as long as one month to lose the 20 pounds or they can stay on it for over a year. One of my most successful patients has lost over 100 pounds and has results just like a patient that had bariatric surgery,” Dr. Javellana said. “We cured his diabetes; we cured his hypertension; and we cured his chronic kidney disease, which is the first time I’ve done that in 28 years. So, it can be a very successful plan for patients as soon as we evaluate them for it.”

As with everything else at the Center for Weight Management, meal replacement is just one part of a large puzzle that providers piece together in search of better health for their patients. It may even be the first piece in a more aggressive approach, as some patients start with supplements before moving on to bariatric surgery.

“That’s actually ideal, because in the medical weight loss program you are practicing things that you’ll have to practice in order to maintain weight loss after surgery. So, you’re looking at a better diet and making better choices with food,” said nurse practitioner Oteia Morris, FNP-C. “High protein meal replacements are definitely something that’s introduced with the medical weight loss plan, so you’ll be doing those as well when you’re prepping for surgery, whether it be a gastric sleeve or a gastric bypass.”

Whatever your needs, the Center for Weight Management is ready to work with you and determine how best to meet them – and in a way that will better guarantee long-term success.

If you’re trying to shale stubborn belly fat, need to lose 20 pounds, or are battling weight-related health conditions, the Center for Weight Management is ready to help. To learn more, please call Longstreet Clinic’s Center for Weight Management today at 770-534-0110 or toll-free at 877-921-0110. Or you can watch our online seminar then fill out our contact form, and our weight loss team will reach out to you.

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