The medically supervised program at iMetabolic begins with a careful assessment of the individual. This involves testing body composition through a test called plethysmography. This helps a person understand their percent of body fat and their percent of muscle mass, both helpful in creating an individualized plan for weight loss success. Additionally, the individual undergoes a physiologic test of the resting metabolic rate or RMR. In this direct measurement using gas exchange methodology (breathing in and out of a closed system for a few minutes), Dr. Sasse and his team obtain a very accurate assessment of an individual’s daily physiologic calorie burn. This is of course is very helpful in understanding what specific calorie target is required in order to move to a state of weight loss rather than weight gain or weight maintenance.Each person is evaluated by an experienced provider, be it a physician, a nurse practitioner or physician assistant trained in understanding not only the physiologic consequences of weight gain and obesity, but also some of the underlying physiologic contributing causes such as hypothyroidism, medication use, polycystic ovarian syndrome, depression and other factors. In this way, medical supervision offers some important advantages over other methods of attempting to lose weight, which historically have a very poor track record.
In Dr. Sasse’s medically supervised setting, there are two principle advantages:
- He and his team become aware of medical and physiologic factors which may be contributing to weight gain and obesity. For example, untreated hypothyroidism or low circulating thyroid level may contribute to weight gain and a feeling of listlessness and loss of energy. Correction of the problem can often help steer a person back toward a healthier weight.
- In a medically supervised approach an individual will have expert analysis of the physiologic and medical problems that are being caused by the weight gain and obesity such as a strain on the heart, lungs, kidney or liver. Some of these conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea, deserve their own individualized treatment and can help in reversing the cycle of sleep disruption, loss of energy, depression, loss of impulse control, increased hunger, further consumption of calories and further weight gain. Thus, in the best sense, the medically supervised approach helps provide a deeper understanding of the causes of weight gain as well as the consequences of weight gain.