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Managing your weight throughout your life can feel like an uphill battle—one that has very real consequences for your health. Being overweight can put you at risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, breathing problems, cancer, and mental illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Being overweight can lead to many health conditions that can impact your life,” said Bradee Rojas, M.S., R.D., C.D.C.E.S., Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program coordinator at Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill. “But your weight can also mean a lower quality of life—it can drain your energy and keep you from enjoying the things in life that really matter, like friends and family.”
Losing weight is often easier said than done. A basic formula is to eat less and move more. But what we eat, how much less we eat, and how much we move yield different results for each person.
“Making lifestyle changes to lose weight and prevent related health issues is often difficult, which is why we’ve developed programs to help folks on their weight loss journeys,” said Rojas.
Weight Management Isn’t Just Surgery
Inspira’s Weight Management Services include several weight loss and weight management tools. Bariatric surgery, including sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass and intragastric balloons, are some tools, but dietary counseling with lifestyle integration is the epicenter of weight management.
“The cornerstone of the program is our dietary component. Every patient must see a dietitian and know the granular elements that go into a healthy lifestyle and eating,” said Keith Kreitz, M.D., medical director for Bariatric Surgery at Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill. “Non-medical weight loss is always the first step. Some patients don’t want or can’t have surgery.”
Your weight management program begins with education, dietary and exercise counseling. “A weight management journey is not just about going on a diet—it’s about making lifestyle changes,” said Kreitz. “Making these changes is one way to become healthier and happier.”
After an evaluation, your provider may recommend changing dietary habits, adopting a better sleep schedule, increasing your physical activity, and taking part in general medical nutrition therapy.
Your weight management journey will also likely include a mental health component. “A huge part of weight management is mental health,” Kreitz. “Forty-three percent of adults with depression are obese. Instead of focusing on lowering the number you see on the scale, we can help you learn tools and techniques to tend to your mental health and your weight.”
When the Answer is Surgery
If you meet the criteria for weight loss surgery, and your team determines that’s the best next step, you’ll take part in information sessions, pre-surgical education classes and support groups. You may also need to undergo preoperative testing for your insurance to cover your weight loss surgery.
“If you have a weight loss goal in mind, we can help you get there, whether it’s with lifestyle changes and counseling or weight loss surgery,” said Rojas.