Medical Nutrition Therapy For Weight Loss

Dr. Christopher McGowan
diciembre 28, 2020

Losing weight is a significant challenge for most people, in large part because it requires making daily lifestyle changes. Even using state-of-the-art weight loss services like those offered by True You, sustained, significant weight loss is dependent on adopting a new diet with nutritious food choices and fewer calories. Unlike fad diets and severely restrictive caloric intake, however, the plan for revamping your diet—referred to in the medical community as medical nutrition therapy—is a customized therapeutic program that will help you make food choices that will complement your overall weight loss goals. 

What is Medical Nutrition Therapy?

Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) is a treatment program administered by a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) to treat a variety of illnesses or other medical conditions. Traditionally used for type 2 diabetes treatment and management, MNT can also be used generally for any condition where unhealthy eating habits are either a cause or a contributing factor; examples include kidney disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, or heart disease. Beyond treating specific conditions, though, medical nutrition therapy can also be useful for those struggling with obesity by emphasizing the evaluation of your daily diet. 

How Does Medical Nutrition Therapy Work?

When used as part of a weight loss program like those offered by True You, medical nutrition therapy functions as a series of steps guided by the registered dietitian. Rather than imposing a rigid diet plan that you’re expected to follow flawlessly right from the beginning, the first step is a comprehensive nutrition counseling session. During this initial session, the dietitian will evaluate your current diet and its nutritional value. This is especially useful because most people underestimate the number of calories they consume or simply lose track of their eating habits. 

After an initial nutrition assessment, the RDN will develop a custom diet plan that is designed to complement any weight loss procedure that has been performed by the bariatric physician. The new plan is tailored to what you need based on your starting weight and any other health factors that may come into play (for example, someone with hypertension would have reduced sodium content). Beyond developing a nutrition diagnosis and customized plan, however, one of the main goals of the counseling services is to educate the patient on the need for the plan and the purpose of the various dietary recommendations. 

After the initial nutrition intervention session, the dietitian will schedule a series of follow-up appointments to check in and track progress. In addition to following up on the specifics of the plan, these sessions are beneficial because they provide the dietitian with the opportunity to counsel the patient about the process as well as give feedback on the potential challenges; moreover, it is a chance to talk about the progress toward your weight loss goals and celebrate the successes. At True You, this process is an integral part of the overall weight loss process that includes our non-surgical procedures. Our dietitians are highly trained health care professionals who administer MNT with compassion and understanding.

The Impact of MNT Beyond Weight Loss 

As noted earlier, the value of medical nutrition therapy goes beyond weight loss. Indeed, the combination of weight loss and a more nutritionally robust diet plan can have amazing benefits for your overall health and wellness in addition to your waistline. The following are some of the most common benefits: 

  • Type 2 Diabetes: Medical nutrition therapy is actually a normal, recognized component of managing type 2 diabetes, especially because of the nutrition education component. Learning about eating habits and food choices as a diabetic helps patients take control of the disease and stay on top of the dietary and pharmacological needs (like dialysis) of treatment. In this regard, MNT is meant to work in conjunction with diabetic self-management training (DSMT).
  • Blood Pressure: Many people who have high blood pressure (hypertension) either have other medical conditions or are prone to other medical conditions, and it’s not always clear what food choices are the right choices. This is particularly true where sodium content is concerned, because a food doesn’t have to taste very salty for it to have a lot of sodium. By better tracking food ingredients and sticking to the plan, high blood pressure can be effectively mitigated. 
  • Increased Energy: While it may seem almost counter-intuitive, some high-calorie diets can result in reduced energy levels and general lethargy. Working with an RDN on a medical nutrition therapy plan, however, can open up your diet to a whole new universe of foods that are packed with nutritional components that can give you a noticeable boost in energy and activity levels. 
  • Kidney Disease: The kidneys are one of the body’s primary means of removing waste and filtering toxins from the foods we eat. Poor dietary choices over the long term can cause damage to the kidneys and even reduce kidney function, sometimes leading to the need for a kidney transplant. MNT can help draw attention to the kinds of foods that cause this damage and help you limit them in your daily diet. 
  • Heart Disease: Similar to kidney disease, one of the primary factors in your potential to develop heart disease is diet-related. Years of eating foods with high sugar and saturated fat content can cause major problems for heart health. While other medical interventions are necessary for heart disease, a medical nutrition therapy plan is often crucial in stopping further heart damage and making it stronger.  
  • Cholesterol: LDL cholesterol (in other words, the bad kind) is found in red meat and a wide variety of other foods that are derived from animal products, but it is also produced by our liver when needed. A diet that is high in these types of foods can raise your cholesterol level and eventually lead to the clogging of arteries by plaque. Since many people don’t examine their food choices very carefully, MNT can alert you to what you need to change to bring cholesterol levels back to normal. 

Medical Nutrition Therapy Consult

MNT services are a methodology that has many uses even outside of strict weight loss goals, but at True You it is a substantial part of your journey toward freedom from overweight and obesity. We know how the traditional methods of weight loss (restrictive diet and punishing exercise routines) are just not very effective for most people. We are passionate about giving patients the chance to finally achieve their goals, often after years of failure with other methods. And it is precisely because of the challenging nature of weight loss that medical nutrition therapy is so valuable. 

If you have been trying to lose weight but haven’t been able to break free, True You offers non-surgical, outpatient procedures like endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) that can help you finally get over the hump. When combined with MNT counseling, you’ll get the support you need to make sustainable changes to your diet. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us to solicitar una consulta. Freedom is waiting! 

Dr. Christopher McGowan
Dr. Christopher McGowan

Dr. Christopher McGowan, MD, a leader in endobariatrics, specializes in non-surgical obesity treatments and is triple-board-certified in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, and Obesity Medicine. Renowned for pioneering endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) with over 2,000 procedures, his global influence and research contributions define him as a top expert.

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