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Review Of Charleston Weight Management Programs

When looking for assistance in a weight management program there are lots of options to choose from in the Charleston, SC area. The question becomes which program will be best suited for you?

In order to make a good decision you’ll have to sort through the marketing hype and look at the core components of each program.

I’ve created this page to help you make an informed decision by breaking down how each program goes about delivering weight loss along with an assessment on each method.

Evaluating costs for Charleston weight management programs

Before we look at the different centers, let’s discuss cost for a second. While cost will undoubtedly be a factor in your decision, you’ll want to more importantly look at the return on your investment.

All weight management programs that involve coaching or consulting will require an investment on your part. That investment will only increase if there are products like vitamins, medications, powders, or shakes to purchase along with the program.

You’ll want to factor in ALL of these costs over the entire duration of time you plan on being in the program. A lot of the advertising used for commercial weight loss centers is designed to lure you with a low introductory price.

Look for hidden fees and any mandatory purchases of products…

Don’t be surprised if you discover there are follow-up fees, doctor fees, lab fees, and a host of other costs that come after the initial consultation.

While I’m not certain on the exact pricing for each program so you’ll want to really do your homework on before signing any agreement. This is especially true if the weight loss program involves auto-shipment of things like protein shakes, bars, or other weight loss supplements.

The last thing you want is a closet filled with protein shakes and bars that you’re no longer have a want or need for. I’ve had clients come to me with stories of having boxes of this stuff left over that they can’t get rid of.

Obligatory disclaimer on this review of Charleston weight management programs

Before we go any further it’s important that I mention the commentary and review of the methods used by the respective Charleston weight management centers is by no means reflective of the professionalism or quality of service they provide.

My intention is not to promote or knock any of these businesses or the individuals that own them. Instead, I simply want to give you an idea of what you can expect from the various options available to you and have you think about the big picture.

The opinions I’ll express will be that of the short and long-term effectiveness of the methods used and not the businesses themselves. In all fairness, I’m the owner of a facility in Charleston that provides weight management services.

While I’ll certainly present the differences about my program at the end of this article, this is by no means a sales letter. I just want to educate you on what you can expect to find with the respective facilities and then you can make your own decisions.

Ok, having said all that let’s look at some of the different weight management programs in Charleston along with how they work.

Review of Charleston weight management centers and what makes them different

Metabolic Medical Center

Like most “metabolic” weight management programs, this center uses meal replacement shakes and vitamins in conjunction with a calorie restrictive diet.

Basically you’ll be drinking protein shakes for some of your meals along with taking vitamins, pills, and injections to help compensate for the nutritional deficiencies that come from a low-calorie diet. You’ll be given one of five different meal plans depending on the result of your blood work and initial doctor visit.

Doctor Supervision: Yes

Severe Low-Calorie Diet: Yes

Shakes and Pills: Yes

Shots and Injections: Yes

Accountability: Yes- follow up visits

Supportive Nutrition: No

Lifestyle Diet Changes: No

One on One Support: No

Exercise Instruction: No

Nutrition and Exercise Education: No

Medi-Weight Loss Clinics

Three phase program includes doctor prescribed treatment plan and supervision. Clients who have gone through this program report getting a comprehensive physical and health assessment at the beginning. This included a blood panel, EKG, and body composition testing. B-6 and B-12 shots may be prescribed several times a week along with an appetite suppressant.

A low calorie diet is administered (typically below 800 calories). Follow up visits are kept short with basically a weigh-in and some questions about how you’re feeling. The concept is one of a severe low-calorie diet, shots, supplements, and medications under a doctor’s supervision.

Doctor Supervision: Yes

Severe Low-Calorie Diet: Yes

Shakes and Pills: Yes

Shots and Injections: Yes

Accountability: Yes –weigh in weekly

Supportive Nutrition: No

Lifestyle Diet Changes: No

One on One Support: No

Exercise Instruction: No

Nutrition and Exercise Education: No

Physicians Weight Loss Clinics

This is another physician supervised weight management program utilizing shakes, supplements, medications, and a severe low-calorie diet. As a franchise this business heavily promotes their own brand of bars, shakes, and other products for you to buy.

The concept like many of the others is drastically restricting calories and providing medication to offset the down-regulation of your metabolism that would occur with calorie deprivation.

Exercise is not part of the plan although it’s uncertain on whether or not the individual franchise locations will recommend it with their program. The majority of time exercise is not included in these programs as it would only increase the likelihood of a weight loss plateau through further calorie deprivation.

Doctor Supervision: Yes

Severe Low-Calorie Diet: Yes

Shakes and Pills: Yes

Shots and Injections: Yes

Accountability: Yes- weekly weigh-in

Supportive Nutrition: No

Lifestyle Diet Changes: No

One on One Support: No

Exercise Instruction: No

Nutrition and Exercise Education: No

Advanced Medical Weight Management Center

This program is based on big time calorie restriction combined with pills, shakes, and shots. Doctor supervision is provided. An important part of the method used in this weight management center is the injections of B-6 and B-12 shots along with appetite suppressant medication. Basically you drink a lot of shakes along with taking shots and pills while on a severe calorie restrictive diet.

Doctor Supervision: Yes

Severe Low-Calorie Diet: Yes- really restrictive!

Shakes and Pills: Yes

Shots and Injections: Yes

Accountability: No

Supportive Nutrition: No

Lifestyle Diet Changes: No

One on One Support: No

Exercise Instruction: No

Nutrition and Exercise Education: No

Weight Watchers

This program has been around forever and it’s one of the largest weight loss franchises in the country. Unlike the traditional “medical or doctor supervised” weight loss clinics, this program focuses on lifestyle change through diet and exercise.

Pills and shots are not part of the method used to help you lose weight. A points system helps clients determine the quantity and quality of food they eat during the day. Education is a core component in this program along with regular follow-ups for weigh-ins.

The points system used has recently been modified and vastly improved in my opinion. It puts more emphasis on the quality of each food choice instead of just quantity. In the past this was a problem as many dieters would save up points during the day to have their favorite foods.

Because the objective is not severe calorie restriction and metabolic tricks to keep the metabolism from down-regulating (through shots and pills), the Weight Watchers program does recommend exercise. This is a big plus and makes it more conducive from a lifestyle standpoint. However, exercise prescription, coaching, or instruction is not provided.

Doctor Supervision: No

Severe Low-Calorie Diet: No

Shakes and Pills: No

Shots and Injections: No

Accountability: Yes- weekly weigh-in

Supportive Nutrition: Yes

Lifestyle Diet Changes: Yes

One on One Support: No

Exercise Instruction: No

Nutrition and Exercise Education: Some

HCG Diet Centers

This is the newest weight loss fad diet and everyone from plastic surgeons, chiropractors, and even dermatologists are jumping on the bandwagon offering the treatment as an office service.

Basically the HCG diet is a severe calorie restrictive diet (500 calories per day) that is combined with hormone injections or sublingual drops of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin).

HCG is a hormone that is produced by females primarily during pregnancy by the developing embryo. The claim is the hormone works to help the body release stored fat in times of caloric deprivation.

In full disclosure, HCG is not approved by the FDA for weight loss and there is no real recent credible medical research showing it enhances fat loss (except for Dr. A.T.W. Simeon’s original research published in his 1954 book entitled “Pounds and Inches”).

This is the truth, you can challenge any doctor who pushes this diet to show you the research he or she reviewed that convinced them to make the recommendation.

He or she will probably mumble some gibberish or show you some old papers, but it won’t be anything approved by the AMA or published in a credible peer reviewed journal of medicine. The evidence just isn’t conclusive.

Does the HCG Diet work?

Having said all that, you’ll find plenty of people who swear by the diet and can show you the results to prove it. There is no denying that an individual can and will lose a significant amount of weight on a 500 calorie diet over a period of 30-40 days!

It’s not completely known the role (if any), HCG plays in helping to offset the down-regulation of thyroid production and metabolism with severe low-calorie dieting. While there’s no significant studies showing harmful health risks of injection or taking the HCG hormone for short periods of time, I’d say it’s way too early to know for sure.

There’s just not enough research on the long-term effects and its way to early in the game. There wasn’t a lot of research on “phen-fen” in the beginning either.

Does the HCG diet work? There are plenty of people that can attest to the fact they’ve lost weight. But there are also an equal number of people who have lost a bunch of weight on the diet and preceded to gain it all back once they stopped taking the injections and eating 500 calories!

The darkside of the HCG diet few people talk about…

If lifestyle changes aren’t made, the body will rebound off this diet with a vengeance and trigger a primal response to start storing body fat. I’ll save a more detailed discussion on HCG for another day as this is an entire article in itself.

Just know that there are very loose regulations on who can prescribe the HCG diet. Basically, just about anybody can prescribe you the template diet and sell you some injections or droplets.

My biggest concern with this diet right now is not the short-term safety or risk factors, but rather the long-term effects. The whole premise behind starving yourself on 500 calories and using some drug to play a metabolic trick on your body is by its very nature nothing more than a quick fix.

If you rob your body of vital micronutrients, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, you’re simply starving yourself on the cellular level. Sure you may lose weight but it’s what going on inside you that you can’t see.

One of the many problems with the HCG diet, like most others using any type of hormone or drug, is a lot of people will inherently abuse it and not follow the recommendations. You know the story….if the diet worked well for three weeks by taking two shots each week and following the meal plans, then it will work even better with three shots each week….yada…yada…yada.

It’s either that or people will lose weight, get to the end of the 30-40 day period and stop, start putting all the weight back on, then say heck with the recommended break period and get right back on the diet.

No prescription required…

You can buy the stuff on-line without a doctor’s prescription so people will take it upon themselves to keep doing the injections or drops. What’s going to happen with these people after months or years of NEVER coming off the diet?

You know it’s going to happen. Let’s not kid ourselves. There’s not enough research to say conclusively what will happen to these people, but I can tell you this it won’t be good.

Doctor Supervision: Maybe

Severe Low-Calorie Diet: Yes

Shakes and Pills: Yes

Shots and Injections: Yes

Accountability: No

Supportive Nutrition: No

Lifestyle Diet Changes: No

One on One Support: No

Exercise Instruction: No

Nutrition and Exercise Education: No

Some striking similarities in the commercial weight loss centers…

When taking the time to review commercial weight loss centers, you’ll see that they pretty much all do the same thing, with the exception of Weight Watchers. I won’t include any facility that prescribes the HCG Diet as that’s a whole other category in itself.

But seriously, if you look at the “physician supervised” type clinics they’re all putting you on some insanely low-calorie diet and giving you shots, pills, shakes, and vitamins.

While you’ll certainly lose some weight during these starvation sessions with the help of the drugs and vitamins, do you really think this is going to solve the root problem behind your weight gain?

Lifestyle plan to help you keep the weight off for good, or quick-fix?

No matter how much they try and position themselves as a lifestyle plan, it’s far from it. There’s nothing “lifestyle” about eating a severe calorie restrictive diet.

I wish they’d just come out and say, “We can help you lose 30 lbs in 30 days, but after that you’re on your own!” Because that’s pretty much what it comes down to.

There’s no denying you’re likely to lose weight on any of these plans, but what happens when you gain it all back? Do you just go for another cycle of starving yourself, taking shots, and drinking shakes all day?

There’s no liberation and freedom in all this! What about losing the weight and keeping it off for good.Breaking free from the bondage of counting calories and tirelessly watching what you eat. It’s not living if you constantly have to restrict yourself all the time.

The truth on how to lose weight and keep it off, gaining complete liberation from dieting and total control of your health…

Let me be blunt and to the point. There’s only ONE way to truly gain this freedom and get control of your health. You have to make lifestyle changes with how you treat and care for your body.

Every individual who is struggling with their weight has one or more imbalances at the root of the problem. When the human body is provided with supportive nutrition at the cellular level and has adequate exercise, rest, and recovery, weight loss happens naturally.

I don’t want this to sound overly simple as I know there can be numerous obstacles to overcome along the way. There are behavioral issues, food addictions, hormonal imbalances, struggles with exercise, and the list goes on. This is why it’s imperative that you seek coaching and help with making all the necessary lifestyle changes.

It’s just too hard taking the walk all by yourself. You’ve probably tried numerous times to lose weight on your own only to yo-yo back and forth between weight loss and weight gain.

What makes Shaping Concepts different from other Charleston weight management centers…

At my Shaping Concepts Fitness Training Studio we specialize in helping individuals achieve a body transformation with personal coaching and support. Unlike the traditional weight management centers our methods involve true lifestyle changes with diet and exercise.

No starving yourself, taking pills, shots, and all that kind of stuff. You’ll receive accountability, motivation, and professional instruction on how to eat and exercise for long-term, lasting weight loss.

Can I promise you that you’ll lose 30 pounds in 30 days? Absolutely not, but what I can promise you is I’ll provide you with ALL the tools you need to be successful. Will it require hard work, effort, sacrifice and commitment? Yes, but I bet deep down in your heart you already know that’s required for anything in your life to stick.

The bottom line is this….the majority of commercial weight management centers in Charleston will undoubtedly provide you with a means of losing weight quickly. If that’s what you’re looking for it should be fairly easy to find.

But if you’re tired of the repeated frustration of going up and down with your weight, you’ll have to make true lifestyle changes.

No more quick-fixes and short-term solutions…

When you’re ready to make that change, I’m here to help. We provide a FREE no-obligations consultation and trial on our programs to experience the Shaping Concepts difference for yourself.

You can see the numerous success stories and learn more about the methods we use to change lives for our clients by browsing through this website.

I promise you that you can lose the weight you want and finally gain control of your health once you make the decision to fully commitment to lifestyle changes. Refuse to accept quick-fixes and temporary solutions for your life any longer.

Draw that hard line in the sand and say enough is enough! There are no short-cuts along the road to achieving the body and level of health you desire.

Shane Doll is a certified personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Fitness Training Studios. If you’re looking for a personal trainer in Charleston, you can receive a FREE, no-obligations (2) session trial and consultation without risking a dime. Over 1000 Charleston area residents have transformed their bodies following our unique burst training workouts and simplified nutrition programs.

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Category: Fat Loss.