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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • January 2018
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What to look for in a weight loss program

There are many weight loss programs from which to choose. Hopefully, this article will give you the tough questions to ask when evaluating any weight loss program. 

1. Physical exam, health history. Does the weight loss program offer a detailed physical exam and a thorough health history with a knowledgeable doctor so a patient-centered plan can be created with your health picture in mind in order to be effective?

2. Weight loss versus body composition. Does the weight loss program measure body composition and fat loss, not just weight loss? 

3. Blood sugar regulation. Does the weight loss program show you how to regulate your blood sugar? Research clearly shows that poor blood sugar regulation is the main reason why many people are not able to lose fat. 

4. Fluid retention. Does the weight loss program measure fluid retention and where the fluid is being stored? A simple noninvasive in-office test (BIA test) can determine this.

5. Blood work. Does the weight loss program provide any blood work to measure your cholesterol, lipoproteins, liver enzymes and hemoglobin A1c? These tests are worth doing to assess whether or not you have metabolic syndrome or other health conditions, which will greatly affect your general health and the success of your fat loss efforts if not taken into consideration. 

6. Menu planning. Does the weight loss program want you to buy their food, or are you able to prepare food on your own? Does the program require calorie counting? Do you have to eat less and be hungry or can you eat as much as you want as long as you make healthy food choices? 

7. Exercise. Does the weight loss program include exercise? Exercise is important in helping to lose weight; however, physical activity does not have to be strenuous. Gentle movement therapy has been shown to be effective.

8. Emotional eating. Does the weight loss program help you to address emotional eating and cravings that we all experience when working to improve ourselves?

9. Accountability. Does the weight loss program build in a mechanism for accountability, which will motivate and inspire you to be your best so you can have enough energy to do what God wants you to do? 

What we believe works best is creating a partnership with your doctor, working within your unique health picture to create a plan that can be adopted for life. When this happens, suddenly the weight loss program becomes a get-well program and fat loss is realized as a result of getting healthier and stronger — and the healthy changes will last a lifetime. 


Scott Vander Wielen, DC, DABCI

Dr. Scott Vander Wielen is a Diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Internists through the American Chiropractic Association and Council for the Diagnosis of Internal Disorders. Additionally, Dr. Scott is a licensed chiropractor, certified nutritional counselor and functional medicine practitioner. He owns and operates Vander Wielen Health & Wellness Diagnostic Center, LLC, a patient centered practice employing techniques promoted by the Institute for Functional Medicine. Dr. Scott serves patients with gastrointestinal disorders, brain trauma, chronic cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, and hormone and thyroid disorders. For more information, visit or call 920-722-2100.

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