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The PrivateDoc Weight Loss Service

Weight loss infographic
Inspected and Rated Good by the Care Quality Commission

PrivateDoc can help you lose weight and keep the weight off for good

We have treated 1,000s of patients in the UK and helped them reach their weight loss goals, creating healthier and happier lives in the process.

Losing weight isn't easy, but with support from PrivateDoc you are more likely to succeed on your weight loss journey. Whilst we can't make any promises of success, what we can tell you is that we have helped a huge number of patients succeed.

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Weight is a complex issue

If you're overweight or obese you are certainly not alone. 29% of us in the UK are obese and this number is 3 times larger than it was 30 years ago. If this is you, then it is easy to blame yourself for having gained weight over the years and the negative consequences associated with being overweight.

However, it is important to recognise that our lives have changed substantially over the last decades, particularly around the food we eat, how we work, the increased pace of life that means we are busier than ever and often putting our health and fitness last. It really isn't your fault and its easy to gain weight over a number of years with your weight slowly increaing over time.

Most of us are aware of our weight and this is emphasised by the media's portrayal of what a healthy body looks like. This can create negative feelings that impact our self-esteem, which is a very natural response to being overweight, creating feelings of self consciousness.

As we age our bodies change, so does our metabolism and our activity levels. Significant events in our lives and long term injuries are also factors that can contribute to weight gain.

We all have a unique story and this is also a factor that contributes to our health.

How is weight measured

Body Mass Index (BMI) is the tool that is used to measure height and weight to establish if someone is in a healthy range.

The BMI calculation divides an adult's weight in kilograms by their height in metres squared. For example, A BMI of 25 means 25kg/m2

Therefore your BMI determines if your weight is healthy or not:

  • below 18.5 – you're in the underweight range
  • between 18.5 and 24.9 – you're in the healthy weight range
  • between 25 and 29.9 – you're in the overweight range
  • between 30 and 39.9 – you're in the obese range
BMI chart

It is important to recognise that being too skinny is not healthy and can also have significant impact on your physical and mental well being.

Why doesn't the NHS do more to support weight loss?

Obesity is recognised as a national problem in the UK. However, the NHS is already over stretched and underfunded. Therefore support for weight loss from the NHS is limited and not accessible to many patients. In some cases the NHS will support weight loss with clinical interventions such as prescription weight loss medication or surgical options, but in most cases the qualifying BMI is much higher than 30 to access this support.

It is important to act when you are over weight, rather than neglect the issue, gain more weight and exacerbate the problem.

How PrivateDoc's weight loss service works?

PrivateDoc's weight loss service is designed to help patients with a BMI of 30 or over. The clinical term for a BMI of 30 or more is to be in the obese range.

A weight loss journey at PrivateDoc starts with a consultation with one of our clinical team of GPs and if appropriate prescription medication will be prescribed to assist with the lifestyle changes required to lose weight.

PrivateDoc provides the complete range of prescription options to assist with weight loss and the service is designed to allow a patient to jointly consider medication with one of our GMC registered GPs.

Once a patient is prescribed weight loss medication at PrivateDoc, a 12 week target is set to work towards to ensure that the medication is effective and that continuation of treatment is appropriate.

Weight loss target

How does prescription weight loss medication work?

When we lose weight we do so by creating a calorie deficit. What this means is, is we burn more calories than we consume and to do that we have to eat less and exercise more.

The key to weight loss is creating a calorie deficit that is realistic and creates a slight gradient that allows the body to burn fat day by day, week by week.

Prescription weight loss medication is the tool to aid creating the calorie deficit. Therefore you should expect to need to eat less when you are supported by prescription options such as Saxenda or Mysimba, thus creating a reduction in calorific intake.

The medication on its own will not burn fat, only the body can metabolise fat through a calorie deficit.

Sadly the internet is full of content that promote “fat melting” and “fat burning solutions"" to aid weight loss, however the simple truth is that only your body can use fat as a source of energy and reduce weight. So please accept that only clinically proven products can help deliver the results you want if exercise and diets have failed.

It is important to note that results are not guranteed with the use of prescription medication for every patient.

Which weight loss medication is most effective?

A common query regarding weight loss medication is about effectiveness and which one is best. This is a difficult question to answer and results vary between patients. PrivateDoc offers the complete range of weight loss medications to enable sufficient choice and consideration to patients with support from our team of GPs.

The most commonly prescribed medications are Saxenda and Mysimba and these must be prescribed by a doctor with sufficient experience of weight loss prescribing. For some patients Saxenda may be more appropriate and effective that Mysimba, but this does depend upon the individual.

PrivateDoc provides all the information on all of the medications in our treatment range to enable patients to make an informed choice, including a complete list of side effects to be aware of.

My BMI is now less than 30 will treatment continue to be prescribed?

In most cases the qualifying BMI for commencing prescription weight loss treatment is 30 or more. PrivateDoc will continue to prescribe weight loss medication until a patient reaches a healthy BMI. Once a patient reaches a BMI of 24 a PrivateDoc clinician will have a continuation consultation with a patient to agree a final target where treatment will end, within the healthy BMI range.

If you are in treatment with PrivateDoc, it is important that you continue to monitor your weight throughout your program by weighing in regularly and recording your weight.

Calculate your BMI here

What can I expect if I choose PrivateDoc to manage my weight loss journey?

Your weight loss journey is more than just the medication that is prescribed. At PrivateDoc we pride ourselves in our high levels of customer care and clinical oversight post prescribing. Our service doesn't end when we dispense your prescription.

As a first time patient you will receive a new medication review seven days after you receive your medication. The purpose of this is to ensure that you have received everything from us and that you have no questions or concerns.

If this is the first time you have been prescribed treatment you will be invited to complete a follow up consultation after 14 days of treatment. The purpose of this consultation is to ensure that you are adjusting to the medication well and that you have no questions or side effects.

Once you have passed the 14 day milestone you should continue to monitor side effects and record dosage and weight loss progress. When you require a repeat prescription you will be able to complete a repeat consultation and one of our doctors will prescribe a repeat if it is appropriate to do so.

Introducing the PrivateDoc Patient App

We have worked hard to build the PrivateDoc app to support your patient experience at PrivateDoc. Our app is loaded with features to support your weight loss experience and deliver your treatment plan. You can download the app at anytime, but once you have submitted your first consultation at PrivateDoc this is when you will experience the benefit of our service, providing easy access to our clinicians, order tracking and managing your treatment plan.

We have even made available helpful podcasts and exercise videos from Novo Nordisk's breakfree campaign via our app to help you get the most from your treatment. The app is completely free of charge and we encourage you to download it so you can experience our service.

PrivateDoc Patient Mobile App

What happens when I need a repeat prescription?

As you proceed with your treatment you will need a require repeat prescriptions and they will be available to you via PrivateDoc's repeat prescription service for weight loss.

The common treatments of Saxenda and Mysimba require that the medication dosage is increased over a period of time to reach maximum effect. Titration is the process of adjusting the dose of a medication for the maximum benefit without adverse effects. The titration process can result in more frequent repeat prescriptions as treatment progresses.

Not all patients reach the maximum dosage of Saxenda or Mysimba. If treatment is proving successful and you are feeling the benefits of the medication there is no requirement to increase your dose.

For some patients side effect management also means that maximum dosage isn't reached.

When you require a repeat prescription you can simply submit a repeat consultation, which will be reviewed, and order more.

Why do I need to keep track of my weight?

None of us like stepping on the scales, particularly when we are conscious of our weight. However, it is important to keep a track of progress as you progress with treatment and accurate weight readings are required to receive a repeat prescription of your weight loss treatment. Weight readings are important to demonstrate the effectiveness of treatment so that our doctors can continue to provide treatment.

The important thing to remember is that weight loss is never a straight line down and that even when we are losing weight our weight fluctuates. The vast majority of our body weight is made up of water and our level of hydration has an impact on weight readings, as does time of day that you weight in and digestion.

The trend is your friend on a weight loss journey, and it is more important to have a close eye on the weight loss trend over weeks not days. Accept that some days you will gain weight for no reason and other days you will be noticeably lighter.

Weighing in often is important as we need to be able to monitor your progress so we can continue to provide treatment, but also keep a track of how you are feeling in terms of energy or how your clothes fit as these are also key signs that indicate weight loss.

I'm gaining weight and I'm concerned the treatment isn't working

Prescription weight loss treatment isn't guaranteed to be successful for everyone, however the products that are available from PrivateDoc are clinically proven to aid weight loss and support the required lifestyle changes to lose weight.

For some patients progress will be slow in the first few weeks as the body adjusts to the medication and it is important to not be disheartened if there is no weight loss in the first few days.

Calorie counting and exercise tracking are a good way to monitor your calorie deficit and it is important not to cheat or overlook any calorie intake that could negatively affect results.

The advice from PrivateDoc's medical team is to always allow 12 weeks of treatment, if there are no side effects, to establish if a prescription medication is effective to aid weight loss.

Sensible weight loss for best results

Many patients expect rapid weight loss from weight loss treatment, hoping to shed weight quickly for noticeable results. Therefore it can be tempting to try to accelerate weight loss by creating a very steep calorie deficit that results in making you feel like you are starving. This is never a good idea as your body needs to be fuelled properly, even when you are losing weight.

It is best to aim for 1 - 2 pounds of weight loss per week which is 0.5 kilograms of weight lost.

Crash diets most often result in eating binges as a result of extreme hunger, this is never a good way to lose weight, and will lead to frustration over the longer term.

Snacks and treats can be very tempting and will hinder your weight loss results if they are not controlled. The key to how to diet efectively is to not be too restrictive. Remember that everything can be enjoyed in moderation and the occasional treat with an eye on calorie intake, will not effect your long term results.

The Risks of Yo-Yo Dieting

The safest way to lose weight using an online service

It can be tempting to switch between online services for convenience, but the best way to manage your weight loss journey is to stick with a service that you are confident in and can provide continuity in treatment.

PrivateDoc is clinically led with GMC registered GPs who are experienced in online prescribing. PrivateDoc is a UK based company that is registered with the Care Quality Commission.

When you start a weight loss program at PrivateDoc you can be assured that you treatment is managed appropriately and that we are always here to manage any questions or side effects that you experience. We also provide you with tools and regular support to help you on your weight loss journey.

The best time to start losing weight

If you have a high BMI and are unhappy with your weight it is a good time to start to thinking about how you can improve your health and lifestyle significantly through weight loss.

Planning when you will start to make the required lifestyle and dietary changes in order to lose weight is critical to successful weight loss. If you have tried to lose weight through diet and exercise before and your attempts have bene unsuccessful, PrivateDoc can help with weight loss medication for patients with a qualifying BMI of 30 or more.

Often the new year is a great time to decide to start a weight loss program, following the festive season. Similarly if there is a good break in your social calendar, this can be a great time to start a weight loss program. If you are planning to go on holiday or you have a special event within a week, this isn't a great time to start a weight loss program as your focus will be upon the occasion or holiday rather than weight loss, diet and exercise.

Pick a quiet couple of weeks and start without any pressure. Don't forget our tips to help you lose weight.

Small changes each week

The key to successful weight loss is making small changes each week to improve your diet and exercise choices.

Humans are creatures of habit so if you are making a lot of changes in a short space of time you are less likely to have success in sticking with your new routine. For example, if you don't go to the gym but you want to start, it is unlikely that you will be successful in committing to going 7 days a week in the first week. You need to ease into changes gradually.

So if you are thinking of increasing your exercise, set some realistic goals and adjust them each week. You will find you have more enjoyment by setting realistic targets and hitting them.

Creating an activity plan for weight loss

Keep your fluids up

One of the easiest strategies for weight loss is hydration, your body doesn't work well without water. Drinking plenty of water is easy to do, yet so easy to neglect, so try to be mindful of your water intake and keep drinking.

Your metabolism is driven by water intake, therefore the first thing you should do is to drink water in the morning when you wake up. 330ml is a good quantity of water to drink each time and water at room temperature (ambient) is the fastest to be absorbed.

Many people do not drink sufficient water and often their hydration is supplemented by food intake. If you are easting less, exercising more, it is important to drink more fluids. Aim for 2.5 litres per day.

If you are on a Saxenda or Mysimba medicated weight loss plan you should aim to drink between 2 - 2.5 litres of water per day. If you are hungry and tempted to eat between meals, have a glass of water as this can help with the urge to snack.

It all starts with an online consultation

If you have a BMI of 30 or more and you have already tried diet and exercise without success, a PrivateDoc weight loss plan could help. Our consultation service is without obligation if you don't qualify, and if the doctor does not prescribe you will receive full refund.

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