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Also known as residential weight loss programs, inpatient treatment for obesity using non-surgical methods is steadily gaining in popularity. These programs are designed to guide and support individuals who are seeking a major lifestyle change to drop the weight and get healthy. While program specifics will vary among different facilities, most involve diet and fitness counseling, classes in food preparation and plenty of time in the gym. If you've tried everything already -- counted calories, monitored your fat intake and sampled an array of workout DVDs -- but nothing has worked, an inpatient weight loss program may be able to help you get the body and life you want.
Inpatient weight loss programs take place in hospitals and other non-medical facilities and offer a variety of services to help people of all ages and backgrounds get healthy. Some are even designed for specific groups, like children or women. Most programs are education-based and include classes in exercise and nutrition, as well as workshops, so participants can learn how to live a healthier lifestyle. These are not quick-fix solutions for obesity; the intent is to transform thoughts and actions so healthier decisions are made. This can take weeks or even months, and facilities offer several programs that range in duration from five-day intensive programs to several-months-long stints.
Studying nutrition and learning how to choose and prepare healthy foods is a major part of an inpatient weight loss program. Participants will learn which foods are good choices and why, and they'll also learn ways to listen to their internal cues to help them decide when and what to eat. Portion size is another focus, with individuals learning what their daily intake should be. Cooking classes are used to teach healthier ways to prepare meals and snacks, and lectures on everything from nutrition fundamentals to weekend meal planning are often included.
Learning about and participating in different forms of exercise is another component of inpatient weight loss programs. Most facilities are equipped with full gyms, swimming pools and outdoor options for exercise. All the major elements of exercise -- cardio, strength training and flexibility -- are covered, with a variety of classes led by fitness experts. At the start of most programs, medical evaluations are conducted to determine a participant's level of fitness, and workout routines are customized for each individual.
In addition to nutrition and exercise information and hands-on activity, inpatient programs offer extra services to help you reach your health goals. Some have specialized classes in diabetes or binge eating, as well as post-bariatric surgery programs. Many also take a вЂњwhole personвЂќ approach to better health, with group and individual therapy sessions to uncover the underlying causes of participants' weight problems. Continuing care or follow-up visits are other provided services for individuals that need additional support.