According to the CDC, 54.6% of women attempt to lose weight each year, although, I would bet that this number is even higher.
As a Registered Dietitian and woman myself, I know all too well that weight struggles are a constant battle for many women, and it’s not always easy to weed through the available weight loss programs to determine which ones are actually worth trying.
One of the most frustrating things to see as a trained RD who understands the role nutrition plays in weight loss and overall health is to see the crazy, misleading fad diets that keep so many women stuck in a cycle of unsustainable weight loss attempts.
Thankfully, there’s a very noticeable shift happening in the world of weight loss. We’re seeing a deeper understanding of health, wellness, nutrition, and how our unique metabolisms play a role in the whole puzzle. These shifts are reflected in the new weight loss programs that are taking a very smart, evidence-based, and sustainable approach shedding excess weight and making the lifestyle changes that will help women to keep it off for good.
The inclusion of FDA-approved weight loss medications for those who qualify has been a game-changer for thousands of people who have seemingly tried everything to lose weight but have come up empty.
In this article, we’re reviewing the three best weight loss programs with prescription medication options based on my experience in the field and my analysis of each one of these programs. If you’re looking for a safe, sustainable way to lose weight and be able to maintain it for good, one of these programs might be the right choice for you. Let’s explore.
Recommended Weight Loss Programs With RX Medications (A Quick Overview)
$1,485 billed once (Starting at $124/mo with affirm)
Breaking Down Prescription Weight Loss Drugs
Before we go in-depth into the 3 weight loss programs with RX medications, let’s first address what to expect from this type of drug.
First, it’s important to understand that prescription weight loss drugs are meant to be used in addition to, not in place of, a healthy diet and exercise program. So this is by no means a quick fix or magic pill to solve your weight problems.
FDA-approved weight loss medications might be an option for those who have serious weight-related health problems and have already tried diet and exercise but have been unable to successfully lose weight.
Who is a candidate?
A doctor might recommend a weight loss drug for you if you haven’t been able to lose weight through diet and exercise alone and if you meet one of the following criteria:
- You have a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or greater.
- You have a BMI of 27 or greater and you have a serious medical condition related to obesity like diabetes or high blood pressure.
Do Weight Loss Drugs Work?
There are currently just a handful of FDA-approved weight-loss drugs for long-term use (in excess of 12 weeks). These drugs have been shown to produce significant weight loss when compared with placebo. However, the combination of weight-loss drugs and healthy lifestyle changes (diet and exercise), produced the best results.
Are They Safe?
When approved by your doctor, weight loss medications are generally considered to be safe. Some people may experience mild side effects like nausea, constipation, or diarrhea. These symptoms usually subside over time. In rare cases, more serious side effects can occur, which is why it’s important to work closely with an experienced weight loss doctor during your journey.
What to Look For In an RX Weight Loss Program
When it comes to finding a weight loss program with the option for weight loss prescription medications, there are a few criteria that you should be looking for as you decide which program is right for you.
For so many people who go on a weight loss journey, their attempts are often halted by their lack of accountability. Without someone holding you accountable to your goals, it’s incredibly easy to lose sight of them and fall off the wagon.
A quality weight loss program will have accountability aspects in place that are designed to keep you on track and always progressing towards your goals.
If you look into a weight loss program and it outlines a cookie-cutter approach to losing weight, turn around and run in the other direction. As humans, we are so vastly different. From our metabolism to our hormones, there’s nothing that’s not unique about us, and your weight loss plan should reflect that.
Access to Real Weight Loss MDs and Specialists
I’ve seen enough apps and shady websites that offer big promises but nothing to support their claims to know that you can’t trust everything you see on the web. Do your due diligence to ensure that you’re working with a program that has real, licensed medical providers that you will actually get the opportunity to meet with.
Some weight loss programs will work with your insurance and others will not. If insurance coverage is important to you, it’s wise to do a little digging to see if the program works with your insurance and vice versa.
The Top 3 Best Weight Loss Programs With RX Medications (And Why We Chose Them)
Weight loss programs with prescription medications (weight loss drugs) are a relatively new concept. While a few FDA-approved weight-loss drugs have been around for years, the concept of obtaining these through an online program is still very new. That said, the following three medical weight loss programs have been taking the world by storm thanks to their dedication to getting to the root cause of your weight based on your unique physiology.
Found takes a holistic approach to weight loss, taking into consideration factors such as your biology, hormones, and environment when recommending a weight loss plan unique to you. One of the main sentiments of Found’s mission is to remove some of the stigma associated with overweight and obesity.
Instead of taking the straightforward calories in vs calories out approach to helping folks reach their goals, Found takes a more in-depth, scientific approach. Found users can expect to be paired with a board-certified medical provider who will determine which weight loss path is right for their needs.
There are three different “paths” offered by Found. For those who meet the criteria, the RX Path will include prescription weight loss medications. There is also the Wellness Path and the Non-Prescription Path, both of which focus on cultivating healthy, sustainable lifestyle habits that will create the long-term weight loss that clients are ultimately looking for.
With a focus on food, movement, and medication, Found helps you to get your mind and body in sync with your hormones and hunger cues so that you can find an effective solution to your healthy lifestyle changes.
1:1 Coaching and Accountability
No matter which path you end up on, you can rest assured that you won’t be alone in your journey. In fact, you’ll be partnered with your very own health coach who will work with you 1:1 via text, email, and video chats. During these interactions, you will be setting goals, intentions, and weekly focuses that are designed to help you build healthier habits that you can maintain.
You can expect to work together to improve not only your physical health but also your mental health, sleep, nutrition, and more. There’s no pressure and no crazy asks, you’ll simply be chatting every couple of days about your goals, how to achieve them, and what your progress is looking like. Your coach will encourage you to reach out with any questions or concerns you have. It’s a real person who is on the other end to help you.
How it Works
Found has found (get it) that there are three key factors that need to come together in order for people to reach their goals. These include:
Access to a dedicated medical provider
Your board-certified provider will work with you to understand your history, current health, and goals and then work with you to find a realistic weight plan. If RX medications are appropriate, they will identify one that’s right for you.
Your own personal health coach
You will be assigned a personal health coach who will work with you on everything from mindful eating and exercise to sleep and stress management. Your advisor will meet you where you are and then hold you accountable along the way to your goals.
A private community of people on similar journeys
The feelings of being all alone in a weight loss journey can be tough to combat, which is why Found offers this third element to its programs. The private Found community is full of dedicated and passionate folks who will support, encourage and celebrate you on your journey. And you can do the same for others!
Calibrate’s approach to weight loss is all about improving your metabolic health. They understand that traditional diets don’t work because the way they’re set up, they’re not sustainable, which causes the yo-yo dieting that leaves us feeling trapped.
Calibrate uses a combination of doctor-prescribed FDA-approved medication (for those who qualify), 1:1 video coaching, and healthy lifestyle tweaks that are tailored to your needs. The end goal is to help members to improve their metabolic health, which will in turn, result in weight loss.
Calibrate is the only weight loss program that guarantees results, and we’re not talking about the kind of results that you see from 30-day diets and quick fixes. With Calibrate, members are guaranteed to experience at least a 10% weight loss within one year or their money back. While this might not feel like a huge loss, the truth is that this is a sustainable weight loss program which means you’re far more likely to maintain your weight by using these methods above anything else.
One Year Metabolic Reset
Calibrate’s signature program is their One-Year Metabolic Reset (Calibrate Year). This program is rooted in research that shows that a combination of doctor-prescribed GLP-1 medications plus one on one coaching is the safest and most effective way to improve your metabolic health and achieve weight loss that will last.
According to studies, Calibrate members see 2-3X better results than those who take GLP-1 medications alone. The addition of accountability and personalized coaching really helps members stick with their program and see the results that they are looking for in the most efficient manner.
How it Works
The Calibrate method includes a 3-pronged approach to weight loss, very similar to Found’s approach. The process is simple, proven, and sustainable. Here’s what it looks like to sign up for Calibrate:
Meet with your Calibrate Doctor
Your first step will be to meet your Board-certified doctor via a 45-minute video chat where they will take a deep dive into your health history and lab work. If qualified, they will discuss with your the best GLP-1 medication for you. Should you have any questions for the medical team after your consult, you can easily access them right through the Calibrate App.
Get your GLP-1 RX (If qualified)
Research shows that GLP-1s are the most effective long-term weight loss medications. Your MD will prescribe the most clinically appropriate medication that’s covered by your insurance. Plus, Calibrate guarantees medication coverage at just $25 per month or less, as long as you have met any applicable deductibles.
Get acquainted with your coach
With your medication and plan in place, you’ll now meet with your Calibrate coach and this will mark the official start of your Calibrate year. You and your coach will meet bi-weekly for video coaching sessions where you’ll receive support, accountability, and feedback on your journey. The coaching curriculum includes lifestyle changes across food, exercise, and emotional health.
Reach a 10% weight loss
By 6 months into the program, you will have lost at least 10% of your body weight and notice a reduction in your waist circumference. You can also expect to feel improvements in your energy level, stamina, and exercise habits as well. At this point, you will work with your coach to set new goals that will continue the momentum.
Sustain your 10% weight loss (guaranteed!)
If you don’t lose 10% of your body weight, you can get your money back. You’ll be living your new day-to-day life with healthier habits that ensure you are managing your weight. New lab work will be ordered to measure your progress and you should see significant improvements in conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.
3. Form Health
Form Health offers personalized medical weight loss that includes a customized weight loss path that might include FDA-approved medications in addition to nutrition, fitness, and behavioral changes.
Form, similar to Found and Calibrate, offers their members access to real doctors, but they also have Registered Dietitians on staff to add even more value and expertise to your personalized weight loss planning. Together with you, your medical team will review your medical history to diagnose any biological blockers to weight loss and then develop a personalized program from there.
If qualified, your Form Health doctor will recommend an FDA-approved medication for you that will complement and enhance your plan which will include nutrition, physical activity, and behavior change support.
How it Works
Take a short quiz
To enroll, you will begin by taking a short quiz to see if you’re a candidate for Form Health’s medical weight loss program. The answers you submit will help to determine if you qualify as well as to determine if it’s a good match for you.
Meet the team
You will meet with a board-certified Form Health Doctor via video chat where he or she will review your medical history and take time to get to know you and your goals before making a personalized weight loss plan recommendation. In addition, you will also meet with your Form Dietitian who will help you to find the nutrition plan that is the best fit for your needs. They will also help you understand your nutritional needs and give you actionable goals and guidelines to help you get there.
Ongoing medical care
Each month, you will meet with your Form Health doctor to track your health improvements, discuss any barriers or obstacles, and make any medication adjustments needed. Plus, you’ll meet with your RD twice per month to continue to build and establish healthy habits. Your RD will act as your accountability buddy and cheerleader as well, pushing you to stick with it and keep striving.
Enjoy your results
Form Health patients typically lose 10% of their body weight within 6 months of beginning the program. The Form team is committed to helping members see the progress that goes far beyond the scale, though. So you can count on celebrating your improved health, increased energy, and new confidence, too.
Who Should Consider a Prescription Weight Loss Program?
Anyone who has a BMI of >30 or a BMI of >27 and has a weight-related medical condition who has not had success with traditional diet and exercise can consider FDA-approved weight loss medications.
For those who have a desire to lose weight safely and sustainably, weight loss medications can help when paired with a healthy nutrition and exercise plan. Weight loss programs like Found, Form Health, and Calibrate all offer RX medications plus personalized coaching and plans that ensure you get the results you deserve and never feel alone on the journey.
What Are The Potential Downsides?
When it comes to losing weight, the biggest challenge is keeping the weight off. In terms of using prescription medications, many people would like to discontinue use after they have achieved their goals. This can sometimes cause people to fall back into old habits and regain the weight they lost.
This is exactly why it’s imperative that those wishing to lose weight for good consider a weight loss program that includes RX medications because the other aspects of the program like 1:1 coaching and accountability will help you make the lifestyle changes necessary to maintain your weight loss for good.
Another potential downside is the side effects associated with weight loss drugs. Although these medications are FDA-approved and generally considered safe for those who qualify, some people do experience side effects. Common side effects include upset tummy, nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness. If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to report them to your Dr. ASAP.
Losing weight and keeping it off is one of the most difficult things to do for those who suffer from overweight or obesity. When we’re constantly inundated with fad diets, quick fixes, and social media trends, it can be tempting to try just about anything to get the pounds off.
What I love the most about all of the weight loss programs on our list is not that they offer FDA-approved medications but that they also offer a ton of value and resources around education and lifestyle changes that will set you up for success in the long run. So while it might feel like the process is slower than you’d like, you can rest assured that you’re making progress in the right direction and that the chances of backsliding into your old habits are greatly reduced.
Tips for Weight Loss Program Success From Our RD
When choosing a weight loss program with RX medications, be sure to determine first if you want your care to be covered by your medical insurance. From here, you can then figure out which (if any) of these programs cover the cost of your care and medications.
Although some of the lessons and tasks that you will be getting from your support team may seem cheesy or redundant, do the work. Put in the time and effort and execute the tasks that your team is asking of you. The doctors and other weight loss specialists on your team have experience, it’s up to you to trust them so that you can see results.
Remember that weight loss, when done correctly, is a slow process. You can’t expect to drop 30 pounds in a week. It took much longer than that to put it on, and it will take just as long or longer to get it back off. Keep your eyes on the prize and keep going.
Lastly, it’s the lifestyle changes and healthy habits that you implement that are going to ensure you make progress that will last. Put your nutrition first, choose whole foods like fruits and veggies, move your body every day, drink lots of water, and get plenty of sleep. The formula is simple, and it’s your consistency that will help you get the best results possible.