The Best Medical Rx Weight Loss Programs (A Dietitian’s Top Picks)

Sustainable weight loss is probably one of the hardest things to accomplish if you struggle with obesity – that’s why I made this list of the top FDA-approved weight loss medication programs (medical weight loss) so that you can finally see there are legitimate solutions and programs that produce results.

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Obesity is currently one of the most common chronic diseases in our nation. It affects approximately 78 million people, and it contributes to the leading cause of death in the U.S., heart disease. When your body has an excess amount of fat on it, your body mass index (BMI) will reflect obesity.

Any BMI over 30 is considered to be obese and requires intervention. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t take the necessary steps to reduce their weight right away. This can lead to many health issues aside from heart disease, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, depression and sleep apnea.

There are a lot of different weight loss diets and programs that can be used to drop pounds, but it’s difficult to know where to start. Many people try multiple programs, only to become discouraged by a lack of results. Fad diets can be effective short term, but they usually result in the weight coming back on many months later. If you’re having difficulty losing weight and keeping it off, there are medical weight loss programs that can help.

A medical weight loss program incorporates management of diet along with exercise and lifestyle changes. The process is usually overseen by a physician that may use metabolic testing and diagnostics to alter your program plan. Weight loss medications may also be used to facilitate the loss of weight.

How do you find the best medical weight loss program for your specific situation? I’m going to break down the details of a few different programs, and I will provide you with information about the benefits of a medical weight loss solution.

Who Qualifies for Prescription Weight Loss Medication?

qualify for prescription weight loss medication

In order to qualify for a medical weight-loss program that utilizes medication, you need to have a body mass index of more than 30. The number drops to 27 if you have a medical issue that is caused by your obesity, such as sleep apnea, high blood pressure or diabetes. Prior to receiving any weight loss medication prescriptions, your doctor will run a panel of blood work. You may also need to meet with a registered dietician.

Benefits of a Medical Weight Loss Program

benefits prescription medication weight loss programs

It’s important that you avoid unhealthy ways of losing weight. Starving yourself or using over-the-counter supplements that have questionable ingredients isn’t wise. Consulting with a medical professional that can guide you through the process is a much healthier way of losing weight. This monitoring will ensure you’re safe, you’re being held accountable and you’re eating right.

A Personalized Approach to Weight Loss

Not everybody can lose weight in the same manner and at the same rate. It’s nice to embark on a weight loss journey with other people that are going through the same thing as you, but this can also slow you down. Using a more personalized approach to weight loss can provide you with more effective results in a shorter time frame.

When you meet with a doctor regarding your weight loss plan, they will go over a lot of your medical history and past weight loss journey. You should be honest about what you have found challenging and what hasn’t worked for you. Your doctor will help you come up with a plan that is designed with your specifics in mind. The medication that you’re provided will be based on your metabolic panel and current state of health.

Nutrition, Physical Activity and Behavioral Changes

Weight loss incorporates a number of different aspects in the journey. Nutrition and diet are big components. The best medical weight loss programs will make sure that you’re knowledgeable regarding what you should be eating, what you should avoid, your calorie requirements, etc.

Your nutrition will also be based on the physical activity that you’ll be doing. Diet alone doesn’t help you lose weight. You also need exercise in the mix. Your workout plan will help you burn calories, burn fat and make you feel more energized and motivated.

There is often a psychological component that is a factor when it comes to weight loss. Some people eat when they’re stressed or sad because eating their favorite comfort foods releases certain happy chemicals into the body. This is an unhealthy pattern to follow and should be addressed with your medical weight loss program. You may even be asked to speak with a mental health professional about your issues with food.

Supportive Community

Working with people that you can trust and who help you stay motivated can keep you on the right track to weight loss. Not only are you working with a medical professional, but you may also enlist the help of a dietician, nutritionist, mental health counselor, personal trainer and perhaps a community of people just like you that are also looking to get healthy.

Accountability and Coaching

When you let a group of people know what you’re trying to accomplish and how you’re going to get there, they can help keep you accountable for your actions (or lack thereof). If you don’t put the work in, you’ll have to report that back to the team that’s helping you. It’s not about feeling shameful that you’re slipping with your routine. It’s about your team and coaches motivating you to get back on track so you continue to experience gains.

Potential Drawbacks

The potential drawbacks of a medical weight loss program will really be based on what you’re using for your weight loss journey. If you’re prescribed medication, there are side effects that you may experience such as a racing heart, insomnia or headache. It may also take some time to figure out what works for you. Some medications may work better than others, and the doses may need to be fine-tuned before you see impressive results.

What to Look For When Choosing a Prescription Medication Weight Loss Program

choosing a medical weight loss medication program

The real key to success when choosing a prescription medication weight loss program is combining the use of medication along with physical activity and healthy eating. Let’s look at some of the other factors to consider.

Transparent Brand

The weight loss program that you are considering working with should be very transparent about how they began, what their program includes and any risks that are involved. If a brand is simply trying to market themselves to make money and don’t care about the safety of their patients, then this isn’t the brand for you. This is about losing weight safely and effectively, and you should get that impression from the company that you’re looking into.

Offering FDA-Approved Weight Loss Prescription Medications

Not all weight loss medications are FDA-approved, and their safety may be questionable. Having the approval of the FDA means that the Food and Drug Administration has very intricately assessed the ingredients in a product, its effectiveness, how safe it is and any potential side effects that are present. If a product is questionable, it’s not approved and you may want to steer clear of it. A weight loss program that isn’t using safe and approved medications could be risky.

Best Online Medical Weight Loss Programs with Prescription Medication and Coaching

There are a few factors I recommend considering when you’re looking for a medical weight loss program. You should read about the concept of the program, who created it, what they have to offer, how effective it has been for people who have used the program and how much it costs. Don’t limit yourself to just one or two programs. Look at a number of them so you can truly pick the program that is going to work best for you and your weight loss challenges.

I’ve researched many of the different medical weight loss programs out there to bring you details on only the very best ones. This should save you a lot of time so you can start focusing on your weight loss journey. Let's begin!

#1. Join Found (Best Overall)

found top medication weight loss programs

Found Health weight loss (or Join Found) is a medical weight loss program that pairs you up with a medical professional that will start out by going through your current medical status. Then you will talk about what you’ve tried during your weight loss journey, what has worked, what doesn’t work, what your eating habits are and what your current physical activity level looks like.

You will then speak with a personal coach that will help you develop a diet plan moving forward. You’ll receive plenty of education and recommendations for your diet. Medication is also used by the Found weight loss program. There are a number of options available, and your team will make a personalized recommendation for you.

Pros

  • Your care team will stay in frequent contact with you to see how everything is going and hold you accountable.
  • Board certified doctors, NSHC-certified health coaches and weight care professionals will guide you through this journey.
  • Prescription weight loss medications help balance your body so you see more weight loss.
  • This is a private community.

Cons

  • Your personal genetics, hormones and metabolism may affect your success with Found. However, your care team should be able to make appropriate changes to help you see results. You may have to be patient as everything gets worked out.

#2. Fella Health (Best for Men)

fella health - best medical weight loss program for men

This one's for the fellas, which is a genius idea if you ask me because most of the FDA-approved weight loss medication online programs (like the ones on this list) have been favoring women.

Fella Health is hands down the best medical weight loss program for men. It uses a metabolic assessment to get you started with the program. You then receive one full year of coaching along with access to prescription weight loss medication that is chosen based on your specific weight loss journey. Your coach will work with you to make sure you stay on track, but also to help you through the psychological challenges of weight loss and any roadblocks that come up along the way.

I like the Fella Health program because it’s a much slower program that really works with you to get things right. You spend a lot of time communicating with your team to get set up before you start changing your diet or taking your medication. It’s a transparent brand that you can trust.

Pros

  • Uses low impact exercise to increase your weight loss.
  • The team of professionals at Fella will use a number of diagnostic tools to figure out your specific weight loss challenges.
  • You are monitored throughout the entire process.

Cons

  • You’re not really making a lot of changes until week three of the program. Fella explains that by month three you should start to see the most changes. This may be a lengthy process for some people that want faster results. However, if you're looking for sustained weight loss results, this is where you want to go.

#3. Form Health (Best up and coming)

form health top medication weight loss programs

Form Health weight loss connects you with a doctor that you help to identify what your biological blockers to weight loss are. They will then come up with a personalized weight loss program that can include diet, exercise and FDA-approved medications. You are working with a Form Health doctor and registered dietitian the whole time.

This program is designed for people dealing with obesity who haven’t been able to lose weight on their own from just diet and exercise. It’s a very customized approach that I like because it takes into account your personal challenges and goals.

Overall, Form Health has excellent leadership and proven results helping many obese people with sustained weight loss. To be honest, I could easily rank them number one on this list, however, they are still in their early stages – the point is, if you go with Form Health, you're choosing a great program.

Pros

  • Takes into account your hormonal, metabolic, and genetic factors.
  • You can get started with a free consultation with the Form Health team and an enrollment quiz.
  • Insurance reimbursable

Cons

  • You have to pass the enrollment quiz to be eligible and learn more about the program.

#4. Join Calibrate

calibrate - top medication weight loss programs

Calibrate weight loss is an online medical weight loss program that strives for healthy weight loss that is achievable and long lasting. If you’re the type of person that has been trying to lose weight through fad diets and exercise plans for years with no real results, this is a great program for you to check out. It still incorporates dietary changes and exercise, but there is a prescription medication aspect as well.

Calibrate uses GLP-1 medications for weight loss. These are very safe medications that are non-habit forming and they are not stimulants. They work on the receptors in the body that deal with your GLP-1 hormones. These hormones are used for metabolic function, digestion, inflammation reduction and much more.

Pros

  • This is a metabolic reset approach to weight loss.
  • You are guaranteed a ten percent weight loss.
  • One-on-one personal coaching helps you stay on track and keeps you accountable for your diet and exercise plan.

Cons

  • The prescription medications used in the Calibrate program are of the GLP-1 variety. If you’ve tried these medications in the past without success, you may not find Calibrate effective.

#5. My Diet Doc

my diet doc - prescription weight loss medications and plan

Designed to get you started with your weight loss journey, MyDietDoc HCG weight loss is an obligation-free program that keeps you in control of your weight loss. You receive supportive coaching and support along with access to dietary resources and prescription medication.

You can choose between a thirty day program or sixty day program. The thirty day plan sets you up to lose up to fifteen pounds within a month. The sixty day plan allows you to go beyond those fifteen pounds.

Pros

  • You can choose between medication tablets or injections.
  • You are evaluated regularly by your MyDietDoc
  • You can see results in as little as thirty days.
  • Your billing doesn’t occur until after your consultation.

Cons

  • Your MyDietDoc may determine that you need additional prescription medications to help you lose weight.

Frequently Asked Questions

frequently asked questions medical weight loss programs

After looking at some of the best medical weight loss programs, you may still have questions about this method of weight loss. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that people have about medical weight loss programs.

What Are The Top Medications For Weight Loss?

There are a lot of different medical weight loss programs out there, and they use many different medications for optimal results. However, some of these medications cross over to the different programs. Some of the most popular ones include:

Semegl Wegovy

Semaglutide is now licensed by the FDA and the trade name is Wegovy, which is part of the Anti-Obesity – Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) Receptor Agonists drug class. It is used with the approval of a doctor along with exercise, diet changes and behavioral changes. To qualify for this medication you have to be over a BMI of 30 or over 27 with the presence of an obesity-caused health issue.

Saxenda

Also part of the Anti-Obesity – Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) Receptor Agonists drug class, Saxenda is an injectable medication that is coupled with a calorie restricted diet and exercise. It has also been approved for children between the ages of 12 and 17 that weigh about 132 pounds.

Contrave

Contrave is part of the Anti-Obesity-Opioid Antag/Norepinephrine and Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor drug class. It contains both bupropion and naltrexone. Bupropion is an antidepressant that acts as an appetite suppressant. Naltrexone can be used in a weight loss medication to curb food cravings and beat food addiction.

Does Prescription Weight Loss Medication Actually Work?

Prescription weight loss medication has the potential to work if it is taken as directed, if proper diet is followed and exercise is also used. These medications are designed to help you lose weight faster than you would if you were sticking to diet and exercise alone. It may take some time to work out your dose, but you should see results in a couple of months.

Is It Safe To Take RX Meds to Lose Weight?

It’s safe to take prescription medication to lose weight as long as you’re acquiring your medication through a reputable source. The weight loss programs that we’ve talked about in this article all require you to work closely with a team of certified professionals that will monitor your medication use.

How Much Weight Can I Lose With Prescription Medication?

The amount of weight that you lose will be determined by the medication that you’re taking, the dose, the diet you’re following, the exercise you’re doing and how diligent you’re being with your weight loss plan. Some plans say you can lose 10% of your body weight in the first 3 months if you’re doing everything you’re supposed to.

What If I Don’t Qualify for RX Meds?

If you don’t qualify for RX meds for weight loss, you can still lose weight. This just means that you may be under the BMI threshold for obesity. There are plenty of other weight loss programs out there that you can utilize in order to get to your goal weight and become healthier. Focusing on your diet and your fitness plan may be all you need to get back on track.

The Bottom Line

The use of a medical weight loss program will help you get down to the root of why you’re overweight and why you’re finding it challenging to lose weight. Not only do you receive medication to assist with your weight reduction, but you’ll also look at the psychological issues that may be acting as a roadblock and the health issues that are contributing. These programs can be used to make a complete change in your relationship with food so that you adapt to a much healthier lifestyle moving forward.

My Recommendations

Best forMedication and Coaching Weight Loss ProgramOfficial Website
Best Overall:Found HealthJoinFound.com
Best for Men:Fella HealthJoinFella.com
Best Up and Coming:Form HealthFormHealth.co
Best for Metabolic Reset:CalibrateJoinCalibrate.com
Best Alternative to Others:My Diet DocMyDietDoc.com
recommended fda approved weight loss medication programs

Tips for Success from the RD

Losing weight can seem like an unachievable challenge, but there are plenty of things you can do to drop some pounds and become healthier overall. Here are some of my tips for success if you aren’t ready to use a medical weight loss program or you don’t qualify.

Learn about Healthy Food Choices

It’s not all about counting calories or macros. It’s about choosing foods that your body will utilize to provide you with healthy energy. Stick to lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and stay away from refined sugars and processed foods. If you need more help figuring out a healthy diet that doesn’t go over your calorie requirements for the day, think about meeting with a registered dietician.

Address Psychological Challenges

If you have an unhealthy relationship with food, this should be addressed. It’s not healthy to eat to boost your mood or deal with stress. This leads to weight gain. You can address your psychological challenges and deal with them by speaking with a counselor or mental health professional that is knowledgeable on this subject.

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Courtney D'Angelo

Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD, earned her masters degree in Nutrition and Foods from the University of Georgia. She's a Registered Dietitian at Morrison Healthcare and has a strong passion in helping people improve their wellness!

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