Author: Cecilia Snyder, MS, RD
Have you heard about Inova’s Medical Weight Loss Program? You might have seen their Facebook reviews or one of their client success stories floating around online. The program promotes itself as “an affordable, non-surgical option to motivate, educate and exercise you toward successful weight loss and management.” And if that doesn’t work, Inova also operates a separate Weight Loss Surgery Program that is “designed to meet your every need.”
At first glance, it might seem like they offer a wide variety of weight loss services at Inova. But after taking a closer look, it’s clear that the Inova programs are not right for just anyone. And in fact, they actually seem appropriate for only a small group of people. Let’s explore this more to find out whether or not Inova truly has the potential to meet your every need. And if it doesn’t? No worries! I’ve got another program in mind to tell you more about–one that is backed by quality research with true potential to help you stop dieting and lose weight for good.
What’s the scoop on Inova’s non-surgical Medical Weight Loss Program?
To sum things up, Inova’s non-surgical Medical Weight Loss Program is structured as a 12-week course where participants receive weight management education materials and learn about the behavioral tools needed to meet their own personal weight loss goals. Participants meet on Tuesday nights at the Inova Fair Oaks Hospital campus located in Fairfax, VA to weigh in, review their exercise and nutrition logs for the week, and listen to lectures on weight loss “tools for success.” In addition, participants receive a full physical and body composition analysis at the beginning of the course, laboratory tests to evaluate their overall health and nutrition status, complimentary exercise bands and a pedometer, as well as two individual sessions with one of the program’s weight loss dietitians.
And although the program promises to educate participants on topics like portion control, strength training, and the power of a positive self-image, it seems like one of the primary pieces of the program is consuming high-protein, low-carbohydrate meal replacements for the entire 12 weeks of the program. You heard that right… meal replacements for a full 12 weeks. None of your favorite foods, no shared meals with friends and family, no treating yourself to your favorite snack after a week or two of hard work. Instead, your diet will consist mostly of meal replacements for almost three months! It’s also worth noting that the Inova meal replacements contain many common allergens including milk, wheat, soy, tree nuts, and some even contain aspartame. So if you’ve got any dietary allergies or restrictions, make sure you take a close look at the different meal replacement options before getting started.
Did I mention that these meal replacements will cost you an additional fee on top of the standard $999 that you’ll be charged for signing up with Inova in the first place. Oh and remember those laboratory tests you’ll receive in order to evaluate your health and nutrition status? Those are billed to your insurance… so cross your fingers that they are covered by your current plan!
So what happens if you reach the end of the 12-week medical weight loss program but have still yet to perfect the behavioral tools that Invoa encourages to maintain your weight loss progress long-term. Well, Invoa clearly states on their website that there is no guarantee (which I suppose is a good sign since any weight loss program that guarantees results seems pretty suspicious right off the bat). But don’t worry, you can always sign up for another 12-week Invoa course for only an additional $999! By this point, you are probably imagining how quickly the Inova program could add up.
Is Invova’s Weight Loss Surgery Program the best option for you?
But what if you’ve already tried everything–you’ve tried losing weight on your own, you’ve tried a number of different fad diets, and you’ve even tried Inova’s 12-week Medical Weight Loss Program–but still, nothing is working. Well, Inova might want to tell you more their Weight Loss Surgery Program. They’ll probably start by letting you know the benefits and risks associated with bariatric weight loss surgery, who these types of procedures typically work best for, and all of the various operations they can perform as part of their Weight Loss Surgery Program.
Once again, long-term weight loss results are never guaranteed, but Inova can reassure you that their program has been nationally accredited by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. But what exactly does this accreditation guarantee? When we are talking about a procedure that carries risks as great as spleen injury, pulmonary problems, deep vein thrombosis, leaks from staple lines, and even death, it’s important to feel confident in a bariatric center’s surgeons and their ability to perform a bariatric procedure properly. Unfortunately though, research shows that even among accredited bariatric surgery centers there is a large variation in rates of serious postoperative complications. So before you let Inova help you determine whether or not bariatric surgery is right for you, make sure you’ve closely considered all of the risks and all of the costs.
How does Inova stack up to Noom?
Now imagine this… what if you could receive all of the same benefits that are possible with Invoa’s weight loss programs and more for just $59 per month. Or even better yet… for just $199 per year! Yep, 12 weeks with Inova costs five times more money than an entire year subscription with Noom. Or in other words, you could afford to stay with Noom and continue to receive personalized health coaching for an entire five years for the same price that you’ll pay to spend just 12 weeks with Inova. Plus, with Noom, there’s no need to rely on meal replacements, you don’t have to live anywhere near Fairfax, VA in order to participate in the course, and there are no risks associated with starting a Noom subscription… except for the highly likely possibility that you’ll become an official #NoomNerd like the rest of us by the end of the first week.
But even more important than the cost, the greatest benefits you’ll receive by signing up with Noom instead of Inova are the sustainable tools and solutions you need to reach and maintain your ideal weight now and forever. And the best part is, you won’t have to give up any of your favorite foods, you won’t have to rely on highly-processed meal replacements, and we’ll certainly never ask you to go under the knife. Instead, Noom will provide you with a set of evidence-supported weight loss tools including a daily curriculum, meal, weight, and activity logs. Plus, Noom will set you up with your very own set of health coaches plus an online peer group. And Noom will deliver all of this and more straight to your cell phone via its award-winning mobile app.