Your Guide to Weight Loss and Functional Nutrition

weight loss and functional nutrition, functional nutritionist writing a meal plan for a woman
Medically Reviewed
June 16, 2022

Weight loss is a journey beyond counting calories, requiring a deep understanding of one’s body and nutritional needs. Functional nutrition plays a pivotal role in this process, as it emphasizes the importance of consuming foods that nourish the body and support overall health and well-being. With the help of functional nutrition, you can embark on a weight loss journey that is effective, sustainable, and aligned with your body’s unique needs.

So, are you ready to be healthy again? If you’re one of the 42% of Americans considered medically obese, you’re at higher risk for various health problems that can lead to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, and even death. Unfortunately, being overweight not only increases your risk factors but reduces your quality of life and can shorten your lifespan by as much as 14 years. In this guide, we’re therefore going to talk about weight loss!

If you’ve not managed to lose weight, you’re probably feeling low, unmotivated, and like a failure. Losing weight on your own isn’t as easy as some people want you to believe. However, collaborating with a doctor or functional nutritionist on a medical weight loss plan may be just the solution you’ve been looking for.

Table of Contents 

What is Medical Weight Loss?

What You Can Expect From a Weight Loss Program?

Why Does Medical Weight Loss Work?

How Much Weight Can I Lose With Medical Weight Loss?

What Medicine Would I Be Taking?

What is Functional Nutrition?

What’s the Difference Between a Nutritionist and a Functional Nutritionist?

What Does a Functional Medicine Dietitian Do?

What is Medical Weight Loss?

There are a lot of programs and fad diets out there making big claims about what they can do for you. But most of these programs, diets, or weight-loss gimmicks either don’t work – or you get the results you’re looking for, only to have your weight yoyo back up again.

That’s where medical weight loss programs come in. Medical weight loss is about taking control of your diet, fitness, and healthy behaviors with the support of a physician. Many medical weight loss programs also include comprehensive metabolic testing to monitor physiological shifts during the course of the program.

Although medical weight-loss programs tend to follow a specific method, the root goal of a medical weight loss program is to help you change your lifestyle and improve your exercise and nutrition.

Medical weight loss is not about surgery or diet pills. Medical weight loss and management are based on scientific evidence that targets the root causes of obesity and weight gain. Weight loss specialists and medical providers provide the treatment and guidance necessary to help you achieve your desired weight and maintain that weight for life, setting you up to enjoy optimal health.

medical weight loss

What Does Medical Weight Loss Mean?

More specifically, medical weight loss is not a do-it-yourself weight loss program. Medical weight loss happens in a medical setting. Medical weight loss is physician-directed and science-based. Professionals design a medical weight loss program to address the underlying causes of weight gain and obesity. This allows patients to reach and sustain long-term weight loss.

One-on-one physician support in a medical setting is also critical for ensuring safe weight loss. A medical weight loss provider doesn’t just look at and measure how many pounds you need to knock off to reach your weight loss goals; they use your metabolism and body composition to assess your health and measure your weight loss.

Physicians can also employ weight loss methods such as injections, IV Therapy, multivitamins, appetite suppressants, and hCG prescriptions to safely speed up your weight loss so you can meet your goals as quickly and efficiently as possible.

How Does Medical Weight Loss Work?

Many weight loss programs and diet plans are based on a numbers game. They follow the concept that if you aren’t exercising enough to burn the calories you’re consuming, you’ll gain body fat. The idea is that if you decrease your calorie intake and increase the amount of physical activity you’re doing, you’ll burn off fat and lose weight. Although this is a solid concept, the approach doesn’t work for everyone.

Most individuals who suffer from obesity aren’t obese because they don’t take enough physical activity or they’re practicing poor nutrition. They often suffer from other medical disorders that contribute to weight gain and play a critical factor in any weight loss and management problems.

lose weight

What You Can Expect From a Weight Loss Program

Although medical weight loss programs differ, they usually have some of the same core components.

An Initial Consultation

Medical weight loss is a team effort. At the initial consultation, you’ll get to know your doctor and provide them with the information necessary to help you. Also at the initial consultation, you can expect to share your goals and talk about your lifestyle with your doctor.

Behavior Modification

Changing behaviors is essential to the weight loss process. Have you ever noticed how doing the same thing over and over again gets you the same results? This is particularly true when applied to weight and weight management. If you keep eating the same things, participating in the same physical activities, and thinking the same thoughts, you’ll continue to gain weight or sustain the not-so-healthy weight you’re at!

nutrition plan

Nutrition Plan

The amount of energy in food is measured as calories. Your functional nutritionist will create a nutrition plan based on your needs, including decreasing your calorie intake and adjusting the types of food you consume.

Of course, calories from different sources affect how you gain and lose weight. Your nutritionist will adjust your nutritional plan according to what foods work best with your body. They’ll also work with you to find the best eating schedule for your metabolism.

Exercise Regimen

Physical activity helps your body to burn calories. If you don’t burn the calories, you’ll convert and store them as fat. Different types of exercise affect your body in different ways. Weight loss specialists know that if you don’t like the exercise regime or can’t fit it into your life, you won’t follow through – so they recommend the best weight loss exercises for your body and your lifestyle.

Medications and Supplements For Weight Loss 

Weight loss medications and supplements can complement and boost your weight loss efforts. Some help your body burn extra energy. Some address nutritional deficiencies. Others support optimal health.

Nava RX weight loss

Why Does Medical Weight Loss Work?

Medical weight loss is very effective for several reasons.

  • Medical weight loss provides a unique individualized weight loss program that’s tailored to your needs.
  • A plan that considers your unique goals, lifestyle, and personal preferences increases the success of your efforts.
  • Following a personalized medical weight loss plan makes it easier to stay on track.
  • A licensed physician monitors medical weight loss plans. They can help identify and treat medical barriers that may be keeping you from losing weight.

Is Medical Weight Loss Expensive?

Since medical weight loss programs are created for each individual, their cost varies. The more relevant consideration could be how expensive it will be if you don’t take on a medical weight loss program, in terms of both

  • the cost to your health and
  • your bank account.

However, to give you a sense of costs, generally speaking, an initial consultation for medical weight loss will cost somewhere between $100 and $300. At that time, your doctor will develop a plan for you. The staff should be able to give you an estimate of how much the medical weight loss program will cost based on your plan. These programs usually last for 3-6 months. Expenses that you can expect to be included in the estimate are:

  • Consultations and appointments
  • Physician monitoring
  • Medications
  • Supplements
  • Special foods
  • Coaching or counseling

weight loss diet

Insurance and Medical Weight Loss

Many patients want to know if their insurance policy will cover their weight loss program. The answer to that depends on

  • the insurance company,
  • your policy, and
  • what’s included in your plan.

Your insurance company may provide some level of coverage for your medical weight loss program, but exactly what that entails is subject to state regulations and the carrier’s own policy.

Flexible Spending and Health Savings Accounts often cover weight loss services. Your provider can give you the documentation required to assist you in reimbursement for those types of programs.

Is Medical Weight Loss Worth It?

Losing weight can seem daunting. Trying to figure out which weight program or diet fad will work for you can be frustrating and cost you time and money.

However, when you choose to go the medical weight loss route, you have the education, knowledge, and support of a medical professional to assist you in losing weight.

Many people have found that a medical weight loss program was therefore the best option for them to lose weight and achieve optimal health.

How Much Weight Can I Lose With Medical Weight Loss?

Medical weight loss is designed to help anyone with their weight loss goals.

Need to lose 100 pounds? Medical weight loss can help you with that. Need to lose that last 10 pounds of stubborn fat? Medical weight loss can help you do that, too.

Medical weight loss is especially beneficial for people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, because it can reduce the risk of other serious medical conditions.

The amount of weight you can lose depends on the program and the individual. Medical weight loss patients typically average 3 pounds of weight loss per week.

weight loss pills

What Medicine Would I Be Taking?

The types of medicine that will be part of your medical weight loss plan depend on your needs.

Prescription weight loss drugs

Your doctor may include a weight-loss drug if you haven’t been able to lose weight on a good nutrition and exercise regimen and your BMI is over 30. They may also consider prescribing a weight loss medication if you have a serious obesity-related medical problem like diabetes or high blood pressure.


If one of the underlying causes of your weight gain or inability to lose weight is a hormone imbalance, then your doctor may prescribe bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).

IV therapy

IV therapy delivers fluids and nutrients directly into your bloodstream, allowing for 100% absorption. The hydration provided by IV therapy can help your body function efficiently and recover after exercise. In addition, IV micronutrient therapy can help your body detox and restore itself. On top of that, vitamins, antioxidants, and micronutrients that support weight loss can also be added to IV therapy.

B12 shots and other injections

Vitamin shots provide extra nutrients to boost your energy and metabolism. These can be particularly helpful if you’re trying to kick start a new regimen or break through a plateau.


A personalized prescription of the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone could also be included in your individualized weight loss program. This hormone breaks down the stored fat in your body so it can be used for energy and prevent loss of muscle mass.



functional nutrition

What is Functional Nutrition?

Functional nutrition is a component of functional medicine. The role of functional nutrition is to use food as a natural medicine to

  • restore healthy balance to your body,
  • correct nutrient deficiencies, and
  • heal your gut.

Functional nutritionists consider every aspect of your health, diet, and overall lifestyle when offering bio-individualized nutrition recommendations.

The most significant difference between functional nutrition and conventional nutrition is personalization. There are no generic meal plans in functional nutrition. The functional nutritionist customizes everything to your needs!

What is a Functional Nutritionist

A functional nutritionist focuses on an integrative and “root cause” approach to health by focusing on

  • diet,
  • lifestyle factors,
  • environmental exposure, and
  • targeted supplementation to support healing and optimal health.

Functional nutritionists work in partnership with you and collaborate with other practitioners to develop sustainable personalized nutrition plans based on your biochemistry, functional testing, and clinical presentation.

Not only can this approach help you lose weight, but it successfully treats conditions such as

  • digestive issues,
  • metabolic syndrome,
  • autoimmune disorders,
  • sleep issues,
  • anxiety, and
  • depression.

What is nutrition counseling and planning?

During the nutrition counseling and planning process, you work collaboratively with a counselor or weight loss specialist to identify priorities, set healthy goals, and create individualized action plans to help you lose weight and promote health.

What’s the Difference Between a Nutritionist and a Functional Nutritionist?

The main difference between functional and conventional nutritionists is that functional nutritionists focus on the patient and not the disease. They consider your whole health – how your body’s working, what’s going on in your life, and your lifestyle habits – when determining how to best serve you.

What Does a Functional Medicine Dietitian Do?

Functional medicine dieticians put scientific evidence about gut health and nutrition into practice. One test your Nava Center practitioner may recommend to assess gut health is called Metabolomix – although gut health is not primarily about losing weight.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about nutrition and gut health. Some of this misinformation can be harmful to someone with a gut imbalance or autoimmune disease. For instance, a cleanse, herbal remedy, or a detox protocol may look harmless, but they can all cause problems if you don’t use them properly or they’re not appropriate for your body.

How Can NAVA RX Help?

Our NavaRX program is a medical weight loss program designed to help you achieve your healthy weight loss goals under the close supervision of a physician. NavaRX combines a personalized, medically recommended low-calorie diet with a natural hormone designed to unlock your body’s fat stores and boost metabolism. This helps you lose weight quickly and safely.

Our Nava RX practitioner’s medical supervision, paired with your commitment to your health, can help you achieve your weight loss – and your overall health goals, too!

Start Your Journey to Better Health Through Functional Nutrition with Nava

Ultimately, embracing functional nutrition can help you create meaningful, lasting positive changes in your life. Instead of viewing weight loss as its own isolated goal, a functional nutrition approach will help you recognize the deep connections between food and your overall health. Your weight loss journey becomes much more than a number on the scale – it becomes an insightful discovery into your own relationship with food and a path to a greatly improved well-being.

Contact us for a consultation today!

StephanieM Headshot Doctor - Nava Health
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Stephanie is an autoimmune advocate and Functional Nutritionist who blends science, humor, and herbalism to create personalized nutrition and integrative health strategies. With over five years of clinical experience, Stephanie has helped numerous clients overcome various health issues, from weight management to autoimmunity and hormonal balance.

Article Name
Your Guide to Weight Loss and Functional Nutrition
We explain every aspect of weight loss with a medical weight loss plan and a focus on functional nutrition, so you can be confident you know the details and can achieve your optimal weight goal.