The Role of Nutritional Products in Weight Management: Strategies for Success
— By Karol Clark, MSN, RN
High quality nutritional products can positively impact the overall success of a medically-supervised comprehensive weight management plan.
According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly three in four adults age 20 or older in the United States are overweight or obese and nearly one in five children and teens, ages two to 19, are obese.1 In addition, if U.S. trends continue, it is predicted that by 2030, roughly half of all men and women will be obese.2
Many overweight individuals seeking weight loss options desire an effortless solution. The allure of a “quick fix” is understandable, given the challenges and persistence required for effective long-term weight management. However, as you know, sustainable healthy weight loss hinges on a combination of balanced nutrition, regular physical activity, behavioral changes, and consistent effort over time. Such a transformation tends to be most effective with professional guidance from an experienced weight loss practitioner — particularly when it comes to individuals with co-morbidities associated with the recognized disease of obesity.
Medically-supervised weight loss programs provide a structured and customized approach to weight loss, considering the patient’s unique needs and medical history. They are an effective and safe approach to losing weight. These programs typically include a combination of metabolic and blood tests, dietary and physical activity recommendations, ongoing counseling, and accountability. In addition, such programs incorporate nutritional products as well as weight loss medications when appropriate. This provides a comprehensive solution customized to patient needs. Nutritional products and medications provide additional weight loss tools that tend to result in faster initial weight loss and longer-term success — which patients desire and appreciate.
Benefits of Utilizing Nutritional Products in Weight Management
High quality, delicious nutritional products available only through a practitioner, such as meal replacement shakes, bars, supplements and snacks, serve an important role for your patients and your weight loss practice. This is particularly true when you place patients on Very Low Calorie Diets (VLCD), before and after weight loss surgery, and when patients are on weight loss medications such as GLP-1 receptor agonists or other medications that suppress their appetite.
Here are some of the various roles and benefits nutrition products offer for weight loss:
For Your Patients
- Convenience: Weight loss nutritional products offer a convenient way to maintain balanced nutrition while on the go. They take the guesswork out of what to eat and provide your patients with great food choices throughout their busy day.
- Precise Nutrient Support: Weight loss nutritional products can help fill nutrient gaps in your patients’ diet and ensure that they receive the necessary protein, vitamins, and minerals they need to support their weight loss efforts. They also provide a great way to maintain proper macronutrient ratios for better results.
- Maintenance of Lean Body Mass (LBM): Particularly for your patients on GLP-1 receptor agonists or other effective obesity medications that suppress their appetite, weight loss nutritional products can help patients ingest an adequate amount of protein to maintain lean body mass and support their lean body mass and metabolism.
- Portion Control: Weight loss nutritional products are portion-controlled, making it easier for your patients to manage their caloric intake.
- Satiety: Weight loss nutritional products with quality protein can increase feelings of fullness, reducing the likelihood of overeating or snacking between meals.
For Your Weight Loss Practice
- Improved Patient Compliance: Patients are more likely to follow a recommended diet plan when they can conveniently purchase delicious quality nutritional products directly from your practice.
- Diversified Revenue Stream: Offering quality nutritional products for sale in your practice or via your online store creates an additional source of income for your weight loss practice beyond revenue for your services.
- Competitive Advantage: Offering a range of delicious nutritional products that patients cannot purchase elsewhere can distinguish your practice from your competitors and position it as a comprehensive weight management center.
- Brand Loyalty: By providing high-quality nutritional products and personalized guidance, you can build trust and loyalty among your patients, and increase the likelihood that they will continue to utilize your programs and services. It can also increase referrals of family and friends to your practice. As an added benefit, you can private label your products for added recognition and loyalty.
- Improved Patient Outcomes: Nutritional products can complement your weight loss program by providing your patients with convenient and nutritional food options. And, with your guidance, these products can help them jump start their weight loss efforts, stay on track, or get back on track if they have regained some of their weight.
Strategies for Successful Integration of Nutritional Weight Loss Products
Integration of delicious, high quality nutritional weight loss products requires deliberate action and promotion. Yet, it is fairly easy for you and your team to successfully make it happen. Here are some successful strategies:
- Select Your Products Carefully: Be sure to select high quality weight loss specific products that have the proper macronutrient ratios, taste delicious, and aren’t available at traditional retailers.
- Taste Test Everything: Make sure you and your team taste test everything you offer. Promote your favorites and explain their benefits and why you enjoy them so much.
- Offer a Variety of Products: Your patients will have different preferences so be sure to offer a range of products that accommodate dietary preferences and requirements.
- Integrate Your Products into Your Programs: Create programs that include varying degrees of product requirements. From full supplements initially to combinations of products and whole foods and finally, whole foods only. This will help introduce your patients to your products and give them a chance to discover their favorites.
- Educate Your Patients and Guide Their Choices: Provide your patients with personalized guidance on how to incorporate nutritional products into their weight loss plan. Offer educational materials and one-on-one consultations to answer any questions they may have.
- Bundle and Promote Your Products: Bundle products together for additional exposure and sales. Promote on site and online. Make your promotional posts educational and entertaining.
- Provide Online Sales: Consider setting up an online store or a “done-for-you” store that easily links to your website for recurring sales. Robard makes this option extremely easy and includes direct shipping to patients on your behalf, so you have nothing to worry about. This creates added ordering ease for your patients and a recurring revenue stream for your practice.
Nutritional weight loss products serve an important role for your patients and your practice. When you integrate the strategies outlined, you can not only enhance patient outcomes, but build a sustainable revenue stream for your practice.