Different methods of inpatient weight loss include stays at residential programs for people who struggle with obesity and eating disorders as well as hospital stays after weight loss surgery. Some residential centers also offer inpatient care for individuals who have recently undergone bariatric surgery and who will need additional guidance and support while adjusting to the surgery and its effects. While inpatient weight loss services may not be realistic for many people because of the time and financial commitment required, individuals who are seriously obese or who have longstanding eating disorders may benefit greatly from these programs.
For some people, losing weight is a significant struggle. These individuals may have difficulty sticking to a healthy diet and exercising routine, and while they may lose weight in the short term, over time they will regain the weight they have lost. Some of these people may benefit from a highly structured inpatient weight loss program that combines a regulated diet and exercise program with educational programs and counseling.
Inpatient weight loss programs programs may vary in length as well as content, and some may address individuals who have dual diagnoses of an eating disorder and other mental health and substance abuse problems. The types of organizations that offer inpatient weight loss services vary and may include hospitals, mental health centers, and freestanding weight loss rehabilitation facilities. Patients will typically have the opportunity to work with a group of peers during their stay and will often be provided with outpatient follow-up care at the conclusion of the program.
Another type of inpatient weight loss is achieved through surgery. Some types of bariatric surgery, such as gastric banding, can be performed on an outpatient basis, but more involved surgeries, such as gastric bypass, may require a hospital stay. The length of the stay may vary, but is often anywhere from three to five days in length. Prior to the surgery, many patients are required to complete an outpatient preparation, which may include efforts at nonsurgical weight loss.
Some inpatient weight loss programs combine counseling, education, and healthy lifestyle coaching with follow-up care for those who have chosen to undergo weight loss surgery. This is because some people have found that weight loss surgery may be the safest and most effective way to lose weight and achieve long-term results while also wishing to learn appropriate self-care skills. In addition, significant weight loss can present a number of physical and psychological side effects, and bariatric surgery patients may need additional assistance in making these adjustments.