Weight Loss Specialist

Firas Zakaria, MD

Board-Certified Internist located in Palos Heights, IL

There are few things more frustrating than trying and failing to lose those excess pounds, especially when everyone keeps telling you how important weight loss is for your health. Dr. Firas Zakaria is a highly respected internal medicine specialist in Palos Heights, Illinois, who understands both the value and difficulty of losing weight and takes the time to discuss your frustrations. Because he also gets that not every person is the same, he designs weight loss programs tailored to your unique needs. Call today for an appointment or try his patient-friendly online scheduling service.

Weight Loss Q & A

What is Your Weight Loss Approach?

In keeping with his philosophy of patient-focused, comprehensive health care, Dr. Zakaria takes the time to:

  • Evaluate whether underlying medical conditions are contributing to your weight gain
  • Discuss what you think might be interfering with your progress
  • Review your weight loss goals and expectations
  • Clarify your understanding of the weight loss process
  • Review healthy living choices in terms of diet and exercise
  • Prescribe FDA-approved weight loss medications when appropriate

What Medical Conditions Contribute to Weight Gain?

While they’re rarely responsible for every pound gained, certain medical conditions such as thyroid disorders and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) make weight easy to gain and hard to lose.

Some issues, such as sleep apnea, may be indirectly responsible because they lower your energy so significantly that you find it nearly impossible to cook a healthy meal or get enough exercise.

Diagnosing and treating the underlying condition won’t help you lose weight overnight. You still need to follow the basic weight loss formula of burning more calories than you take in. However, treating any underlying conditions often restores your energy and speeds up weight loss, which helps motivate you to continue with your exercise and nutrition plan.

How Will Seeing A Dietician Help?

Don’t expect your dietician to put you on a diet. Instead, they teach you about healthy, nutritious food choices that your taste buds can relate to. Many people can’t continue restrictive weight loss diets because they’re, well, too restrictive and essentially flavorless.

A dietician can give you cooking tips that increase the flavor of your foods without adding unhealthy fats or extra calories. They’ll allow you to choose a menu that fits your lifestyle rather than a cookie-cutter diet plan that keeps you hungry.

How Do Medications Help with Weight Loss?

Medications are meant to be temporary aids in helping you get started and stick with your weight loss plan long enough to see results, which usually motivates you to continue with or without medication.

Dr. Zakaria prescribes only FDA-approved weight loss drugs. Most of them decrease your appetite and increase your feeling of fullness. They include:

  • Diethylpropion (Tenuate)
  • Phentermine (Adipex-P)
  • Benzphetamine (Didrex)

Orlistat (Xenical) is a weight loss medication that blocks your body’s ability to absorb dietary fat. Interestingly, you must limit your fat intake in order to prevent significant side effects.