At some point, you will encounter a client who has either undergone a weight loss procedure or wants your opinion about getting one. Not all weight loss procedures are the same. Some methods work well for certain body conditions, while others may not.

You may have some clients who are self-conscious of the fats in their thighs, arms, or abdomen. Perhaps you also recognize a few who are concerned about their overall body weight or have a significant amount of weight to lose and have been unable to do so.

Each person has their own circumstances, and they may be seeking help from their health and fitness coach. They may be curious about what weight loss procedure will best address their concerns.

Fortunately, some clinics and hospitals provide specific weight loss procedures. Some may even offer postoperative care, gastric sleeve revisions, and programs promoting sustainable weight loss activities.

Weight Loss Procedures

Bodyweight is no longer the only basis for deciding what weight loss procedure is appropriate. Body mass index (BMI) is utilized for measuring excessive body fat using weight and height.

An individual is considered overweight if 25.0 to 29.9. A healthy BMI is around 18.5 to 24.9. At 30.0 or above, they are considered obese.

If you want to know which weight loss procedure is appropriate for your clients, explain their BMI calculation and offer to conduct additional body composition tests to put the BMI into context. Ask them to make the necessary clinical consultations with a physician or dietician after sharing what you know about the following. These professionals may recommend any of these procedures:


In this surgical procedure, fat is removed from specific areas in the body using a suction method. Liposuction is usually performed in the abdomen, thighs, hips, buttocks, neck, or arms.

This procedure usually targets specific areas in the body and may not fully address overall weight loss, but may be an option for someone who is lean in the upper body but carries stubborn fat around the hips or thighs. Other methods like diet, exercise, or bariatric procedures may be more effective for obese individuals.

Note that liposuction carries some risks, like a reaction to anesthesia or bleeding. As a trainer, you must caution your clients about those risks and other complications, such as:

  • Numbness in the operated area
  • Irregular contours
  • Fluid accumulation under the skin
  • Fat embolism
  • Punctured internal organ
  • Kidney or heart problems

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CoolSculpting® is a non-invasive treatment for lowering fat cell volume in the area being treated. This method uses fat-freezing technology to destroy fat cells, especially in hard-to-reach areas like the arms, abdomen, flanks, knees, and lower buttocks.

If your clients prefer a nonsurgical alternative to liposuction, they may consider this method.

CoolSculpting® starts with the aesthetician applying focused cooling on the target area. The cooling destroys the fat cells, which break down and get eliminated naturally from the body.

Changes may be noticeable within a few days after treatment. However, the full effects may only be visible after 12 weeks. One criticism of this procedure is that if any additional fat weight is gained, that the fat cells that remain will grow in size and fill in the void left by the cells that were eliminated by the procedure.

Bariatric Procedures

Bariatric surgery involves changing how the digestive system works to help individuals lose weight.

Remind your clients that this procedure is only recommended when methods like diet and exercise are not working for them and medical issues (other illnesses) are a pressing concern. In most cases, these procedures may be their only hope to live a long and healthy life.

Doctors may also suggest these procedures if the individual has weight-related health problems.

Bariatric surgery may be an option in the following situations:

  • The person is extremely obese (BMI of 40.0 or higher).
  • The person is obese (BMI of 35.0 to 39.9) and has significant weight-related health issues

In some cases, the person may be eligible for surgery if their BMI is 30.0 to 34.0 and they have severe weight-related issues.

Some health issues associated with obesity include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or severe sleep apnea (breathing interruptions while sleeping).

Your clients must undergo and pass specific medical requirements and screening processes to qualify for a bariatric procedure. Additionally, they must be willing to make permanent lifestyle changes, especially after the operation.

The following procedures are available for those who pass the requirements:

Gastric Bypass

This procedure helps with weight loss by reducing the size of the person’s stomach. This reduction is performed by dividing the stomach into a small upper portion and a larger lower portion.

The upper stomach portion is joined to the small intestine’s jejunum. The outcome of this procedure is that the person absorbs fewer calories and will now feel full with less food.

Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve)

This weight loss procedure involves removing 80% of the stomach. This operation leaves only a tube-shaped stomach about the size of a banana. The reduced stomach size restricts how much food the person can consume. This restriction may lead to hormonal changes that help weight loss, such as relieving high blood pressure and heart disease conditions.

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band (LAGB)

A LAGB operation uses a laparoscope, a thin tube inserted through a small incision in the abdomen.

The surgeon uses this tube to put an adjustable band around the upper part of the stomach, creating a small stomach pouch. The small pouch makes the person feel full after eating little food.

Biliopancreatic Diversion With Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS)

This procedure is a two-step process. The first step is a sleeve gastrectomy removing 80% of the person’s stomach.

The pyloric valve that releases food to the intestines and the duodenum connecting the small intestine to the stomach remains.

The second step bypasses most of the intestine by connecting the end part of the small intestine to the stomach.

Once completed, BPD/DS will reduce the amount of food a person takes and limit the body’s absorption of nutrients such as fats and protein.

Other Bariatric Procedures

Duodenal Switch

The duodenal switch is the second step in a BPD/DS operation and can be performed separately. This procedure reroutes the end part of the small intestine to the stomach, bypassing the majority of the small intestine.

Mini-Gastric Bypass

The mini-gastric bypass procedure is similar to the full gastric bypass operation. The primary difference between the two operations is that the mini-gastric bypass involves less intestinal routing and shorter surgery duration.

Single-Anastomosis Duodenal-Ileal Bypass (SADI)

This procedure involves removing about 85% of the stomach to reduce food intake and bypassing a part of the body’s small intestine to limit food absorption.


Some of your clients may be looking for a way to lose weight and asking you for advice. 

As their trainer, seek first to understand their situation. More importantly, encourage them to consult with a dietician or weight loss surgeon for screening and diagnosis.

These professionals can provide more information on which weight loss program best fits your clients’ needs and weight loss goals. Weight loss procedures differ for every individual.  

Lifestyle changes are needed to sustain the person’s ideal weight after the operations, and this is where your expertise as a trainer can help.

Casey BloomAbout the Author: Casey Bloom’s field of studies is concentrated in language and in literature. She had worked as an advertising creative before writing for health and wellness sites. She is a vegan advocate who enjoys cooking, dancing, and music.

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