What is medical weight loss? Medical weight loss differs from surgical weight loss, in that it does not utilize any type of surgical procedure such as gastric bypass or sleeve, lab band, or gastric balloon. While surgery is a good option for some, weight loss can be achieved without a procedure. Research has shown that permanent weight loss is most successful when a person commits to a structured program that includes regular visits often in a group setting. A highly trained team is essential to provide teaching and guidance with a research-based curriculum, combined with medical visits to monitor medications, blood tests, weight, blood pressure and general health concerns. High quality meal replacements are used to ensure rapid, safe and steady loss of fat, while protecting against loss of lean muscle. For our medical program, we use the New Direction® products . New Direction® is only available to physicians. The most important aspect of any program is the ongoing support once the weight is lost. Statistics reveal that many individuals will tend to regain after reaching goal weight, unless they continue within a strong maintenance program.
Here at NSWM we utilize a four phase approach:
- Screening You will first have a consultation with our Director of Nutrition. During that conversation, she will discuss with you what will be most appropriate to meet your goals. Next you will have a comprehensive medical evaluation to determine that medical weight loss is appropriate for you. This evaluation will include blood work, an EKG, a clearance form from your PCP, and a visit with Dr. Costello. You may also be asked to obtain clearance from any specialists you see for certain medical conditions.
- Reducing This is the active weight loss phase of the program. This phase uses delicious, nutritionally complete meal replacements for some or all of your meals. If you opt for the most aggressive plan- the VLCD (“Very Low Calorie Diet”) plan creates a state of “ketosis”. While in ketosis, your body will utilize fat stores for energy, rather than carbohydrates. This allows a reduction in calories without increasing hunger. Most people can expect to lose between 2 and 5 pounds each week. If you opt for a less aggressive plan, we can modify the plan and add some grocery food to your day. The core of the program is individual weekly visits with our Director of Nutrition, as well as group classes taught several times per month. Our classes are currently conducted remotely; topics such as nutrition and behavior are covered, and a medical class is taught by Dr. Costello. Our goal is to help you maintain your new weight for the rest of your life, with the skills you learn during our program. Dr. Costello will see you regularly for medical visits* and will oversee any lab work you have during the program.
- Adapting This phase gradually reintroduces grocery foods and typically starts when patients are within 5 to 10 pounds of their goal weight. Participants practice newly acquired eating, exercise, and lifestyle behaviors as they lose their last few pounds, so their new behaviors can become permanent behaviors.
- Sustaining When you have successfully reached your goal weight, we will continue to support and guide you using relapse prevention techniques in our S.T.A.R program: Steps Against Regain. Patients continue to see our Director of Nutrition at a frequency thought best for the individual- ranging from weekly initially, to biweekly, monthly or quarterly.
*For individuals with diabetes, this may be initially as often as once per week. For most individuals the medical visits will be on average once per month.