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  • Weight Management Program

  • Strategy, Support, Success, Weight Loss


    The weight management program provides comprehensive, medically supervised treatment for mild, moderate and severely overweight adults. Specialized programs are also available for adolescents and diabetics. Treatment combines medical monitoring, behavior therapy, exercise instruction, three levels of calorie reduction and nutrition education.

    Common questions about the program:

    The Weight Management Program treats not only the physical effects of obesity but the psychological effects as well. Vincent Pera, MD and some recent patients discuss the program and successes.
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    Is the program safe?

    The safety of our patients is our highest priority.

    Throughout the program our patients are treated and followed closely by physicians trained in internal medicine. Our patients see our physicians and physician assistants on an ongoing basis throughout their time in treatment. The frequency of these visits will depend on the medical condition of the patient, which medications the patient is taking and the type of treatment protocol we are utilizing. During medical visits, patients are assessed for side effects that may occur during treatment, and active medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension are monitored closely. Laboratory studies are done at the outset of treatment and on an ongoing basis throughout the treatment process. The frequency of these tests is also determined by the patient's medical conditions, medications and treatment protocol. Coordination of care with the patient's primary care physician and other specialists takes place as needed throughout the treatment process. Our program is therefore very safe. The medical monitoring as noted above ensures a close watch on all patients and their medical conditions. We also provide physician on call availability to our patients 24 hours a day 7 days a week should the patient need to speak with our physician for any reason.

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    Will I maintain my weight loss?
    Obesity is a chronic disease. Chronic diseases by definition cannot be cured. Our treatment focuses on control. Losing weight and maintaining weight loss (controlling weight) are both difficult to do and require different strategies and skills. Our treatment is designed to help patients lose weight and to give them the skills to help keep it off. Our own studies have shown that a number of factors can contribute to improving the maintenance of weight loss. Patients who attend their group sessions regularly, develop a regular exercise program and adhere to it after losing the weight, and attend the Masters Program (our maintenance program) do much better when it comes to controlling their weight. Utilizing the skills learned while in treatment and continuing to put some effort into the maintenance process can help patients control their weight and keep a significant amount of weight off for a long period of time.

    How is your program different than other weight loss programs?
    The Miriam Hospital weight management program provides comprehensive treatment programs designed specifically to treat various levels of overweight and obesity. Since weight problems can be the result of genetic, physical, behavioral and psychological issues, our program utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. Our treatment staff is comprised of physicians, psychologists, physician assistants, nurses, nutritionists and exercise physiologists. We also have psychiatrists available. All of our treatment staff have training, expertise and keen interest in treating obesity. We offer a choice of specialized programs tailored to the patient's level of obesity, psychological issues and medical problems. One of our most popular specialty programs is our diabetes weight management program. Our goal is to provide each patient with a treatment plan that incorporates intervention from each of the disciplines of our trained specialists in a comprehensive, coordinated program.

    How is Optifast different than over the counter liquid supplements?
    Optifast is a nutritional supplement that began its development back in the 1970s at a time when liquid diet research was just getting started. It became the product of choice for liquid diet treatment when liquid and partial liquid diet treatment started to become more popular in the late 1980s. The product formula has remained state of the art over the years, incorporating the latest in nutritional and weight control research into its formula. This product provides excellent nutrition concentrated into a small number of calories. It has been formulated to be used in a full liquid diet regimen where no food is being used as well as a partial liquid diet regimen. Optifast is a prescription product which can be obtained only through the prescription of a physician and used under supervision of a physician in the setting of a treatment program.