Medical Weight Management Program

Meal Replacement and tools to modify behaviour

Weight management is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. A weight loss of 5 to 10 per cent of total body weight can lead to improvements in blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol.  The goal of our non-surgical Medical Weight Management Program is to help you make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes to improve your health and support your long-term weight management.

Eligibility, ineligibility, exclusion

Candiates must meet the following criteria:

  • BMI ≥30 but <35, with at least one (1) of the following obesity-related comorbid conditions:
    • Complicated type 2 diabetes mellitus
    • Poorly controlled hypertension
    • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
  • BMI ≥35, with/without obesity-related comorbid condition(s)

Candiates will be considered ineligible under the following criteria:

  • patient is under 17.5-years-old
  • current problem with drugs and/or alcohol
  • currently undergoing active treatment (e.g., chemotherapy, radiation) for a recent major, life-threatening cancer
  • significant untreated/inadequately treated psychiatric illness

Candiates who entre the program may be excluded under the following criteria:

  • major surgery booked to take place during the program
  • patient undergoing active cancer treatment
  • patients with the potential for fluid and electrolyte issues (e.g. renal and cardiac failure)
  • patients who cannot make a commitment to a full program
  • patients deemed unable to comprehend or comply with diet and counseling

Meal Replacement/Behavioral Modification Program—26 weeks

This program includes weekly visits to the bariatric clinic for group education and to pick up your meal replacement product.

Week 1: Reduced Calorie Diet

  • Participants begin the program on a 1200 - 1500 calorie diet, outlined by a Registered Dietitian, to get ready for the low calorie meal replacement phase. 

Week 2-13: Meal Replacement Phase

  • Participants are placed on a 12 week complete meal replacement. The meal replacement product we use is called Optifast 900.
  • During this time participants will be medically monitored by a Nurse Practitioner and will attend weekly group sessions.

Week 14-18: Transition Phase

  • This phase involves a transition from the meal replacement with a gradual reintroduction to self-prepared foods.

Week 19-26: Maintenance Phase

  • Weekly group sessions continue until the end of the 26 weeks. During this phase we focus on maintenance of weight loss and the continuation of new healthy habits.

Cost of the meal replacement:

The only cost associated with participating in the program is for Optifast, the meal replacement product.  A one week supply of Optifast (2 boxes) costs $100.     

  • Full Meal Replacement Phase = $1200
  • Transition Phase = $200

Total Cost = $1400

Note: Optifast is not covered by most insurance companies.

Support during the program

Although people can lose weight on their own, many find that quality support is crucial for their long-term success.  Along with the support of your friends and family, our program provides you with ongoing support during and after participation through:

  • personal interaction with:
    • health care providerswho regularly monitor your health status
    • group facilitatorwho helps you learn tools and strategies for successfully achieving your Best Weight
    • fellow participantswho share insights and inspirations and provide social support to group members
  • individual and group sessions that include:
    • an opportunity to meet individually with bariatric team members to review your progress
    • a 60-90 minute group session about weight management
    • a workbook to support learning in the group session
    • topics in the group sessions such as:
      • Behaviour: building your support network, identifying your values and building goals, dealing with lapses and preventing relapse, emotional eating management, developing a positive body image, stress management
      • Diet:  knowing your nutrients for weight management, meal planning and portion sizing, cooking quick and light, smart shopping and understanding food labels

Physical Activity:  physical activity - what types and how much; accumulating activity, addressing barriers to being active, finding and keeping your motivation to be active.