Medical Weight Management
About the Program
Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight is a lifelong challenge for many people. Through the Medical Weight Management program, our healthcare team can help participants along their healthy lifestyle journey. This program includes 24 mandatory weekly classes with the use of the Optifast 900 meal replacement shake. This will promote weight loss and assist in improving health concerns. The Medical Weight Management program will help participants make lifestyle and behavior changes for long-term weight management. Throughout the 24-weekly classes, the program offers weekly group discussions with the option to schedule additional individual appointments. Topics covered include:
- Building social supports, goal setting, creating positive coping strategies, managing social pressure, creating a healthy environment, stress and self-esteem, how to manage cravings and mindless eating.
- Basic nutrition, meal planning, portion control, grocery shopping and reading labels, dining out, cooking easy and light meals.
- Getting active, easy and safe exercises, individualized activity support.
- Long term weight management.
What is Optifast 900?
Optifast 900 is a low calorie, low carbohydrate, high protein meal replacement drink. It provides a total of 900 kcal, 90 g protein, 75 g carbohydrate and 16 g of fibre daily. It is sweetened with sucralose and stevia. During weeks 1-12 of the program, participants will be drinking Optifast 900 as their only calorie source. Sugar free Jell‐O, clear broth and calorie-free flavoured water can also be included. From week 13 to 17, you will gradually decrease intake of Optifast 900, and slowly add nutritious food into your routine. During this time, participants will focus on making sustainable lifestyle and behavior changes.
Weight Loss Expectations
A weight loss of is 5‐10% of present body weight is expected. A 5-10% weight loss will promote a positive impact on overall health, including improvements in medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, back or/and joint pain, etc. Achieving and maintaining weight loss requires a commitment to long-term lifestyle change. Program success is dependent upon each individual’s commitment. Program participants must be dedicated to making changes to eating habits, exercise and improving self-awareness.
Each participant is required to purchase their own Optifast 900. It must be purchased weekly for the first 15 weeks of the program. Optifast 900 is not covered by any health or drug plan. The cost of Optifast 900 is approximately $65.00 per week. This is often comparable to the cost of usual food intake. The cost of Optifast 900 will replace usual grocery costs during the first 15 weeks of the Medical Weight Management program.
The Healthcare Team
The healthcare team includes a doctor, registered nurse, registered dietitian, social worker, and registered kinesiologist. These healthcare professionals will be available to you in both group classes and individual settings.
- A Registered Dietitian is the backbone registered health professional specializing in food and nutrition. The dietitian will be there to support you with evidence-based nutrition information and ongoing support to help you on your journey to healthy eating.
- A Registered Kinesiologist is a professional who will help you live your most active, healthy life. You will learn safe and enjoyable exercise techniques to meet your personal activity goals. Few Medical Weight Management programs in Ontario offer this service.
- A Social Worker is a valuable professional asset available to you to help with the psychosocial side of managing your new lifestyle habits.
- Together, this team will help guide and encourage you through the program. However, your success will also depend on your ability to participate and interact with the healthcare team and others participating in the program. Taking an active role in this process will only add to your successes.
If achieving a healthy body weight is your goal and if you are ready to make positive changes to the way you think about food, your eating and exercise habits; the Medical Weight Management program may be a good fit for you. Your primary doctor will need to fill out a referral form through the Ontario Bariatric Network and you will then be invited to attend one of our orientations.
- 18 years of age and older (allow referrals at age >=17.5 years)
- BMI greater than, or equal to 35
- BMI greater than or equal to 30, but less than 35. With at least one of the following comorbidities (as determined by your physician):
- Complicated Type II diabetes mellitus
- Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
- Poorly controlled hypertension
Ineligibility (not limited to):
- Current drug or alcohol dependency (within 6 months of referral)
- Recent major cancer (life threatening, within last 2 years) with active treatment where caloric restriction might exacerbate the condition
- Untreated or inadequately treated psychiatric illness
For additional nutrition information, recipes and support, refer to the following resources:
New Focus on Health
UnlockFood.ca (formerly EatRightOntario.ca)
Cookspiration (developed by Dietitians of Canada)
Dietitians of Canada
Health Canada - Food and Nutrition
Canada's Food Guide
Health Canada - Understanding Food Labels
Canada's Food Guide - Physical Activity
Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP)