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 interprofessional healthcare team can help participants along their weight loss journey. This program has 24 mandatory weekly classes with the use of the Optifast 900 meal replacement shake. This will promote significant weight loss. 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, measuring intake, shopping and reading labels, dining out, cooking easy and light meals.
- Getting active, simple and safe exercises, individualized exercise 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 healthy foods into your diet. 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 provide a positive impact on overall health, including significant improvement in medical conditions including 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 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 $75.00 per week. This is often comparable to the cost of usual food intake. The cost of Optifast 900 will replace usual grocery cost during the first 15 weeks of the Medical Weight Management program.
The Healthcare Team
The healthcare team includes doctors, registered nurses, registered dietitian, social worker, and exercise specialist. 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.
- An Exercise Specialist is an important 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 you success will also depend on your ability to participate and interact with the healthcare team and others going through 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 and your eating and exercise habits, the Medical Weight Management program may be a good fit for you.
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)