Is a managed weight loss program right for you?


Are you tired of diets that don't seem to work? Do you lack the motivation to exercise as much as you know you should? Whether you’ve been battling weight gain for years or you simply need to shed a few excess pounds, a managed weight loss program may be the solution.

“Whether you have 30 pounds or 130 pounds to lose, we have programs that can be tailored to meet those needs,” says Kelly Urse, BS, CHWC, exercise physiologist for the Comprehensive Weight Management Program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Losing weight on your own can be a major undertaking. That’s where our experts can help the most.

“Many people know they need to eat healthier and exercise, but our weight loss programs provide much-needed accountability, structure and education,” explains Urse.     

The Wexner Medical Center offers several non-surgical weight management programs, allowing you to choose the plan that best meets the level of education and accountability you need.

“Some of our patients know what they need and might just want check-ins to stay on track; others need a more structured program to succeed,” says Angela Blackstone, RD, LD, registered dietitian at the Wexner Medical Center.

A change that lasts

One of the key differences between our weight management program and other diet or exercise plans is the focus on changing lifestyle behaviors, rather than just the number on the scale.

“If we focus on the behaviors, eventually the weight loss is going to happen,” Blackstone explains. “We set up the expectation that this is not something you are going to do for six months and then stop, but something that you will continue forever.” 

That’s not meant to sound daunting. In fact, the opposite is true. People don’t need to replace eating food they love with things they hate, according to Blackstone.

“I want to make it so they can still enjoy birthdays and go on vacation, and they can figure out how to be moderate about things,” she says.

Types of programs available

Ohio State offers several weight management programs to fit the varying needs of patients. Here’s an overview of two of the most frequently utilized plans:

Living Well Program  

The Living Well program runs for six months and features weekly education classes. It includes a personalized, 3.5-hour orientation where we determine your resting metabolic rate using the MedGem®, a state-of-the-art medical device that measures the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. A dietitian will work with you to set up an individualized meal plan that will support weight loss.     

Participants also spend time with an exercise physiologist to complete a fitness evaluation and design a personalized exercise plan, and with a health coach to develop strategies for success. Education classes begin the following week and include exercise, nutrition and behavior topics.

Strength in Numbers

In addition to working with a host of health professionals, Living Well participants also get support from other people in the group. Classes are set up on a rolling enrollment, so a new participant could be in a class with someone who’s been attending for several weeks and has experience overcoming certain obstacles.

“A lot of encouragement comes from seeing that they are not the only ones struggling,” Urse says. “Peer support is very motivating.”

Healthy Living Program

The Healthy Living program is designed for people who don’t need as much education about eating right, but might want regular check-ins to make sure they're staying on track with their goals. In addition to weekly, 15-minute check-ins where weight is recorded and goals are reviewed, Healthy Living patients also have two 30-minute appointments to use as they please. Most patients choose to have the MedGem® measurement for one of those appointments and then see the dietitian to set up a meal plan for the other, according to Blackstone.

Above all, a comprehensive weight management program is an approach that focuses on multiple aspects of weight loss at the same time, which is better than relying solely on diet or just exercise. To lose weight, patients must focus on making small changes in both diet and exercise. When you do so, you'll be more likely to sustain those behaviors for the long term.     

Cost to participate

Programs are not covered by insurance; however, patients with an Ohio State health plan may be eligible for up to 50 percent reimbursement of program costs based on attendance. Visit the Weight Management page for a detailed breakdown of cost per program. There is also a free information session, held on the second Monday of each month, to learn more.

Attend a free information session

Thinking about starting a weight loss program?

Attend a free information session or call 614-366-6675

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