With 70% of the U.S. population overweight or obese, weight control is now a problem of epidemic proportions and is linked to numerous health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, menstrual dysfunctions, menopausal symptoms, infertility, pregnancy complications, sleep apnea, fatty liver and liver failure, dementia, incontinence and vaginal prolapse, depression, and kidney failure.
With intensive guidance, many can achieve lifelong successful weight loss while avoiding the severe and potentially life-threatening consequences of bariatric procedures. To that end, we offer several weight loss/lifestyle options, as all people do not respond equally to a single program. We never view weight loss as the goal, but rather look to achieve optimal health through a total approach to wellness. A key component to the attainment of optimal health requires achieving and maintaining a healthy body composition.
1. FirstLine Therapy
FirstLine Therapy is a therapeutic lifestyle change, or lifestyle modification, program. Designed by health care professionals, FirstLine Therapy has been shown remarkably successful in helping individuals return to a path of extended health.
While weight loss occurs, it’s secondary to the primary goal helping you achieve and maintain a healthy body composition (lean-muscle-to-fat ratio) to improve health, manage disease, feel better, and reduce your risk of developing serious medical conditions.
The program begins with an initial 12 week modified Mediterranean diet, augmented by a specialized FDA certified medical food which actively helps your body improve its cardiovascular status while you lose weight. Intensive lifestyle counseling is also a key component. A study on FirstLine Therapy was recently conducted at UCI and the results were published in the Journal of Lipidology. It demonstrated the impressive benefits of the FirstLine Therapy program, which were significantly better than the excellent results obtained with a Mediterranean Diet.
2. HCG Diet
This is an extremely low calorie diet (500 calories) complemented by the daily use of sublingual HCG drops or HCG injections. This diet is utilized for short periods of time (typically 43 days) and can be repeated at set intervals. On this program people typically lose large quantities of fat while preserving muscle, without extreme hunger. Many people lose a pound a day. Between the treatments, a restrictive diet and close monitoring is mandatory. This program is best reserved for people who are very serious about wanting to lose excess weight and willing to make many lifestyle sacrifices during the HCG portion of the program. We take this diet seriously and screen for any underlying medical issues which could make this program unwise and follow each patient very closely, including monitoring changes in body composition to ensure that muscle is not being lost due to deviations from the strict program guidelines.
3. Paleo Diet
Many renowned experts are advocating for the Paleo Diet based on anthropological findings involving our ancient ancestors who were the “hunter-gatherers.” Prior to the advent of agriculture and the domestication of farm animals, humans did not eat dairy products or many grains. Humans ate large quantities of wild greens and edible plants, some fruit, nuts, and seeds, and wild animals. Of course, this diet does not include processed food with its many chemicals and artificial ingredients. If going back to our roots sounds sensible to you (and it does to us) this may be the right diet for you. A recent study out of UC San Francisco showed dramatic decreases in all of the cardiac risk markers in just 3 weeks on the Paleo Diet. This diet is, of course, a gluten free diet, and is the recommended diet for many patients with autoimmune diseases and allergies. Dr. Gersh, our medical director, follows this diet and has incredibly great cardiac risk markers and she is willing to share this data with patients seriously interested in this diet.
4. Individualized Program for Weight Loss
Some of our patients require a uniquely tailored program designed to deal with their medical condition or social situation. Our PCOS patients, for example, have unique needs and achieve great benefit with a modified Ketogenic Diet-a diet very high in healthful fats and low in carbohydrates. Some patients have a variety of food allergies requiring a unique diet, including gluten sensitivity of varying degrees. Whatever your particular needs, we can help you in your journey to a state of optimal health and wellbeing.
Getting to a state of optimal health and losing weight is hard enough but maintaining your health goals is the supreme challenge. Exercise is a mainstay of permanent weight loss and we provide many options to meet your goals. As well, emotional eating is almost always present and the inclusion of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been demonstrated to increase long term success by 500%!
We have many other complementary and holistic offerings which can augment your experience and improve your chances of being successful. Acupuncture, Reiki, massage, and meditation are wonderfully helpful in restoring optimal well-being, and can help reduce cravings, stress, and improve sleep. Our health care providers can assist with evaluating the effects of environmental toxins and work to evaluate and balance your hormones. Weight loss is a serious medical “procedure” and is best undertaken with a dedicated team of medical experts who have the interest, expertise, and desire to help you become the healthiest person you can be.