Who qualifies and benefits from this program?
Our program caters to patients with obesity (BMI of 30 or greater) of all ranges in addition to those who are considered overweight (BMI=25-30) (Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) here). You do not need to be struggling with severe obesity to qualify for this program. We treat all overweight and obese patients who have had difficulty losing or maintaining weight on their own or through commercial programs. In addition, those with weight-related diseases (diabetes, pre-diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea, cardiac disease) and those with significant family medical histories for diabetes, heart attack and stroke who struggle with their weight should consider a medically supervised program such as this.
How do I schedule an appointment?
For more information or to schedule an appointment please call 212-496-2662 and our program coordinator, Lisa Rexford, can assist you in setting up an appointment and navigating the logistics including health insurance and directions. Alternatively, you can email [email protected].
What insurances are accepted at the Center for Weight Management?
For a list of insurances accepted, please visit each care provider’s website here:
Do I need a referral?
The need for a referral differs based on each insurance company and each plan within that company. We suggest that every patient gets a referral from their primary care physician before coming to their first appointment to help us coordinate your care with insurance coverage issues. With certain managed care plans we will not be able to see you for your first appointment until this referral has been received. Our office is happy to assist you in how to obtain one from your primary care physician.
How should I prepare for my first appointment?
We ask that patients come to their first appointment fasting – no food or drink except water. It is ok to continue taking your medications. Please bring with you the paperwork and questionnaires that have been sent to you by our staff. To ensure maximum time with our care providers, please make sure to fill out all forms in advance of coming to your appointment. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to your first appointment.
How is this different than commercial weight loss programs?
This program is different than commercial programs on several levels. Most importantly, it is medically supervised which maximizes safety, particularly for those patients with multiple medical problems, and allows for greater customization of treatment. The second feature that sets us apart is care plan individualization. You will not be forced into a point system or one-size-fits-all approach. Each person is different and his or her program is individualized and adjusted to fit his or her needs. Additionally, each patient receives individual attention with much fewer time restrictions than traditionally offered. Finally, groups are smaller, more intimate and run by expert psychologists and nutritionists.
It's all about the calories
Contrary to what you might see advertised on television, calories do count. With rare exceptions, losing and gaining weight depend on your net calorie balance. If you consume more calories than you expend, you will gain weight. Conversely, if you burn more calories than you eat, you will lose weight. So, the old notion of eating less and exercising more holds true. The tough part is figuring out how to do it. As a starter, try cutting out all beverages with calories in them (soda, juice, sugar in your coffee or tea) and replace them with plain water, 0-calorie flavored water or diet drinks. Cut down on your portion sizes. Try to minimize eating out. And get out and be as active as possible to increase your metabolism and burn calories. As a caveat, you will learn through our nutrition education, it might be more beneficial to eat some calories (high fiber, whole-foods) than others (refined foods that serve to make you hungry or increase blood sugar).
Keep a journal
Patients who keep accurate and detailed journals lose weight more often and more rapidly. Maintaining a journal adds accountability, keeps you organized and allows you and your health care practitioner to adjust your program based on your results. This journal need not be overly complicated, but the more information entered the better. Try to write down everything you eat (including amounts/portion sizes), how much water you drank, how much exercise you did and if you really want to get bold, how you felt. Were you hungry? Did something stressful happen? Journals allow you to take better control over your environment.
A word on exercise
The data on exercise with regard to short-term weight loss is limited. However, this might be related to the amount of exercise required to lose large amounts of weight. The fitter you are to start, the more likely you will be able to burn enough calories through exercise to help. Nonetheless, there is credible data to confirm that exercise is one of the most important factors in sustaining weight loss. Furthermore, physically fit people have fewer incidents of heart attacks and strokes regardless of their weight. It is never too late to become active.
Start with attainable goals
Losing weight, particularly large amounts of it, can be mentally exhausting. Avoid the classic pitfall of trying to live up to unreasonable initial expectations. Rather than saying you want to get down to an "ideal" weight, try aiming for an initial 10% weight loss and work from there. This pertains to individual components of your program as well. If you are currently inactive, do not sign up for a marathon just yet. Try to get out for more walks or do something active every day.
Avoid fad diets and over-the-counter stimulants
Even "natural" products can have negative effects. While it is true that several naturally found herbal stimulants can help you lose weight in the short-term, the over-use of stimulants can be dangerous and will almost always result in a rebound weight gain once stopped.