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Weight Management

At UI Health, our goal is to help you keep your body working its best. Our Weight Management Program is designed to help you improve your quality of life using gradual diet and lifestyle changes, exercise and behavior modification, and stress management.

Surgical Weight Management

The Nutrition & Wellness Team cares for patients that have had bariatric surgery and are looking for continual nutrition support and guidance from a registered dietitian. Regular nutrition monitoring is strongly encouraged, especially for individuals that are less than one year post-operative. Individuals that follow up with a dietitian every three months for the first year post-surgery have shown to have better outcomes with long-term weight management.

As part of our program, our dietitians work closely with bariatric physicians. Some of the possible reasons a nutrition expert may have been referred for you:

  • Possible medical causes for your weight gain or inability to lose weight
  • Recommendations on treatment of co-morbidities (diseases related to weight, such as diabetes or hypertension)
  • Evaluations for anti-obesity medications
  • Evaluations for bariatric surgery

Please note that all of these — except those referred directly for bariatric surgery — require assessment by the dietitian before proceeding to an appointment with a doctor. All programs are followed by our physician nutrition specialist.

Our registered dietitians work with patients to develop strategies to help them meet nutrition and weight-loss goals. During the first visit, a full post-operative bariatric assessment will be completed. This assessment will include the following:

  • Medical history and review of pertinent nutrition-related lab values
  • Full diet assessment (current diet intake, foods/beverages not tolerated, nutrition adequacy, adherence to supplement regimen, and more)
  • Complications (nausea/vomiting, dumping syndrome, fatigue)
  • Anthropometrics (current weight and percentage of excess weight lost)
  • Adherence to bariatric dietary principles
  • Need for additional psychological support

After the initial assessment, it is determined if additional medical follow-up is needed.

Nonsurgical Weight Management

Adult Weight Loss
Adults interested in weight loss will initially meet with a registered dietitian. During the first visit, a diet and exercise assessment will be performed. This assessment includes questions regarding:

  • What is typically consumed and how often
  • Factors that that may influence diet and eating, such as stress, time, finances, family responsibility, among others
  • Amount of time spent doing moderate intensity exercise
  • Short- and long-term goals
  • Expectations of participation in lifestyle modifications

In preparation for your initial dietitian visit, it is recommended that you maintain a brief food and exercise diary for three to four days, with at least one weekday and one weekend day recorded. (Download the Food Log and Exercise Log). At subsequent visits, progress will be assessed, obstacles to achieving goals will be discussed, and further modifications will be made as you progress in your journey.

Pediatric Weight Loss
Families with children interested in weight loss will initially meet with a registered dietitian. During the first visit, a diet and exercise assessment will be performed. This assessment includes questions regarding:

  • What is typically consumed and how often
  • Factors that may influence diet and eating, such as stress, school, screen time, sleeping pattern, appetite, among others
  • Amount of time spent doing brisk physical activity or playing
  • Short- and long-term goals for the child and family
  • The child and family’s expectations of participating in lifestyle modifications

Unintentional Weight Loss/Failure to Thrive
A registered dietitian is consulted for toddlers, preschoolers, or adults that are underweight. Dietitians assist to correct nutrient deficiencies, assess if nutrition support is necessary, foster appropriate behaviors for child and caregivers regarding food-related issues, normalize weight, and promote catch-up growth and development. During the first visit, a full nutrition assessment will be performed. This assessment will include:

  • Medical history and assessment of pertinent nutrition-related lab values
  • Assessment of feeding abilities or skills
  • Behavioral and developmental evaluation
  • Body measurements
  • Dietary analysis, including mealtime behaviors
  • Psychosocial evaluation

Meal Replacement Program
For patients interested in losing weight with the use of a meal replacement or supplement plan, the registered dietitian will work with the patient and physician to provide a nutritionally balanced meal plan utilizing meal replacements and/or supplements. During the first visit, a full nutrition assessment will be performed. This assessment will include the following:

  • Medical history and assessment of pertinent nutrition-related lab values
  • Estimated energy needs for weight loss
  • Food/nutrition history (intake, triggers to weight gain, dieting history)
  • Medication review
  • Assessment of current physical activity/recommendations for weight loss
  • Family history
  • Assessment of nutrition knowledge, motivation, and willingness to change behaviors