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Weight Management Program
Weight Management Program
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"How do I get into the program?"

You may contact Erik Kirk, PhD at ekirk@siue.edu or by telephone at 618-650-2718. He will tell you about upcoming informational meetings and obtain your contact information for future opportunities.


"How much weight loss can I expect?"

The average participant of our programs loses approximately 10% of their baseline body weight, with some losing more and some losing less. Typically, participants lose 2-4 pounds per week in the beginning which gradually slows to 1-2 pounds per week.


"Is your medical program guaranteed?"

The success of the medical weight management program depends on your compliance. We provide the tools, education, and emotional support for weight loss, but ultimately the results are under your control. Basically, that is what it is all about - developing control.


"I've never been able to maintain my weight loss. Can you help me?"

Yes! We recently published data in which 70% of follow up survey respondents who had been out of the program for 6 months to 3 or more years had maintained a weight loss of at least 5%, which is both clinically significant and highly successful. If you are willing to do the work, we can help you!


"What if I have difficulty adjusting to the program?"

Our group leaders are very responsive and seek ways to offer help to program participants. Weekly accountability in our group sessions is helpful for individuals adjusting to changes in eating patterns.


"Will anyone monitor my progress?"

Meetings are held once a week, in the evening, at the Weight Management Program and include medical monitoring of your progress and health.


"How qualified is your staff?"

Our multidisciplinary staff consists of physicians, licensed clinical social workers, registered dietitians, physical therapists, psychologists and behavioral counselors who will be working with you throughout the program.


"Can I eat other meals besides meal replacements products and fruits and vegetables?"

During the weight loss phase, participants are expected to consume the minimum weekly prescription of meal replacements: 3 shakes, 2 entrees, and 5 one cup servings of fruits and vegetables. In the weight maintenance phase, participants are given a calorie goal and may choose to eat any foods they like within that goal. We strongly recommend participants continue to consume 14 entrees per week in maintenance as a means of calorie and portion control.


"The diet sounds boring! How can I make it interesting?"

Group leaders offer demonstrations of recipes that utilize the meal replacements products. We provide a recipe booklet that has many options for changing shakes and entrees into various types of foods. For example, you can add zero calorie root beer to a vanilla shake to make a root beer float. You can use the Chicken Creole entree and a red or orange pepper to make baked stuffed peppers. You can even use instant coffee and a chocolate shake to make a mocha shake. The possibilities are endless!


"Can I drink milk, coffee, or soda?"

Participants of Weight loss may not drink milk or milk products. However, if you consume all 3 shakes per day, you are consuming 100% of your daily calcium needs. You may drink black coffee and add condiments that fit the 15 calorie limit if necessary. You may also drink zero calorie soda. You are encouraged to drink 64 ounces of water per day to help digestion of the high fiber foods you will be consuming.


"How is the food delivered to me?"

All participants receive their food when they attend meetings.


"Do I have to eat fresh fruits and vegetables only?"

No. You may utilize fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables. Canned fruits and vegetables must be drained and rinsed.


"Can I use condiments such as catsup, mustard, or salad dressings?"

Yes. We give each participant a list of condiments they may utilize. Each person may have 4 servings of condiments per day at 15 calories each.


"Are there any fruits or vegetables I cannot eat?"

Yes. Participants are asked not to consume fruit or vegetable juices, dried fruits, or avocados. Each of these items is high in calories and sugars and some contain very little fiber to help you feel full.


"What if I have a problem with the foods on my meal plan?"

Registered dieticians are available to answer any questions you may have or help with making necessary meal plan adjustments.


"What happens at the health assessments (testing)?"

We record your height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, waist, and hip circumference. We also record all of the medications you take regularly along with their costs. Assessments are completed every 3 months.


"Can my husband/wife/friend attend meetings with me?"

Family members and friends may participate together. However, family or friends who do not pay to be a part of the program may not attend meetings unless the instructor asks you to bring them along.


"Do I have to exercise in this program?"

Yes. Participants gradually progress from very little exercise (3 days, 15 minutes per day) during week 1 up to 300 minutes in week 16.


"I hate exercising! What type of exercise do I have to do?"

Exercise needs to be primarily aerobic in nature to count towards your weekly goal as this type of exercise has been associated with the greatest success for weight maintenance. Walking is a great example and can be completed throughout the program. Other examples include biking, swimming, aerobic classes, hiking, jogging, elliptical, workout videos, Zumba, and dance classes. We strive to help you find activities that you will enjoy, long term!

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