Physicians want real and long-lasting solutions for their patients with obesity. In this quick-fix culture, it can be hard to sift through the bait and switch diets that promise quick results without lasting impact. Rapid weight loss is a great benefit to patients, especially those with chronic obesity-related conditions, but it is only truly effective if the weight loss is maintained. A Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) combines behavior modification and nutrition education to provide rapid, medically-supervised weight loss with long-lasting results. It is the education and patient empowerment provided to patients on a VLCD that is paramount to long-term success.
Helping patients to make smarter food choices is critical. As part of our simple 4-phase approach, Robard’s medical protocols include Adapting and Sustaining phases. In Adapting, patients gradually reintroduce grocery foods into their diet after working to change their relationship with food in the meal replacement phase. Participants practice newly acquired eating, exercise, and lifestyle behaviors as they lose their last few pounds so their new behaviors become permanent. In the Sustaining phase, patients are taught how to maintain their goal weight while staying on a healthy diet, with continuing support using relapse prevention techniques.
One patient who utilized this method is MH Taylor was able to eliminate all of her blood pressure medication and successfully lost 85 pounds on the New Direction program. The behavioral changes she learned through the program have supported her in keeping the weight off for more than two years, and she’s still going strong!
“The most important thing is to find a diet that is medically supervised,” says Taylor. “I felt very confident with [my doctor]; she was doing an EKG every 50 pounds, she was checking my bloodwork once a month. I really liked the fact that the products were nutritionally balanced, so I am confident I’m getting the vitamins and minerals, and all the right elements that I need nutrition-wise. Now when I run into people, they say, ‘Oh, and you’ve kept the weight off!’ And they act surprised because a lot of people try fad diets or diets that aren’t medically supervised, and they end up losing a lot of weight, but then they stop doing the diet and gain it all back.”
Hear more about MH’s story in the video below!
If you are interested in learning more about how nutrition education and behavior modification can be used with a VLCD to help your patients lose weight and keep it off, contact us!