Fairview introduces new medical weight loss plan

The 24-week Healthy Lifestyle Plan brings together the expertise of Fairview, HealthEast, and University of Minnesota Health.

What is a medical weight loss program

Nearly two-thirds of Minnesotans are either overweight or obese. Weight loss programs and apps abound, but sustainable weight loss is easier said than done.

“We listened to our patients’ feedback and saw a gap in what’s currently offered in our market,” says Bridget Slusarek, System Director of Comprehensive Weight Management Services. “Consumers are looking for a better way to lose weight and keep it off.”

So Fairview launched a new 24-week Healthy Lifestyle Plan that combines evidence-based weight loss strategies with one-on-one lifestyle coaching. Unlike plans like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, it can address medical issues that make it hard for someone to lose weight on their own, such as hormone levels, the side effects of prescription drugs, or chronic conditions like sleep apnea. 

The approach

The 24-week Healthy Lifestyle plan draws on the expertise of Fairview, HealthEast, and University of Minnesota Health specialists in weight management.

It combines all aspects of a healthy lifestyle: medical, emotional, nutrition, and activity. Each patient gets a three-person team dedicated to them. When necessary, they may also be referred to other specialists. The individualized plan for a patient could include everything from cooking classes with Fairview’s Chef Jeremy to customized exercises.

“The best weight loss intervention is the one that the patient chooses,” Bridget says. “We know that one size doesn’t fit all, so this program will help people create a weight loss program that works for them.”

The four phases

Week 1: Welcome to a healthier lifestyle

The plan begins by getting to know the patient. This stage includes:

  • A meeting with their team, including a provider, a registered dietitian, and a lifestyle coach.
  • A thorough medical assessment.
  • Determining weight loss goals and developing a plan to get there
  • A personalized diet, with the option of using Bariatrix meal replacement products
  • A welcome kit with a beautiful journal to help the patient stay on track

Weeks 2-13: Start anew

Patients identify and work on any barriers that may be holding them back. This stage includes:

  • Nine weekly visits with a coach
  • Two meetings with a registered dietitian

Weeks 13-16: Embracing change

As patients get comfortable with their new lifestyle, we begin to transition their health into their own hands by providing:

  • A visit with their provider to assess progress and any additional medical needs
  • Three exclusive hands-on classes at our Healthy Eating Kitchen
  • An introductory exercise and movement class
  • Bi-weekly appointments with their coach

Weeks 17-24: Learning to thrive

This stage will focus on how to sustain the results the patient has achieved:

  • Bi-weekly appointments with their coach
  • Two appointments with their dietitian
  • A visit with their provider to look at their progress
  • A final health assessment and customized plan

After patients finish the 24-week plan they may continue seeing their medical weight management team with individual visits or choose an extended plan.

Learn more at https://www.fairview.org/services/weight-loss-24-week.

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