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Weight Management

Is your body weight in the healthy range? Check the Body Mass Index guidelines (.jpg), to see if your weight is in the healthy range. If it isn't, ask your doctor for a referral to our clinic.

An estimated 45 million Americans diet each year and spend $33 billion annually on weight loss products. Yet, nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. From self-consciousness to physical limitations, many overweight people feel that their size is keeping them from being the person they truly are. People who are overweight are also at higher risk for developing serious health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, arthritis and gallbladder disease. A chronic disease, obesity requires lifelong treatment and medical care.

Our exceptional Weight Management Program staff is dedicated to the medical and surgical management of obesity. A national leader in the field, we provide comprehensive, convenient, and effective care. We will guide and encourage you as you learn how to make lifelong changes in eating behavior, food choices, and activity levels. We can help you reach your goals through eating plans, behavioral support and exercise. We know it's not easy, but we will be with you every step of the way.

Among other strategies, we believe in the efficacy of group support sessions led by a registered dietitian with experience in weight management. He/she will assist you in achieving optimal health and wellness for lifelong success. You will also have individual appointments with a nutrition physician specialist and a dietitian to address medical concerns related to diet and to help with meal planning and behavior modification techniques.

Each patient is unique, so we offer a full array of weight management options including

Balanced Calorie Deficit Diet

This dietary plan helps you learn to make improvements in food choice, portion size and food preparation that will help you lose weight. This diet regulates caloric intake by food type: 30% from fat, 20% from protein, and 50% from carbohydrates. After your dietitian determines the appropriate caloric intake for weight loss, you will be given written materials that will help you choose foods wisely from six food groups: dairy, protein, grains/starches, fruit, vegetables and fat. Typical weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week.

Low Fat, High Protein, High Fiber Diet

In this plan, the emphasis is on increasing protein, reducing starchy carbohydrates and eliminating added fats. Fruit and vegetable intake is liberal. Amount of weight loss will depend upon the number of calories you eat and amount of physical exercise daily. Weight loss may range from 1-4 pounds per week.

Dash Diet

This diet is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat while being rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, protein and fiber. The program is designed to improve your eating and exercise habits. Individuals choosing this program will have six months of free access to will provide information about food, food preparation, eating out, losing weight and getting fit. The website also allows you to track progress in areas such as your weight, blood pressure and exercise. Typical weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week

Protein-sparing Modified Fast

A short-term approach that limits food choices and portion sizes. This diet consists mostly of poultry, fish and lean beef while carbohydrates (breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruit, and most vegetables) are eliminated, resulting in faster weight loss.

Food and Formula Diet

Your daily intake consists of three shakes or soup plus 1-2 small meals, 1 HMR vitamin and 2 quarts of water or other non-caloric fluids. This diet provides 800-1400 calories per day and leads to steady, predictable weight loss. HMR Benefit Bars are available as snacks and HMR Meals are available for meal replacement.

Full Liquid Formula Diet

Meals on this diet are in the form of chocolate or vanilla frappe-like drinks or soup. Typically you will consume 5 shakes per day. This diet eliminates food choices completely. For some patients, such a restrictive diet is easier because there are no choices to make. The liquid diet is a complete, nutritionally sound meal plan. You will transition back to whole foods over a prescribed period of time. Please note: Insurance will not cover the cost of the shakes.

Diet and Pharmacotherapy

In some cases your dietitian or physicians will recommend a diet in conjunction with pharmacotherapy, utilizing FDA-approved medications to reduce your appetite or block fat absorption. These medications MUST be combined with one of the above eating plans or they won't be effective. No weight loss medication has been FDA approved for indefinite use. 


Boston Medical Center has been awarded the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation by the Surgical Review Corporation. Surgical weight loss may be recommended for patients who are more than 100 pounds or 100% above their ideal body weight. Our Center offers both Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and the Adjustable Gastric Band surgery. Both are minimally invasive, laparoscopic procedures.

  • Roux-en-Y Surgery: the gold standard for gastric bypass surgeries. This procedure reduces the size of your stomach so that you feel sated after eating smaller quantities of food. Most patients who undergo this surgery develop intolerance to sweet and high fat foods, which also limits caloric intake.
  • Adjustable Gastric Banding: (also known as the LAP-BAND) is a procedure in which a hollow band made of silicone rubber is placed around the top of the stomach squeezing the stomach to make a small pouch. The narrow opening between the small pouch and the lower stomach allows food to stay in the pouch longer, thus providing a feeling of fullness that reduces appetite.

While long-term results with these surgeries have been excellent, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks. Consequently, in addition to the weight criteria mentioned above, surgery is typically restricted to those who cannot achieve and maintain sufficient weight loss on one of our dietary programs. Prior to surgery, a weight loss of 5-10 % is necessary to help reduce surgical risks. Therefore, patients will initially work with clinicians to achieve modest weight loss before being referred to the surgical team. For more information about surgical weight loss, please visit our Weight Loss Surgery website or call 617.414.8052.