Phase 1: Preparation Phase (Days 1 and 2 of The Program)
When patients join our program, they are usually transitioning from an unhealthy, unstructured lifestyle around food, without a specific caloric budget. Once they take the steps to a healthier diet, the change in that patient's caloric level can often trigger symptoms of hunger.
This hunger may exists in some patients for about 4 to 5 days, and is known as The Adaptation Period. The first phase of our program, Phase 1, is a 2-day period designed to either eliminate or significantly reduce the hunger symptoms associated with The Adaptation Period.
Additionally, we use this first 2-day period to prepare, on a practical level, for Phase 2. We have found that preparation is key. Patients are provided with shopping lists, recipes, and tips & tricks, along with an easy-to-follow documented guideline. We use Phase 1 to help patients get ready for the journey ahead. Next Phase >
Phase 2: The Jumpstart Phase (3 to 6 Weeks)
The primary objective in this phase is to jumpstart the patient's program by
producing rapid and safe weight-loss, getting the patient to a healthier, more manageable weight quickly.
The rapidity of a patient's weight-loss depends on multiple factors. The average patient will lose between a ½ pound and 1-½ pounds per day during this 20 to 40 day phase. The length of time as well as the pace of weight loss during this phase depends on the patient's unique profile. The 3 most significant factors being: the patient's age, gender and amount of weight they have to lose before reaching a healthy weight for their body type.
In addition to safe, rapid weight loss,
Phase 2 is also about building the
physiological and psychological foundation
to prepare the patient's body and mind for
the next phase of our program, The Metabolic Phase. Next Phase >
Phase 3: The Metabolic Phase (4 to 6 Weeks)
Patient's that still have weight to lose, will continue losing weight during this phase, however, the primary objective in Phase 3 is to reset and train the patient's metabolism on a physiological level. This allows for the patient to ultimately eat the foods they enjoy (within an appropriate moderation) without causing weight gain.
Years of metabolic abuse (i.e. yo-yo dieting, obesity, eating off schedule, as well as poor eating habits) can result in a patient's inability to effectively manage a healthy weight - even when a healthy dietary lifestyle is maintained.
Phase 3 ensures that the two initial prerequisites, weight-loss and a highly functioning metabolism, are both met so that the ultimate goal of maintaining a healthy weight forever is never out of our sight.
In addition, we use this time to create a valuable bridge between the restriction of Phase 2 and the significantly less restrictive Phase 4. While Phase 2 of our program is very manageable for it's finite duration, it is not sustainable or healthy as a lifelong nutritional plan. In order to transition patients to "real life" eating, we create a bridge lasting 4 to 6 weeks.
Next Phase >
Phase 4: The Nutritional Phase (4 to 6 Weeks)
The primary objective in Phase 4 is to educate
the patient, both in body and mind.
There are four elements to a well-structured diet plan, and since no two patients are the
same, it is crucial that we understand how our individual bodies respond to these different
variables. The elements in a diet plan include the types of food we choose, the portions we consume, the methods of preparation for our food, and the schedule of when we eat our food. All four (type, portion, preparation, and schedule) interplay with one another and affect us on the scale.
Phase 4 is primarily about educating the patient on these 4 elements as he or she
specifically relates to them. We all know that "portion control" is a big part of maintaining a healthy weight, however, what "portion control" means specifically to us is often misunderstood. One of the most important elements of this phase is identifying a unique caloric budget for each individual patient. We accomplish this by first identifying
the patient's Basal Metabolic Rate using calorimeter equipment and sophisticated software to analyze their profile.
A patient's profile consists of: age, gender, weight, height, body fat percentage, body
mass index (BMI), basal metabolic rate (BMR), sleep schedule, occupational activity level, exercise routine, and more. We look at the other 3 elements, type, preparation and
schedule, and identify how each patient's body responds to those elements as well.
This multi-factorial analysis, as well as the patient's experience in the first 3 phases of the program, allows us to create a customized nutritional plan in Phase 4 that
incorporates our core philosophy; we don't need to diet forever to maintain a healthy weight forever. Next Phase >
Phase 5: The Maintenance Phase (6 Visits Across 52 Weeks)
The average patient on our program will complete the first 4 phases in 10 to 16 weeks. The primary objective in those first 4 phases is to accumulate an arsenal of tools a patient can use to maintain his or her new healthy weight beyond our core program. However, a patient's greatest risk of putting weight back on exists during his first year after completing any formal weight-loss program.
The goal of Phase 5 is to wean a patient off of our program while ensuring that the tools accumulated in the first 4 phases can be practically applied to real life. A full year of Phase 5 allows our staff to stay connected with each patient through the year's cycle of seasons, holidays, vacations, and other obstacles that may interfere with our long-tern weight management goals.
New circumstances in a patient's life may interfere with his ability to stick to the guidelines learnt. During this phase we meet with patients 6 times over the course of the year. These 6 visits are spread further apart from each other, so that after continuous weekly guidance in the first 4 months, our patients do not feel abandoned to face
these challenges on their own.
In Phase 5, a patient's first follow-up visit
is scheduled for 4 weeks from their final
Phase 4 visit. The next visit is scheduled 6 weeks after that, then 8 weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks, and finally 14 weeks later. These visits, spread further and further apart, are crucial in helping the patient maintain focus and accountability, while also providing continuing education without being tied to weekly commitments forever.
This "weaning" process in Phase 5 also allows us to make any needed adjustments to the maintenance plan created in Phase 4.