Fighting the Weight Gain of Menopause

What is Medical Weight Loss of Cherry Hill All About?

FAQs  •  July 8, 2019

People often ask me, “What exactly is MEDICAL weight loss??” Great question. We hear about bariatric surgery, like gastric bypass and gastric sleeve procedures all of the time.  Those are both surgeries to treat obesity.  But there is a medical approach to being obese or simply overweight too. It involves working on nutrition and diet and exercise and modifying lifestyle to achieve a healthy body weight.  Sometimes is involves using anti-obesity medication and a medical meal replacement program.  Losing weight and KEEPING THE WEIGHT OFF is more like a marathon than a sprint. It takes time, dedication, and continuous medical support. THERE IS NO QUICK FIX.

Let’s also clarify the meaning of the word “obesity”. Anyone having a BMI (body mass index, a marker of body composition) higher than 30 qualifies as obese. It doesn’t take much to be in that category.  It could be just 20-30 extra pounds.

Why is it such a big deal to be overweight or obese?? Is this just about appearance or body image?  While body image and body confidence are incredibly important, those are just a few of the reasons to strive for a healthy body weight.  Being overweight or obese increases the risk of countless medical problems down the road.  We all know that being overweight increases our risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and joint pains.  What not everyone knows is that it also increases the risk of many forms of cancer, fatty liver and cirrhosis, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes and depression, among other disorders.  Achieving and maintaining your ideal weight is more than about appearance, it’s about living a long and healthy life.

What happens at your first visit to Medical Weight Loss of Cherry Hill?

Before a patient walks in the door, they can have a free consultation over the phone to discuss their goals, what they have tried for weight loss over the years, what has helped and what has not helped.  Then patient and doctor make the decision to move forward together.

Each patient fills out a detailed medical and weight questionnaire. This medical information and labs will be reviewed before the patient comes in, so that I can start to formulate a realistic plan.  For the first visit, we spend an hour together. We talk about medical and weight history, personal successes and failures, and weight loss goals. Patients then have a physical exam and a calculation of their body mass index (BMI) and an EKG if deemed necessary. A truly important part of the visit is going over the patient’s medications, as many medications can impact weight.

At the end of the visit, we make a plan together. We fine-tune the diet; we make an individualized plan of exercise; we work to modify any self-sabotaging behaviors, and we discuss the need for anti-obesity (appetite suppressing) medications. For some patients, we also discuss the use of the OPTIFAST meal-replacement system which is safe and fantastic for jump-starting weight loss with medical monitoring and support from our staff. No two patients will have the exact same plan. And if a patient starts their plan and doesn’t like something about it, I am just a phone call or an email away. Nothing is set in stone!!

Obesity is finally being recognized by the medical community as a disease like any other, and it requires medical attention and treatment.


Elyse Dishler, M.D.
Medical Weight Loss of Chery Hill


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