Obesity can lead to diabetes, hypertension and other disorders
The disease of obesity is simply a disorder of energy balance. The devastating secondary problems associated with obesity such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, etc. are improved or resolved with weight loss by any means. In my core business, as a bariatric surgeon, we offer several procedures that work simply because they allow patients to control their calorie intake more comfortably. In doing this work, we realized that no one wants surgery, not everyone one needs the power of surgery, there are financial limitations to access surgery, and people who have had weight loss surgery need comprehensive programs to help them maintain their success. Optifit was developed to address all of these issues. Optifit is a comprehensive weight management program that is physician directed and offered to any patient who wants to improve their health through weight management, regardless whether or not they want to pursue surgery. We use precision diagnostics to analyze each patient’s metabolic function. This becomes the starting point for each patient’s customized nutritional program. Our dietitians analyze information obtained from the BODPOD test and a study called indirect calorimetry to determine specific calorie and protein requirements for each patient. Nutrition is delivered with pharmacy grade formula meal replacements which meet all of the core requirements for calories, protein, minerals, and vitamins while significantly restricting calorie consumption.
Simultaneously, patients enter a phase where they are undergoing supervised prescription exercise, tailored to their individual needs and capabilities. This type of exercise is crucial in preserving lean body mass while fat stores are reduced. The program also addresses one of the biggest challenges of obesity; behavior modification and lifestyle changes. Optifit patients are offered specific educational modules which address the key challenges related to their behavioral aspects of eating.
As patients go through this program, there are significant metabolic shifts that occur, often times changing their need for a variety of medications. Physician’s supervision assures patient safety during this metabolic transition. As patients progress through this 90-day program, dietary and counseling support is provided so that they can transition back into healthy eating habits utilizing the nutritional education provided to them throughout their program. Upon completion of their 90-day program, patients may elect to participate in our Continuance or Maintenance Program.
The overall objective of our program is not necessarily just to help people achieve weight loss, but to restore metabolic balance, normalize body fat percentage, resolve or improve obesity-related medical problems, and gain insight for healthy living. Optifit is a new organization founded in February 2008. Prior to its development, several key components of the program were used in our weight loss clinic.
We have had hundreds of successful patients whose 90- day weight loss has averaged 43.5 lbs. without surgery. This weight loss has been associated with resolution of serious health problems such as diabetes, sleep apnea, and hypertension. The addition of prescription exercise has further improved patient outcomes and success in our Optifit program. We continue to refine the process and hope to share this resource with other physicians who are interested in successfully treating the ubiquitous and devastating disease of obesity. Dr. John Pennings, founder of Surgical Bariatrics Northwest and Optifit and serves as Medical Director for Optifit weight loss program. For more information on weight loss treatment visit www.getoptifit.com