Like the majority of American adults, Lauren Berger struggled with her weight nearly all her life. Feeling defeated, a supportive friend encouraged her to explore a new way people are finding weight loss success. One year later and more than 50 pounds lighter, the 31-year-old mother of three is a weight loss champion.
“I tried diets, working out, Weight Watchers – you name it,” Berger said. “They were never anything I could sustain. I read about medical weight loss and wondered, ‘What is it?’ Berger learned about physicians who specialize in treating weight loss medically.
“For many people, obesity is a chronic condition,” said Kelley McIntyre, M.D., bariatrician. “So it makes sense that obesity needs to be treated like a chronic condition.” “But with all the diet pill controversy, there was a negative connotation and I was really scared,” Berger said.
“A friend encouraged me that it wasn’t going to hurt to just go talk to a doctor and find out more.” Berger made an appointment with Dr. McIntyre at Norton Weight Management Services. “She said early on, ‘Weight is something you will have to deal with your whole life, like diabetes or any other health condition. It’s nothing to be ashamed of,’” Berger said. “Dr. McIntyre told me that I’m healthy now, but if I don’t get my weight under control, I won’t stay healthy.”
Feeling ambitious, Berger began her medical weight loss program the week of Thanksgiving 2009. Dr. McIntyre developed a plan that included medication, diet and exercise tailored to Berger’s specific needs and lifestyle. “For weight loss to be successful, it takes a multidisciplinary care approach,” Dr. McIntyre said. “It involves nutritional changes, behavioral changes, exercise and possibly medication.”
Berger’s plan spells out how much protein, carbohydrates, calories and other nutrients she needs each day to lose weight but have the energy to work full time and maintain an active family life.
“I have to pay attention to food labels,” Berger said. “I have to ask myself, ‘Am I going to get any value out of eating this?’ If not, I’m not going to eat it.” Is medical weight loss right for everyone? According to Dr. McIntyre, it’s most appropriate for people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater, or a BMI of 27 or greater combined with other medical conditions, like diabetes or high blood pressure.
“We also look at a person’s percentage of body fat, waist circumference and risk factors for chronic diseases,” Dr. McIntyre said. “Individuals who are interested in medical weight loss also need to know it is not a magic bullet,” she said. “It takes work and discipline, but it could be a good option prior to considering weight loss surgery.”
Your journey starts here. Norton Weight Management Center now open!
Each person has different needs to be successful with weight loss. Some need guidance with food and exercise plans while others require surgical intervention to achieve their weight loss goals. Now there’s one place to start – and continue – your weight loss journey. The new Norton Weight Management Center located near Norton Suburban Hospital is the only facility of its kind in the Louisville Metro area.
- Weight loss seminars and educational programs
- On-site physician consultations
- Comprehensive medical weight management services
- Pre-surgical nursing, dietary and psychological counseling
- Fitness room
- Kitchen for cooking demonstrations
- Physician evaluations
- Physician office visits
- Follow-up care
- Post-surgery support groups
- Take a Virtual Tour
For more information about Norton Weight Management Services or to schedule a free information session, call (800) 852-1770 or (502) 629-1234.