For more information on COVID-19 testing, visitor restrictions, and vaccine updates, click here.

Medical Weight Loss Program

If you are struggling with being overweight, the thought of achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can sometimes seem impossible. In the simplest terms, obesity is a food addiction, and the habits that drive it are difficult to change. To help break harmful eating patterns and establish lasting routines for long-term health, our Metabolic & Weight Loss Center at Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell offers a Medical Weight Loss Program, led by medical director Dr. Jooyeun Chung, a fellowship-trained surgeon who specializes in diagnosis and treatment of metabolic disorders.

Anyone who has ever seriously considered weight loss surgery knows that candidates must fall within very specific body mass index (BMI) ranges and meet other strict health requirements. While the Medical Weight Loss Program is open to anyone, it is a good option for those who do not fall within surgery guidelines or are looking for a non-surgical alternative to weight loss.

Unlike fad diets or celebrity-endorsed methods frequently advertised on television and in print, our Medical Weight Loss Program is a regimented, protein-based meal replacement plan that is strictly monitored by Dr. Chung and her team. Replacement foods include protein bars, shakes, pudding, and soups that are part of a larger system of behavior modification, nutrition education, physical activity, and group support. In addition to weight loss, other health benefits of the program include:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics
  • Lower serum cholesterol
  • Reduced pain in weight-bearing joints
How it works

Screening: The first step in the program is an initial consultation with Dr. Chung that includes a physical exam, lab testing, and a review of your medical history. Metabolic testing measures what your body burns and identifies its specific needs, allowing you to feel satisfied while still losing weight.

Reducing: After your health background information is collected and reviewed, the 16-week active weight loss phase begins. Two options are available:

  • Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD)
    • For those with a BMI over 30 (or over 27 with co-morbidities).
    • “Real” food is replaced entirely by four high-protein, low carbohydrate meals—protein bars, shakes, soups—that are the sole daily source of nutrition during the reducing phase.
    • Each serving is nutritionally complete and provides 100 percent of the recommended daily intake for 24 vitamins and minerals.
    • There is some flexibility, allowing patient to choose from a “free food” list.
  • Low Calorie Diet (LCD)
    • For those with a BMI of 25 or higher.
    • Three high-protein/low-carb replacement meals are balanced with one “real food” meal (patient’s choice) per day.
    • Promotes gradual, steady weight loss.

The guidelines for both diets are flexible enough to accommodate the individual needs of each participant. For example, a participant with a rigorous workout schedule could not be sustained by the VLCD alone—the flexibility built into the diets helps to compensate and allows you to continue to lose weight in a safe manner.

While diet options are flexible, personal accountability is not. Participants are required to visit a dietitian at our Center once a week for an individualized, one-on-one session that provides motivation, guidance, and a weekly supply of meal supplements. To underscore the importance of these weekly meetings and participant accountability, late pickups are not permitted for weekly food supplies—if you miss your dietitian meeting, you do not get a food supply for that week. In addition to the weekly dietitian consultations, participants must also see Dr. Chung once a month to review blood work that monitors cholesterol and triglyceride levels and other indicators of safe, healthy weight loss.

Transition: This four- to six-week period begins after you achieve your weight goal. During this time, participants practice newly learned eating and exercise habits and replacement products are gradually swapped out with real food. Goal weight is maintained or weight loss may continue at a slower pace than it did during the reducing phase. Weekly meetings with your dietitian continue for guidance and support.

Maintenance: At this stage, participants embark on a long-term healthier life, implementing the eating patterns and fitness techniques learned during the course of our program. Meetings with your dietitian can be scheduled as needed for continued support and guidance.

Get started

Capital Health Metabolic & Weight Loss Center began offering its Medical Weight Loss Program in 2015, and since then Dr. Chung and team have helped more than 100 participants achieve an average weight loss of 40–50 pounds. The lifestyle changes you will have to make to achieve your health goals require a serious commitment, from you and from Dr. Chung and her team.

If you’re ready to take the important first step toward good health, we’ll do everything we can to help you succeed in your journey. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Chung by calling 609-537-6777.