Lifestyle and Chronic Health Issues Addressed in Medical Weight-Loss Programs


Two area medical facilities offering comprehensive approach

It is the New Year, and for many that means making resolutions, and for many of those, breaking them shortly thereafter. It is no surprise that some of the top resolutions made every year are to lose weight, eat healthier and diet. Those also happen to be the ones most likely to be broken. While there a plethora of diets and programs available on the internet or television, some medical providers see offering a program as a means of addressing not only weight, but the chronic health conditions associated with being overweight.

Mikki Martin

"Seven out of ten Americans are overweight or obese and most chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, hypertension and cancer are a direct result of obesity," said Mikki Martin, director of LIFT Wellness Center and LIFT Weight Management. "As a medical fitness center, our mission is to improve the health of our members and community through nutrition, exercise and education. The community does look to our healthcare system (West Tennessee Healthcare) and LIFT Wellness Center as a resource for weight loss and health management, so offering a medically supervised program was a natural fit for us."

About six months ago, LIFT Weight Management implemented the Health Management Resource program which was developed more than 30 years ago by Lawrence Stifler, a behavioral psychologist. More than 200 U.S. hospitals, medical practices and other facilities offer the HMR clinic programs, which combine structured diets, lifestyle education, group support and the HMR weight-loss foods. The highly-structured diet and lifestyle change program aims to help with weight-loss goals and was named a No. 1 "Best Fast Weight-Loss Diet" in the 2017 Best Diets rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

"I knew that for LIFT to be able to help people lose weight, we had to find a program that incorporated education, behavioral change, accountability and convenience," said Martin. "It also had to include a maintenance phase so that individuals could learn to manage their weight on their own."

As a medical fitness facility director and healthcare professional, Martin was not looking for a program that was just a quick fix or used weight loss pills. "I researched several programs and the HMR program met the criteria," she said. "The HMR program is backed by research with proven results. The program is not just a weight-loss program. It is a weight and health management program that is an actual lifestyle change. Individuals on the program lose a lot of weight quickly which is motivating and they learn the skills they need to maintain the weight loss."

The HMR program includes medical supervision, education classes, physical activity, health coaching, accountability, and pre-planned meals that not only allow, but encourage, patients to eat more so that they don't feel hungry. Patients attend weekly meetings, check-ins with the medical staff and they also have individual mid- week check-ins with the health educator. After the initial weight-loss phase, there is a maintenance phase, where individuals learn to maintain their weight in their everyday lives.

The Woman's Clinic has offered a weight-loss program, 'Why Weight', for a number of years. The science behind this diet is medically sound and is based on metabolic process ketosis. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body.

Jennifer Griffin

"The science behind this diet is Ketosis, which is the specific way your body will burn fuel to promote weight loss," said Jennifer Griffin, weight loss coach for the Woman's Clinic. "Your meals consist of 1-2 cups of vegetables, lean meat or fish and a protein supplement from our program. We teach you how to eat, not only to lose weight but to maintain your weight after completing your journey. Weekly visits and measurements with our weight loss coach will hold you accountable for your actions."

One unique element to the program is that participants in the Why Weight program do sign an entrance agreement that states their personal commitment to the program, which can be another layer of accountability for the patient. The commitment is that if there is a lack of forward progression and unfavorable results upon three visits to the Woman's Clinic, the participant must wait 90 days before being able to rejoin the program.

"Depending upon the amount of weight you want to lose, the plan can be just a weekly plan, or a 5-week plan. We want to make this experience as easy for you as possible, so if you have over 30 pounds to lose, we will cut your weight-loss plan into 5-week sessions to make your weight-loss experience "bite-sized, said Griffin. "This is your journey. I can only guide you with the information and tools you need to succeed but it is ultimately up to you to cross the finish line."

Both programs are available to anyone looking to make good on their resolution to lose weight in the New Year. To learn more or to attend a free information session, call 731.425.6820 or email For more information about Why Weight, call the Woman's Clinic at 731.422.4642 or online at


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