What is Obesity?
Obesity is a disease classified as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater. If a person is diagnosed with obesity, he or she has a body weight greater than what is considered to be healthy and is likely to eventually encounter additional health problems.
Obesity and Medical Weight Loss Center
Cleveland Clinic’s Obesity and Medical Weight Loss Center is a non-surgical weight loss and medical weight management program committed to helping people achieve and maintain weight loss success while improving medical conditions associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes.
The Obesity and Medical Weight Loss Center's endocrinologists, internists, nurse practitioners, dietitians, exercise physiologists, and clinical psychologists can provide individualize medical care, improve health outcomes and medical conditions such as:
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Pre-surgical weight loss
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Liver Disease
- Low exercise capacity and shortness of breath
Many patients see improvement in their health with as little as 5-10% weight loss (10 to 20 pound weight loss for a 200 pound person).
Shared Medical Appointments
Each patient receives support from others involved in the program through Shared Medical Appointments. Shared Medical Appointments provide a unique approach to the weight loss program by bringing the healthcare providers and patients together in a group setting to discuss common medical issues, challenges and successes. Throughout the 75 minute session, questions and concerns are addressed from the entire healthcare team, while patients receive positive support from peers also participating in the program.
Who benefits from shared medical appointments?
- Patients needing routine follow-up care, particularly those with chronic conditions such as diabetes or asthma
- Patients seeking more information regarding their specific health issues
- Patients who desire additional time with their physician or healthcare professional
Why are shared medical appointments beneficial?
- They offer an environment where shared information and interpersonal dynamics can be used to inform and reassure patients about their concerns
- They provide group cohesiveness where peers can offer support among themselves
- They allow additional time with healthcare professionals
- They offer more information and time for questions about a specific disease or condition
How is this program different?
At Cleveland Clinic’s Obesity and Medical Weight Loss Center, we recognize the challenges associated with being obese and understand the consequences and how obesity affects the body. We draw on our research, knowledge and compassion to create a plan that is suited to meet each person’s needs.
Obesity is not only responsible for the onset of many common chronic conditions, but is also a chronic disease in its own right. We will work with you to appropriately address obesity and the chronic conditions associated with it. Individuals struggling with obesity may often try crash dieting or experiment with unhealthy fad diets; therefore, our customized, medically monitored weight loss program promotes healthy habits to last a lifetime. Weight loss is not easy and it requires a personal commitment, but you will have support, guidance, structure and information. Our program is based on scientific studies that we have previously researched and published.
Helping with Weight Loss
Benefits of a Customized Weight Loss Plan
The Obesity and Medical Weight Loss Center team creates a customized weight loss plan, which can include:
- Individualized guidance from your care coordinator
- Regular visits with your physician, nurse practitioner and dietitian
- Personalized exercise programs developed by exercise physiologists
- Management of stress, anxiety, depression and eating disorders
- Help with sleep disorders, including inadequate sleep, obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disorders that hinder weight loss
- Shared Medical Appointments
- Prescription weight loss medication to assist with appetite suppression
How It Works
The program starts with a new patient consult followed by:
- Individual follow up, virtual visits or Shared Medical Appointments
- Weight loss pharmacotherapy options are discussed
- Nutrition support (visit with Dietitian)
- Exercise stress testing if necessary
- Exercise prescription and supervised exercise training with an exercise physiologist (Lyndhurst Exercise Center)
- Referrals to specialists such as Behavioral Health and Sleep Medicine
After your new patient consult, you will meet with one of our registered dietitians to discuss which diet program is best for your lifestyle, goals and medical needs.
Here are examples of two diet programs we offer:
Thriving with a Ketogenic Lifestyle
A ketogenic meal plan leads to nutritional ketosis, which may decrease your appetite. Medical supervision, blood work and prescription supplements are required for this meal plan. There are three phases: ketosis, re-introduction of quality carbohydrate foods and low carb living. This very low carb meal plan includes lean protein, low-carb vegetables, and moderate amounts of fat. While the ketosis phase is typically temporary, the long term goal of the program emphasizes lifestyle change and support. View a sample ketogenic meal plan.
Thriving with a Mediterranean Lifestyle
This meal plan emphasizes a lifestyle approach to balancing and building healthy meals. The focus of this program is to teach a healthy way of eating while developing a healthy relationship with food. This meal plan includes fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, seeds and olive oil similar to the Mediterranean style of eating. The long term goal of the program emphasizes lifestyle change and support. View a sample thrive meal plan.
Exercise programAt the Lyndhurst Exercise Program, an exercise physiologist will write a detailed exercise plan exclusively for you. The plan will focus on the most efficient exercise range, amount of time, and will include a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise. It is recommended to exercise for minimum of 150 minutes total per week. Or 30 minutes a day, five times a week. Your exercise physiologist will help create a step by step plan to reach this goal.
Types of Exercise
The two basic types of exercise include:
- Aerobic exercise. Any activity involving large muscles, done for an extended period of time. Aerobic exercise is done primarily for cardiovascular fitness and weight loss.
- Anaerobic exercise. Any activity that does not require oxygen for completion of movement. Anaerobic exercise is done primarily for increased muscle mass and toning.
- Exercise is essential to maintain weight loss long term. It can also offer a boost when starting a weight loss program.
- Physical activity can improve insulin sensitivity, decrease blood sugar and blood pressure levels as effectively as some medications.
- Regular exercise can help reduce stress and help you sleep better.
- And many more!
On-Demand virtual visits with Diabetes Educators are available now through Cleveland Clinic Express Care® Online for select patients using their smartphone or computer. Ask your doctor if virtual visits are right for you.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 216.444.3672.
Bartolome Burguera, MD, PhD
Marcio Griebeler, MD
Katy Corte, RDN, LD
Katy Corte is a registered dietitian and diabetes educator. She has spent most of her career in diabetes education, and is passionate about helping people lead healthier lives. Throughout her career, she has enjoyed working in direct patient care, helping patients and their families learn how to better manage their disease and improve their health overall. She is currently the program coordinator for the weight management program.
Diana Isaacs, PharmD, BCPS, BC-ADM, CDE
Diana Isaacs is a registered pharmacist and certified diabetes educator. She is passionate about diabetes and has a scope of practice to make medication adjustments and provide diabetes education. She has special interests in managing diabetes in pregnancy as well as utilization of diabetes technology including insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM).
Dawn Noe, RDN, LD, CDE
Dawn Noe is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator. She has over 10 years’ experience working in diabetes education and care and is passionate about helping people live well with diabetes. She also has special interests in wellness, weight management, adult learning techniques, health coaching, and behavior change strategies. Dawn has received a certificate of training in Adult Weight Management from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Paul Szabo, CEP, MEd
Paul is a certified exercise physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine. His background is in writing individualized exercise prescriptions and implementation of supersized exercise programs for individuals with chronic diseases and health conditions. He is passionate about the power of exercise and its ability to combat chronic diseases. He has a special interest in working with patients with diabetes, gestational diabetes and patients with cardiovascular disease.
Appointments & Locations
To schedule an appointment, please call 216.444.6568.
Existing patients can register for the Lyndhurst Exercise Program. We offer a variety of exercise times, with our supervised and individualized exercise plans we will help you reach your health and fitness goals safely. For more information about our Lyndhurst Exercise Program, call 216.448.8574.
PCOS Weight Loss Program
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Program
The Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Program is a multi-disciplinary program focused on helping you to live with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and obesity. The goal of this program is to bring women together in a group setting to help alleviate symptoms of PCOS (irregular periods, facial hair) , improve fertility and lose weight.
What is polycystic ovary syndrome?
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have a hormonal imbalance that interferes with normal reproductive processes. PCOS usually starts at puberty and is associated with irregular periods and other hormone-related symptoms.
The most concerning issues with PCOS are the increase of infertility, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and the higher risk of developing endometrial (uterine) cancer at an early age.
What causes polycystic ovary syndrome?
Research is ongoing to uncover a cause for PCOS. While the cause is still unknown, there is a genetic predisposition as well as environmental triggers associated. These environmental triggers lead to insulin resistance, which plays a major role in lack of ovulation (irregular periods) and elevated androgen levels (facial hair, acne).
What are the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome?
- Irregular menstrual periods, or missing periods completely
- Decreased frequency or complete lack of ovulation, resulting in problems with infertility
- Obesity, often specifically characterized by weight gain in the upper body and abdomen
- Oily skin and hair and persistent acne into adulthood
- Hirsutism, abnormal hair growth in a masculine distribution (facial hair, heavy hair growth on arms, chest, and abdomen)
- Tendency to develop type 2 diabetes
How is polycystic ovary syndrome diagnosed?
Most cases can be diagnosed with a thorough evaluation of your medical history and symptoms, as well as a physical exam. A blood test may be required to measure the levels of various hormones. In some cases, an ultrasound of the ovaries may help with diagnosis.
How can polycystic ovary syndrome be prevented?
There is no known prevention for PCOS. However, through proper nutrition and weight management, many women with PCOS can avoid developing diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
How is polycystic ovary syndrome treated in the program?
Our goal is to tailor treatment plan according to your needs and plans. It is important to remember that you’re an individual and your treatment plan should be designed around your specific case. We focus on your PCOS symptoms as well as fertility issues. Through a well-designed lifestyle (diet and exercise) program specifically for PCOS we will help you achieve your desired goals. Each patient’s condition is monitored throughout the program using PCOS parameters—weight, periods, fertility and hirsutism. Medications can also be prescribed to help the symptoms of PCOS as well as to help achieving successful pregnancy.
Ula Abed Alwahab, MD and Hillary Hart, RD. will meet with you in the PCOS shared medical appointment program monthly to follow your case and answer all your questions.
PCOS shared medical appointments are held every Friday at the Diabetes Center X-20 at 1 PM.
How do I get started?
Please call 216.444.3672 to schedule an appointment with our Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Program.
A Ketogenic Diet May Restore Fertility in Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Case Series. Ula Abed Alwahab, Kevin M. Pantalone, and Bartolome Burguera AACE Clinical Case Reports 2018 4:5, e427-e431