Weight Management Program

The UCSF Weight Management Program offers customized plans to help adult patients achieve and maintain weight loss. The plans may include weight loss techniques, dietary changes, exercise programs and behavior modifications, as well as support groups and educational lectures. Research has shown that combining a variety of weight loss and management techniques increases an individual's chance of long-term success. Our goal is to help you adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Established in 1985, our program is led by doctors who have more than 20 years of experience in managing weight loss, including for patients with complicated medical conditions. Our doctors collaborate as needed with other medical specialists at UCSF to design the most effective plan for each patient. Our team includes a registered dietitian and clinical psychologist with special training in weight management. We also have Spanish speakers available on staff.

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Weight Management Plans

We offer three weight management plans: The Step-by-Step Program, the Meal Replacement Program and the Individual Consultation Program. Each plan can be customized to fit individual needs.

Step-By-Step Program

This is a comprehensive, one-year weight loss program that emphasizes aerobic exercise, healthful food and cognitive behavioral therapy to promote long-term weight loss and management.

The program includes:

  • Regular meetings with doctors for medical supervision and education
  • Formal assessment and follow-up with a dietitian, including nutrition education, meal advice, and review and analysis of the patient's food diary
  • Thursday evening support group meetings, followed by a lecture series, which includes a written curriculum

Participants

This plan is designed for people who are:

  • Mildly to moderately obese
  • Committed to personal lifestyle changes for better health and weight loss
  • Able to attend weight management sessions for one year

Cost

The Step-By-Step Program fee is $1,250. Patients must pay $500 for the first three months and then $250 every three months for the remainder of the year. Additional fees are required for laboratory tests and other services. Insurance plans may cover some services.

Meal Replacement Program

This is a one-year, medically supervised, rapid weight loss program utilizing a very low calorie diet comprised of nutritionally complete, prepared foods. The program emphasizes regular aerobic exercise, healthy food and cognitive behavioral therapy for long-term weight loss and management.

The program includes:

  • Regular meetings with doctors, including an initial medical clearance to participate in the program
  • Formal assessment and follow-up with a dietitian, including review and analysis of the patient's food diary, information on the meal replacement diet, nutrition education and meal planning advice
  • Bars, shakes, soups and oatmeal as nutritionally complete meal replacements
  • Thursday evening support group meetings, followed by a lecture series, which includes a written curriculum

Participants

This plan is designed for people who meet the following criteria:

  • Moderately to severely obese
  • Have existing diseases associated with obesity, or are at risk of developing diseases due to excess weight
  • Are preparing for surgery, including bariatric surgery, organ transplant, joint replacement or other elective procedures
  • Able to commit to a very low calorie diet consisting of bars, shakes, soups and oatmeal for one year
  • Able to attend sessions on personal lifestyle changes for one year

Cost

The Meal Replacement Program fee is $1,250. Patients must pay $500 for the initial three months and then $250 every three months for the remainder of the year. Additional fees are required for laboratory tests and other services. Insurance plans may cover some services.

For prepared meal replacements (eaten instead of regular meals), there is an additional estimated fee of $300 per month.

Individual Consultation Program

We offer individual consultations and assessments of nutritional consumption, energy balance, lifestyle and psychological factors that influence health and weight. We tailor counseling as well as diet and activity plans to meet each person's goals and everyday realities.

The program includes:

Formal consultations in our clinic with the specialist of the patient's choice

Participants

This plan is designed for people who meet the following criteria:

  • Any weight profile, but a medical referral is required for treatment of serious obesity or medical problems
  • Able to commit to personal dietary and exercise changes
  • Able to attend sessions in the clinic

Cost

Costs for individual consultations depend on the specialist and the number of visits. Insurance plans may cover some services.

  • Dietitian sessions are $124 for the initial visit and $62 for follow-up visits.
  • Psychologist sessions are $52 for the initial assessment and $23 to $50 for follow-up visits, depending on the length of the visit and whether visits are for the individual or for the family.
  • Psychologist sessions for psychiatric clearance before a patient undergoes bariatric surgery are $180 per session, with a total of two or three sessions required.
  • Sessions with a doctor specializing in weight issues are $370 for the initial visit if the patient is new to UCSF internal medicine, $211 for the initial visit for an established UCSF internal medicine patient, and $111 for follow-up visits.
  • Additional fees are charged for laboratory tests and other services.

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