Medical Weight Management Program

The Medical Weight Management Program is an evidenced-based, medically supervised approach to weight management. The goal of the program is to help you to make changes that will improve your health and quality of life.  We help you discover your best weight - the weight you can achieve and maintain while living the healthiest life that you can enjoy.

The program offers online learning and support combined with telephone and in-person medical appointments.  You will be in the program for one full year.  

The goal of the program is to help you:

  • Improve your health and quality of life by managing your weight;
  • Help you build knowledge, skills and new ways of thinking to help you change your health behaviours;
  • Work on realistic healthy eating and active living habits that you can maintain for the long term;
  • Help you develop strategies to manage lapses and get back on track when you need to; and
  • Receive support from the healthcare team and other patients who are managing their weight.

Active Phase

The first six months of the program is the Active Phase. This phase includes the use of a liquid meal replacement to support safe and effective weight loss.  To help you make lifelong changes, you will participate in virtual group sessions and complete online self-guided learning modules.  

Liquid Meal Replacement

The program uses a meal replacement to make it easier for you to reduce calorie intake while meeting your protein and nutrient needs. For the first 12 weeks, you will use a liquid meal replacement followed by a gradual shift to a healthy pattern of eating. The product you will use is called Optifast 900Ⓡ.   

Optifast 900Ⓡis a complete meal replacement: 

  • Provides 900 calories per day
  • Nutritionally completed 
  • Consists of 40% protein, 30% fat, 30% carbohydrate, including a source of fibre
  • Aspartame-free (uses Sucralose and Stevia as artificial sweeteners)
  • Lactose and gluten free

Although the meal replacement will help you lose weight, it is the lifestyle and behaviour changes that you make when you transition back to food that will be most important for long term success.  The program will help you establish changes that will help you manage your weight for life.

Maintenance Phase

The last six months of the program is the Maintenance Phase.  You will attend monthly virtual support group sessions led by a member of the health care team.  These sessions will provide you with ongoing support as you continue to work on lifestyle and behaviour changes.  Individual support is also available as needed.

Health Checks

You will have regular health check visits to discuss your health goals and review your progress.  The checks will also address any issues you may have while on meal replacement and adjust medications as needed.  At different times during the program you will be asked to complete blood work.

Most often, health checks are telephone or virtual appointments.  You will need to have a home blood pressure monitor and scale so that your blood pressure and weight can be reported.  Your health check will be every other week during your regular program day and time.  On occasion, you will be asked to come for an in-person appointment.  

Online Learning

The program consists of 26 weekly online learning modules.  Videos, workbooks, readings and other tools will be provided each week to help you make gradual, lasting changes to your lifestyle and behaviours to support long term weight management.

You will also participate in regularly scheduled virtual group sessions that will provide you the opportunity to connect with other participants in the program to discuss successes and challenges and review information from the learning modules.  These groups will be led by a member of the health care team. 

What are the Requirements?

Regular attendance at virtual group sessions and health checks is required.  During the Active Phase of the program, you will need to schedule a 1 to 3 hour block of time on your program day for 26 weeks. Virtual group sessions and health checks will be scheduled at a consistent time on your program day to help you plan ahead. 

During the Maintenance Phase, you will need to schedule time to attend the 1 hour virtual support group session offered once per month.   

Financial commitment: 

You will be responsible for the cost of the meal replacement product. The cost for a one week supply is $64.  The total program cost for 12 weeks of meal replacement followed by gradual transition to food is $928.  You will be provided with instructions for ordering online.  You will need to have a credit card for online ordering.  

Note: Meal replacement costs are not covered by most insurance companies.

Other financial considerations:

Costs to purchase a home blood pressure monitor and bathroom scale.  (These are required so that you can report your blood pressure and weight during your health checks.)
Time that you may need to schedule off work to attend virtual sessions, health checks and in-person appointments.
Costs associated with travel to in-person appointments, such as transportation and parking. 

Technology requirements:

You will need a reliable internet connection and a device such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone to participate in the virtual group sessions and access the learning modules.  You will also need an email address to receive weekly communications and instructions for joining virtual sessions.

When is the program offered?

The Medical Weight Management Program is offered on Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons.  Programs are scheduled four times per year.

Do I qualify for the Medical Weight Management Program?

The Ontario Bariatric Network (OBN) provides one time only funding to Ontarians who qualify to participate in the Medical Weight Management Program.  

You qualify for the Medical Weight Management Program if:

  • You are 18 years of age or older
  • You have a Body Mass Index (BMI) >35 or >30 with weight related health conditions
  • Your health conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea are managed
  • Your mental health is stable

 Do I need a referral?

Yes, you must be referred to the program by your family doctor, a specialist or a Nurse Practitioner (NP) through the Ontario Bariatric Network (OBN) website. Referrals can be made through the OBN, by completing an online referral form.

NOTE: Health care providers cannot refer directly to the Kingston Bariatric Centre of Excellence and patients cannot refer themselves.

When your referral is received you will be invited to attend a virtual orientation session to learn more about the program.  Once you make the decision to proceed with the program, you will meet with members of the healthcare team to determine your suitability and readiness for the program.