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9 Reasons Mercy's OPTIFAST Is Different From Other Weight-loss Programs

Feb 14, 2014

9 Reasons Mercy's OPTIFAST Is Different From Other Weight-loss Programs

Posted by Kathy Wise on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 - 10:44 AM in Diet & Nutrition


Trying to evaluate the many weight-loss products and programs that are available in today's marketplace can be absolutely overwhelming. Meal replacement bars and shakes are available in the grocery store, at your pharmacy, at gas stations and convenience stores, online and elsewhere; however, many of them aren't even formulated to promote weight loss. In fact, some can sabotage your efforts while emptying your wallet.

Plus, buying meal replacements can leave you empty in another significant way:

You attempt to lose weight on your own without ever learning to change the behaviors that led to your weight gain in the first place. This approach often results in rebound weight gain, not to mention frustration and discouragement.

If your weight-loss experience has been similar, then I'd like to share nine reasons why Mercy Weight Management and our OPTIFAST® program can help you break this cycle.

#1: Mercy Weight Management and OPTIFAST offer a plan that promotes permanent weight loss.

When you join Mercy Weight Management, you get more than just meal replacement products. You will have the support, encouragement and accountability of qualified, experienced medical and weight-loss professionals, as well as other program participants.

Mercy Weight Management and OPTIFAST include three essential components:

  1. Lifestyle education
  2. Medical monitoring
  3. Calorie-controlled meal replacement plan
  4. A weight-maintenance program that available indefinitely

#2: We don't take a cookie-cutter approach to weight loss.

At Mercy Weight Management, we don’t have just one cookie-cutter, weight-loss meal plan. Everyone's situation and needs are unique. Therefore, our dietitians work with you to develop a customized weight-loss plan that will suit your lifestyle and food preferences. That often includes OPTIFAST meal replacement products, but sometimes it does not.

Also, if we discover that our recommendations are not working for you, we will make changes. In our experience, people love that flexibility, as well as the weekly pep talks and suggestions from our dietitians.

#3: Participants Tell Us They LOVE the Taste of OPTIFAST!

I've been a registered dietitian, certified personal trainer and licensed wellness coach for many years, and I've seen many weight-loss fads come and go. OPTIFAST was the original very-low-calorie diet (VLCD) plan that combined medical monitoring and behavior modification. The program was developed in 1974 by Mt. Sinai Hospital physicians in Cleveland who discovered people could lose weight quickly with meal replacement supplements but needed behavior modification to keep weight off permanently.

One of the biggest benefits to OPTIFAST meal replacement shakes, bars and soups is that they are nutritionally complete. There is no protein or vitamin after-taste. People frequently say they love the OPTIFAST supplements and don’t miss regular food that much. Loving the product is half the battle! It makes it that much easier to continue the weight-loss commitment. Plus, you get calorie control without the guesswork.

#4: We take a multidisciplinary approach.

We treat the disease of obesity with a focus on permanent lifestyle change.

#5: Our staff is made up of medical specialists.

Our medical team is experienced in treating obesity and includes a physician, physician assistants, registered dietitians and exercise physiologists. The OPTIFAST Clinic at Mercy is always upbeat and friendly. Patients also say that our staff makes their weekly clinic time fun and the support and encouragement we provide is very beneficial. Everyone struggles at some point but even a bad week turns into encouragement to do better the next week thanks to the support provided by our dietitians.

#6: We stress safe weight loss.

We can help you lose weight safely, even if you have multiple chronic health conditions.

#7: We can work with your doctor.

We will collaborate with your primary care physician or specialist to ensure continuity of care.

#8: You get plugged into support groups.

You can share your weight-loss journey with others in the OPTIFAST program and receive weekly encouragement and motivation.

#9: You'll receive a FREE six-week membership at Mercy Health & Fitness Center.

Fitness professionals at Mercy's medically based fitness center specialize  in helping non-traditional exercisers develop customized workouts.


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If you live in Canton, Stark County or surrounding areas and are ready to lose weight and improve your health, contact Mercy Weight Management online or call 330-588-4854.

Diet & Nutrition

About Kathy Wise

Author Avatar

Kathy G. Wise is a licensed registered dietitian, certified personal trainer and licensed wellness coach with extensive experience in creating nutrition, health and wellness programs for hospitals, corporations and individuals. Kathy is a spokesperson for the American Heart Association and has served on many local boards. She has over 20 years experience working with OPTIFAST® and other medical weight management programs. Wise received her coach training through Wellcoaches Corporation in 2005. As a coach, she has help hundreds of people identify their priorities, get the roadblocks out of the way, develop a personal wellness vision, and a plan to achieve realistic goals.


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