Weight Management Center

weight management center

Programs & Services

12% discount on weight loss programs in December
   

LEARN ABOUT MUSC WEIGHT MANAGEMENT CENTER PROGRAMS AND SERVICES:

  1. VIRTUAL PROGRAM ORIENTATION - Learn about us and our programs by going on a self-guided virtual tour through our programs and services.
  2. READ PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS - Click here if you'd rather just read about our programs (without taking the self-guided virtual tour).

We have a program to fit your weight management needs...WHETHER YOU'VE GOT A LITTLE OR A LOT TO LOSE!

Please note that we have clinics Downtown and in North Charleston! You can even have your appointments with us online in real-time using the simplest and most secure telemedicine technology, from either computer or smartphone.


And if you WANT RESULTS, 99.2% of our patients over the past 5 years have rated our programs as better than other weight loss programs they’ve done! (based on anonymously completed patient satisfaction surveys)


    
Welcome from Dr. Patrick O'Neil, Director
 

 

If after reviewing our programs, you would like to enroll, simply click the GREEN BUTTON below, you will then be able to access an enrollment packet for the program you'd like to join.

If, instead, you'd like to be scheduled for a free in-person program orientation, simply click REQUEST IN-PERSON ORIENTATION.

  
Our Most Popular Programs

  
Other Programs & Services

    


First Step

First Step is a 15-week lifestyle change program that offers weight loss assistance through individual weekly meetings with our Registered Dietitians, Exercise Physiologists, and Behavioral Specialists. It is appropriate for people of all weight ranges. The program will help you make changes in activity level, eating practices, and other behaviors related to weight control. We emphasize lifestyle change, which means we're going to help you make healthy changes that you can actually sustain long after you complete the program, thus enabling you to maintain a healthier weight for the rest of your life. First Step promotes a significant yet gradual and long-lasting weight loss.

Includes:

  • Individualized meal plans and exercise plans
  • Beginning and ending: lab tests, body composition measurements, body circumference measurements, and blood pressure measurements
  • Lifestyle change curriculum/manual
  • Calorie King® book
  • Fitbit Zip (wearable activity sensor)
  • Resistance bands demo classes (monthly)

To see real-world results, meet Vicky, one of our former First Step patients.

Program Cost: $785 (all inclusive)

Discounts:
  • $50 (pay-in-full)
  • $30 (MUSC and State employees/spouses/retirees)
  • $30 (Military personnel/spouses and Veterans/spouses)

Payment Option:
  • Enroll: $250
  • Wk 4: $200
  • Wk 9: $175
  • Wk 14: $160

Payroll Deduction Option (MUSC/MUHA/MUSCP employees/spouses only):
  • $62.92/month for 12 months (deducted from 12 or 24 paychecks, depending on how frequently you're paid)


Focus-15

The Focus program is a 15-week lifestyle change program; we also include 3 additional follow-up visits at the end of the initial program, to further assist you with managing your weight on your own. This program is designed to induce larger initial weight losses than traditional lifestyle change programs (e.g., First Step). The early part of the program provides a highly structured dietary intervention, which consists primarily of meal replacements (shakes and nutrition bars). The program also integrates the adoption of an active lifestyle through both an exercise program and active leisure. Gradually, as the program progresses, there is a shift towards a primarily food-based meal plan that leads to more moderate and sustainable weight loss. You attend weekly individual appointments that rotate among the clinical specialties (dietary, exercise, and behavioral). Our emphasis on lifestyle change means we help you learn to make healthy behavior changes that you can actually sustain long after you complete the program, thus enabling you to maintain a healthier weight for the rest of your life.

We also offer 23-week and 27-week versions of our Focus program, for those wanting to lose a little more (see below).

Diet:

  • Phase 1 (Weeks 1-8): For this first phase of the program, your diet consists of approximately 1040-1200 calories per day, derived primarily from nutrition bars and shakes; you consume 1 highly structured, food-based meal per day.
  • Phase 2 (Weeks 9-10): Following the initial 8 weeks of the program, you “step down” to a partial meal replacement-based plan with 2 highly structured, food-based meals per day.
  • Phase 3 (Weeks 11-15): At the end of 10 weeks, you meet with a registered dietitian who develops a nutritionally balanced diet designed to meet your individual long-term nutritional requirements. Note that each patient has the option of extending the duration of each phase of the program, pending approval by clinical staff.

Exercise: Exercise comes in many forms. The goal of this program is to help you explore a wide array of activities for a more active lifestyle. While regular exercise sessions (e.g. walking, cycling, or resistance training) are essential, other calorie-burning leisure activities can be extremely helpful (e.g. nature walks or flying a kite). Finally, daily lifestyle can also be adjusted to help burn more calories (e.g. taking the stairs or parking further away). The Focus program is specifically designed to help you become a more active person and to develop a lifestyle that can lead to long-term maintenance of weight loss.

Program includes:

  • 16 weekly individual consultations with registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, and behavioral specialists
  • 3 additional follow-up consultations with registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, or behavioral specialists (your choice); you decide the frequency of these consultations, although they are to be used at least once per month
  • Fitbit Zip (wearable activity tracker)
  • Calorie Book
  • Curriculum Book
  • Labs (i.e. blood tests) at beginning and end of program
  • Shakes and Bars for 10 weeks (as stipulated in dietary prescription)

To see real-world results, meet Gaye, Noah, Laurie, and Ernie, just a few of our former Focus patients

Program Costs (all inclusive):
  • Focus-15: $1450

Discounts:
  • $100 (pay-in-full)
  • $50 (MUSC and State employees/spouses/retirees)
  • $50 (Military personnel/spouses and Veterans/spouses)

Payment Option:
  • Enroll: $450
  • Wk 3: $400
  • Wk 7: $350
  • Wk 11: $250

Payroll Deduction Option (MUSC/MUHA/MUSCP employees/spouses only):
  • Focus-15: $116.66/month for 12 months (deducted from 12 or 24 paychecks, depending on how frequently you're paid)


Focus-23 & Focus-27

Focus-23 and Focus-27 are simply extended versions of our Focus-15 program (described above). These two variations of the Focus-15 program allow you to extend how long you follow the more structured, meal replacement-based phases of the program. Focus-23 and Focus-27 allow you to continue on a mostly meal replacement-based diet for longer than you would on the Focus-15 program. As with the Focus-15 program, these extended programs also integrate the adoption of an active lifestyle through both an exercise program and active leisure. Gradually, as the programs progress, there is a shift towards a primarily food-based meal plan that leads to more moderate and sustainable weight loss. Patients attend weekly individual appointments that rotate among the clinical specialties (dietary, exercise, and behavioral).

Diet:

  • Phase 1 (Focus-23: Weeks 1-16; Focus-27: Weeks 1-20): For this first phase of the program, your diet consists of approximately 1040-1200 calories per day, derived primarily from nutrition bars and shakes; you also consume 1 highly structured, food-based meal per day.
  • Phase 2 (Focus-23: Weeks 17-18; Focus-27: Weeks 21-22): Following the initial phase of the program, you “step down” to a partial meal replacement-based plan with 2 highly structured, food-based meals per day.
  • Phase 3 (Focus-23: Weeks 19-23; Focus-27: Weeks 23-27): At the end of 18 or 22 weeks, you meet with a registered dietitian who develops a nutritionally balanced diet designed to meet your individual long-term nutritional requirements. Note that you have the option of extending the duration of each phase of the program, pending approval by clinical staff.

Program includes:

  • 24 or 28 (depending on program) weekly individual consultations with registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, and behavioral specialists
  • 3 additional follow-up consultations with registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, or behavioral specialists (your choice); you decide the frequency of these visits, although they are to be used at least once per month
  • Fitbit Zip (wearable activity tracker)
  • Calorie Book
  • Curriculum Book
  • Labs (i.e. blood tests) at beginning and end of program (and midway, when clinically appropriate)
  • Shakes and Bars for 18 weeks (Focus-23) or 22 weeks (Focus-27), as stipulated in dietary prescription

Program Costs (all inclusive):
  • Focus-23: $2050
  • Focus-27: $2450

Discounts:
  • $100 (pay-in-full)
  • $30 (MUSC and State employees/spouses/retirees)
  • $30 (Military personnel/spouses and Veterans/spouses)

Payment Option:
  • Enroll: $450
  • Wk 3: $400
  • Wk 7: $400
  • Wk 11: $400
  • Wk 15: $400
  • Wk 19: $400 (Focus-27 only)

Payroll Deduction Option (MUSC/MUHA/MUSCP employees/spouses only):
  • Focus-23: $166.66/month for 12 months (deducted from 12 or 24 paychecks, depending on how frequently you're paid)
  • Focus-27: $200.00/month for 12 months (deducted from 12 or 24 paychecks, depending on how frequently you're paid)


HealthFast

This 30-week program, designed for people who need to lose more than 50 pounds, combines medically supervised supplemented fasting with instructions in lifestyle change techniques to help you make the lifestyle changes necessary to maintain a healthier weight. The program has two phases: a highly structured supplemented fast, which is followed by a period of transition back onto food and learning to maintain a healthy food-based diet. During the initial stages of the program, participants consume approximately 800 calories per day, consisting primarily of nutrition shakes and bars. HealthFast offers a more rapid, but safe rate of weight loss for people with more weight to lose.

Includes:

  • Initial screening: Includes medical history and physical, laboratory studies, EKG, and screening interview
  • Individualized meal plans and exercise plans
  • Fasting phase: Includes weekly classes, physician vital sign assessments, routine laboratory studies, and repeat EKG
  • Mainstream phase: Includes weekly classes and vital sign assessments, routine laboratory studies, routine registered dietitian consultations, final laboratory studies, and final physician visit
  • Also included are: Pre and post treatment body composition assessments, exercise assessments and prescriptions, and up to three individual behavioral consultations
  • Calorie King® book
  • Fitbit Zip (wearable activity sensor)
  • Resistance bands demo classes (monthly)

To see real-world results, meet Charlotte, one of our former HealthFast patients

Program Costs:
  • $2435 (includes everything except meal replacements)
  • $75-$110 per week for first 12 weeks (this cost is more than offset by money you'll not be spending at grocery store/restaurants)

Discounts:
  • $200 (pay-in-full)
  • $100 (MUSC and State employees/spouses/retirees)
  • $100 (Military personnel/spouses and Veterans/spouses)

Payment Option:
  • Enroll: $625
  • Wk 4: $500
  • Wk 9: $450
  • Wk 14: $430
  • Wk 19: $430

Payroll Deduction Option (MUSC/MUHA/MUSCP employees/spouses only):
  • $194.58/month for 12 months (deducted from 12 or 24 paychecks, depending on how frequently you're paid)


Lunchtime Losers

Lunchtime Losers is a 10-wk lifestyle change program that, for your convenience, takes place over your lunch break (typically 12:00-1:00). Lunchtime Losers is intended to teach you how to make healthy behavior changes that will promote healthy eating, healthy exercise, and weight loss... and ultimately, improved health. You meet weekly in a class format (for 45-60 mins/week) with one or more of the following professionals: a registered dietitian, psychologist, or exercise physiologist. Each participant is provided with tailored dietary guidance/instruction, help in developing appropriate exercise goals, and behavioral information on how to facilitate long-term healthy behavior change. Classes are highly interactive, including group discussion and demonstration.

Email us to find out more or to learn when our next Lunchtime Losers program will start.

Read about real-world results of our Lunchtime Losers program.

 

Program Cost: $98 (yes, that's it!)

Payment Option:
  • Enroll: $50
  • Class 4: $48

Payroll Deduction Option (MUSC/MUHA/MUSCP employees/spouses only):
  • $32.66/month for 3 months (deducted from 3 or 6 paychecks, depending on how frequently you're paid)


Individual Weight Management

The Individual Weight Management program is a highly customizable program that combines several services that will give you a good start on developing a healthy lifestyle approach to weight loss. The program consists of 3 appointments:

  1. Dietary planning session with a Registered Dietitian (includes customized meal plan)
  2. Exercise planning session with an Exercise Physiologist (includes customized exercise plan)
  3. Appointment of your choice; choose to meet with a Registered Dietitian, an Exercise Physiologist, or a Behavioral Specialist

If that's all you needed, then 3 visits and you're on your way. However, if you wanted to add additional sessions, you could do so, either one at a time ($45) or in sets of three ($110). Build your own program... as long as you want or as short as 3 sessions. The only downside is that there is not as much accountability in this program compared to our longer, more intensive programs; this would most likely not be a good program if you believe you need more rather than less accountability.

Program Cost: $150

Payroll Deduction Option (MUSC/MUHA/MUSCP employees/spouses only):
  • $50.00/month for 3 months (deducted from 3 or 6 paychecks, depending on how frequently you're paid)


PREOP

Patient Readiness and Education for Obesity surgery Program (PREOP) is a 3- or 6-month program designed to educate and prepare patients who are considering weight loss surgery. This comprehensive program is physician-monitored and includes regular dietary, exercise, and psychological instruction and support. Additionally, most insurance companies require that patients have participated in a physician-monitored weight loss program within the recent past. PREOP is designed to comprehensively prepare people to optimally succeed with weight loss surgery, and it also meets the above insurance requirement for most medical insurance companies.
 

 

Program Cost: $750 (all inclusive)

Payment Option:
  • Enroll: $500
  • Visit 5: $250

Payroll Deduction Option (MUSC/MUHA/MUSCP employees/spouses only):
  • Payments deducted over 3 or 6 months (depending on duration of program)


Individual Services

In addition to our weight management package programs, we also offer individual services, so that patients may customize their weight management programs, and choose the specific services to suit their preferences.  Available options include:

Nutrition Consultation:
A registered dietitian is available to meet on an individual basis for weight management, low-fat, low-cholesterol diets, low-sodium diets, diabetes meal planning and other nutrition-related concerns.

Medication Management:
Weight Management Center physicians can evaluate you for the latest FDA approved weight control medication and oversee your treatment.

Exercise Consultation:
Attend individual meetings with an exercise physiologist to develop or alter exercise routines. Also, patients of the Weight Management Center may access the Medical University Wellness Center (with membership fees).

Behavioral Instruction:
On an individual basis we can help you adopt necessary behavioral and cognitive changes and target problem areas that may impact your ability to lose weight and maintain weight loss.

Body Composition (percent body fat) Assessment:
Bioelectrical impedance is used to determine total body fat percentage and to make recommendations for improvement.

MedGem Assessment: 
We measure your oxygen consumption to determine how many calories you can consume at rest to maintain current weight.


Research Programs

The Weight Management Center frequently participates in trials of medications being studied as possible weight loss aids.

 Current research studies

To receive information on these trials when they are announced, e-mail wmc@musc.edu or phone 843-792-2273 to be placed on our mailing list.

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