Kaiser Permanente — a managed-care consortium — offers a medically supervised weight-loss plan to help you reach and maintain your long-term weight goals. The program is for people who need to lose at least 40 pounds and want to make lasting lifestyle changes to maintain a healthy weight. You can expect to eat low-calorie meal replacements, go to weekly group sessions and learn behavioral skills designed to help you develop healthy habits.
On the Kaiser weight-loss plan, you’ll substitute all of your usual meals with Optifast shakes and other meal-replacement products. A program provider will supervise you, aiming to make sure you lose weight safely and effectively. Periodic checkups and lab tests are conducted to monitor your progress and health. Weekly group sessions are typically offered in the evening, and they are where you’ll learn the skills you need to help manage and maintain a healthier weight.
The Kaiser program is divided into three phases, which is typical of a medical weight loss plan. The phases are active weight loss, transition and early maintenance and, finally, long-term maintenance. During phase one, which lasts 16 weeks, all of your meals are replaced with program meals. During the 14-week phase two, you’ll learn how to gradually add meals back into your diet that you prepare yourself. The final phase lasts 52 weeks, during which you will receive support to maintain your new weight.
What You’ll Eat
On the Kaiser plan, you’ll pick meals from the Optifast 800 product line and can expect to consume a total of 960 calories per day during the active phase of the diet. The Optifast 800 plan provides six low-calorie meals per day in the form of ready-to-drink shakes, shake powders, soups and nutrition bars. Kaiser utilizes meal replacements to promote weight loss and to limit the variety of foods so that you can avoid cravings. The Optifast meal replacements provide 100 percent of the recommended intake for vitamins and minerals.
During the active phase of the program, it’s typical to lose 1 to 3 pounds per week. You are ineligible for the plan if you have certain conditions, including type-1 diabetes, advanced liver failure or moderate to advanced kidney failure. The Kaiser weight-loss program is not covered under the Kaiser Health Plan, making it an out-of-pocket expense.