When is Medi-Cal the right choice for me instead of a regular diet?
Dr. Blumenthal discusses the Medi-Cal weight loss program and describes when he would recommend this program over a regular diet.
The Vein Center & Cosmed recently has taken over a very very successful and long-lasting diet program that was available at Barnes hospital for approximately 25 years. That diet is called a modified fast protein-sparing diet. It is for people who are grossly overweight. It is a diet that has a drastic decrease in caloric intake without the possible side effects, or the possible ramifications, of not having enough calories and thereby losing muscle mass, which a lot of low calorie diets will result in. If we lose enough muscle mass it can also effect the heart because the heart is muscle. So instead of losing weight, which is just fat, people would lose weight in their arms and their legs and other muscular areas because they're not getting enough protein in these low, low calories diets.
This protein-sparing, almost fasting diet - the Medi-Cal diet - that we now have at The Vein Center & Cosmed is a drastic reduction in caloric intake. Only approximately 500 calories a day. And if those rules are obeyed, people can lose 4-10 lbs a week. And usually these are people who absolutely need to lose multiple, multiple pounds. People who are considering bariatric surgery, which can be avoided, people who may need an operation for other things where losing weight would be mandatory beforehand, people who are diabetics, people who have high blood pressure, people who have joint problems, and they may be 50, 60, 75 lbs at least overweight.
This diet is very fast. It's relatively simple because you don't have to make any decisions about what you're going to eat. And it's been proven to work over the last 25 years and it's sort of getting a resurgence recently. And we have agreed to be one of the sponsors of that diet and to provide it here with physicians supervision. And we follow the patients through all aspects of this diet, which has multiple different levels. And we certainly keep contact with the patient's physician and their medications, and we let their family doctors know what's going on. How much weight they're losing and whether or not any of their medications need to be modified in any way.
So it's a difficult diet at the beginning because it is so drastic but once the first week is past people love the fact that they've lost 10 or 12 lbs and it becomes much easier. And believe it or not people don't get hungry on this diet. So we're happy to provide this particular diet program to people who really need it.