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Models to Choose from

There are many ways to make weight management work in your practice. We call these models.

Elements in a Model

Before getting into which models are available to choose from, consider first some elements that go into a model.

Ways to work with patients:

  • Individual visits
  • Group educational program
  • Identify, endorse and refer/coordinate with another program or resource

Who — What role(s)/person(s) do you want to be a part of implementing the weight management program:

Let's get cooking!
  • Physician (MD/DO)
  • NP/PA
  • Registered dietitian or other diet specialists
  • Behavioral health provider (like a psychologist or social worker)
  • Health coach or other
  • Nurse or Medical Assistant
  • Program Coordinator

How to get it going/organized:

  • Using a licensed program or purchased program or curriculum
  • Developing your own program
  • Borrowing from another practice

What – the specific treatment approach(es) to take:

  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Specific diet - Protein rich, DASH, Mediterranean, etc.
  • Meal replacement
  • Medications
  • Referral/coordinated work with behavioral health
  • Referral to bariatric surgery
  • Combinations based on what patients need

To what extent - How much of your practice to make weight management:

  • Blend in a little for your existing patients who really need/want it
  • Partial primary care clinic and partial weight management (i.e., regular primary care with weight management focus area for a specified portion of time)
  • Weight management clinic only

Other - Innovative ideas if you are so inclined

  • Small gym/personal trainers
  • Other classes
  • Apps and educational materials and other resources

General Questions about Picking a Model

It’s a non-judgmental atmosphere, and that’s really important in people who struggle with weight. We [have] a lot of patients who basically are not treated very well by their providers or their ancillary staff because of their weight. And I think a lot of clinicians have kind of a nihilistic attitude towards weight management, so we don’t have that. We’ve seen a lot of people make a lot of improvements.


It’s all-encompassing, and it works. This is not just theory. We do this on a daily basis, and it makes a difference in people’s lives.

PhD. food scientist

The reason that you do it is for the benefit of the patients. So, that needs to be the first thing. The second thing is you have to meet patients where they are. You can’t ask people to give up more than they’re ready for because all they do then is get a bad image of you, and they’re not going to be successful, and their feelings are hurt. I tell patients, don’t give up. I will never give up on a patient.

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

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