Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight should I expect to lose?

On average, patients can expect to lose 1 to 3 pounds per week throughout the course of the program. Accelerated weight loss may occur in the early weeks.

Do I need to be a Kaiser Permanente member to sign up for the program?

The Kaiser Permanente Medical Weight Management Program is open to everyone. You do not have to be a Kaiser Permanente member to come to our facilities and attend an orientation session. Whether you are a member or nonmember, you will receive the same level of high quality care.

Is the Medical Weight Management Program covered by my Health Plan benefits?

Frequently Asked QuestionsThese services are not covered by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. Kaiser Permanente does offer other programs to help support and facilitate weight loss. Click here to learn about some of the other resources available from Kaiser Permanente.

Do I need a referral from my primary care physician before attending the orientation session?

No. You may contact any one of our locations directly to learn more about upcoming orientation sessions. Click here to see a list of our locations. We have a weight loss clinic in Elk Grove, CA, as well as Oakland, Freemont, and other areas.

Are there physical benefits from losing weight besides looking and feeling better?

Yes. Research has shown that weight reduction can have a positive impact on managing hypertension, normalizing blood sugar levels, and lowering cholesterol for many people.

Is a full liquid fast medically safe?

When medically supervised, the use of a full liquid fast is safe and effective for weight loss. Click here to learn more about OPTIFAST® meal replacements.

Will I feel weak or fatigued while on the meal replacement program?

You should not feel weak or fatigued as a result of the meal replacements. The meal replacement program is designed to prevent caloric deprivation, provide complete nutrition, and stimulate your body to derive most of your caloric needs from your body's fat stores. This process eliminates hunger and fatigue.

Is rapid weight loss bad for my health?

Rapid weight loss using the full fast supplement in combination with medical supervision is safe and healthy. On the other hand, rapid weight loss produced by unsupplemented fasting or fasting with inferior products can cause your body to use lean muscle tissue as a source of fuel. This can jeopardize your health and make weight maintenance difficult. The products used in our program are formulated to protect lean muscle mass and to use fat stores as fuel, thereby eliminating these risks.

Are there negative side effects from using a full fast weight loss plan?

Most people who use OPTIFAST® experience no negative side effects at all. A small number of people experience minor and temporary hair-thinning during the Active Weight Loss phase. Like the temporary hair loss that often occurs during pregnancy, this is almost always reversible. Some people experience episodes of light-headedness. In some cases, the full fast can lead to an increase in uric acid levels. People with a history of gout are monitored carefully so that appropriate treatment can be initiated, if needed.

Does the Kaiser Permanente Medical Weight Management Program offer treatment using medications?

Weight loss medications are not part of the standard program. You will be evaluated individually before you enter the program. Your physician may make the proper referrals to receive further treatments if they are right for you.

May I declare any part of this program as a tax deduction?

Consult your tax adviser for details.

Once I lose my weight, what can I do to keep it off?

There are four crucial steps to successful weight maintenance. The stronger your commitment to each of these areas, the more likely you are to maintain your weight:

  • Participate in group meetings and follow through with recommendations made by program staff about addressing the reasons why you overeat
  • Stay active or regularly attend another structured support system after completing the Kaiser Permanente Medical Weight Management Program
  • Be aware of when and what you eat. This can be done most successfully by planning meals and snacks ahead of time or by keeping records of what and how much you eat
  • Maintain some form of regular physical activity. Physical activity doesn't just burn calories-it can also help you manage stress, which decreases the need to use food to relax

Some people find it easier to maintain their new weight if they use OPTIFAST® on an ongoing basis as either a meal replacement for one meal a day or as their morning or afternoon snack.

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