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Medical Nutrition Therapy

A national leader in the field, the BMC Nutrition and Weight Management staff is dedicated to promoting healthy weight through medical nutrition therapy (MNT). MNT manages a variety of diseases by combining nutrition diagnostic, therapy, and counseling services. It goes beyond basic nutrition education. This holistic care model helps patients reach their goals through customized eating plansbehavioral support, and exercise. Click on each component to learn more. 

Most patients will start by taking a group class taught by a Registered Dietitian (RD). The class will provide general nutrition information, so that patients can begin making lifestyle changes. Following the class, patients will meet one-on-one with a dietitian to assess immediate and long-term nutrition needs and create an individualized plan.

The RD considers medical issues and personal lifestyle choices when developing the customized plans. All nutrition sessions teach patients to make healthier choices regarding foods, portion sizes, and meal preparation. Ideal weight loss for any diet plan is 1-2 pounds per week. This allows the patient to maintain weight loss over time. Follow-up appointments will be scheduled to evaluate progress, provide support and additional counseling, or to modify the nutrition plan.

Free New Patient Orientation Program

For most weight management patients, the first appointment will be a group class taught by one of the Registered Dietitians. The class will provide initial diet information so that patients can begin making lifestyle changes. Following the class, patients will meet with a dietitian individually to assess immediate and long-term nutrition needs and create an individualized plan. This plan will take into account any potential medical issues, as well as personal lifestyle choices. Subsequent appointments will be scheduled as needed to assess progress, provide support and additional counseling, or to modify the plan. To make an appointment, please call 617.638.7470.

Customized Eating Plans

Calorie intake is broken down by food type. This diet plan allows for 50% of calories from carbohydrates, 30% from fat, and 20% from protein. The dietitian determines the appropriate caloric intake for weight loss, and then educates the patient on how to achieve this goal. The patient will be given written materials to reinforce the counseling session with the dietitian. Typical weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week.

This plan emphasizes increased protein, lower intake of starchy carbohydrates, and less added fats. Fruit and vegetable intake is liberal. The amount of weight loss depends on the patient’s daily calorie intake and physical activity level. Weight loss may range from 1-4 pounds per week.

Ranked #1 overall diet by US News, the DASH diet seeks to prevent and lower high blood pressure (hypertension). DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet is low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, and rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, protein, and fiber. BMC takes this one step further, by designing a DASH program to improve both eating and exercise habits. Individuals choosing this program will have six months of free access to http://www.dashforhealth.com/ which will provide information about food, meal preparation, eating out, getting fit, and losing weight. The website also allows patients to track progress in areas such as weight, blood pressure, and exercise. Typical weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week.

This is a short-term approach that limits food choices and portion sizes. The PSMF diet consists mostly of protein (such as poultry, fish, and lean beef). Carbohydrates (breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruit, and most vegetables) are eliminated to result in faster weight loss.

Ranked #1 by US News for Best Fast Weight Loss Diets, this diet provides 800-1400 calories per day. Each day, patients eat 1-2 small meals, drink 3 shakes and 2 quarts of water (or other fluids that do not have calories), and take 1 HMR vitamin. HMR Benefit Bars are available as snacks, and HMR Meals are available for meal replacement. This diet leads to steady, predictable weight loss.

Meals on this diet are in the form of soup or chocolate and vanilla frappe-like drinks. Patient typically drink 5 shakes per day. This diet eliminates food choices completely. For some patients, this diet is easier because there are no food choices to make. The liquid diet is a complete, nutritionally sound meal plan. The patient will transition back to whole foods over a prescribed period of time. Please note: Insurance will not cover the cost of the shakes.

In some cases the dietitian or physicians at BMC will recommend a nutrition plan in combination with a medication. The Nutrition and Weight Management staff only prescribes medications that are FDA-approved. These medications can help reduce appetite or block fat absorption. They MUST be combined with one of the above eating plans or they will not be effective. Under the physician’s care, the patient will eventually stop the medication, as the FDA has not approved any weight loss medications for indefinite use. 

To learn more about Individual and Group Behavioral Therapy and how we promote exercise, please refer to our weight management page

Considering weight loss surgery? Please visit the Weight Loss Surgery website or call 617.414.8052.

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