Q: What diet plans do you offer?
A: We offer many different diet options, and will customize a program for you. Our diet plans range from Very Low Calorie (VLCD) and Low Calorie (LCD) ketogenic* diets using meal replacements, to combinations of meal replacements and food, to all-food high protein, low calorie plans.
*A ketogenic diet is a type of diet with very low carbohydrate content. Various ketogenic diets offer various amounts of fat and proteins. Low carbohydrate content forces the body to use fat as its primary energy source, creating small chemicals called ketones. Ketones are used by the brain just like sugar. People tend to be less hungry on a ketogenic, high protein diet. This theoretically increases compliance with the diet.

Q: What is expected from me?
A: Medical Weight Management is a very involved program. The first step in addressing a problem is to identify and admit to it. Obesity is a disease that can cause many more diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol or triglycerides, sleep apnea, joint problems, urinary incontinence, infertility, cardiac and vascular diseases, and more.

When you are ready to begin the journey, we are here to jumpstart your success. We will need your full participation and engagement; it does not happen without you!
  •  Reviewing this website is a great place to start! When you are ready, call our office at 207.275.4440 and we will send you an information package. Please read it carefully and write down questions to ask in your office visit. The information part of the package is for you to keep.
  • Please fill out the questionnaire sent in the package. It will provide us with your full and detailed health history. It is important to provide all the requested information.
  • Provide as many personal reasons for your interest in weight loss as possible. The more personal your reasons are, the more they indicate your realization of the problem and your commitment to its treatment. For instance, a personal reason for your weight loss may be concerns about your type 2 diabetes or your knee pain. “Health” is a generalized term that does not tell us if you really know what aspects of your health are being affected by the weight.
  • You will be educated about food items and you will need to keep track of what you eat and drink. You are expected to bring your detailed food diary to every visit.
  • As we progress, you will be expected to start some kind of physical activity that you can safely tolerate. This is very individualized and will vary by fitness level. It may include physical therapy for some, or much more intense, regular exercises for others. This will be discussed in your visits and appropriate exercise will be planned and personalized for you.
  • You will be referred to classes run by our experienced psychologists, who will guide you in behavioral skills needed for long term success.
  • A positive attitude is essential.
  • Full compliance with the following is essential: food quality, quantity, and meal plan structure, good hydration, activity, vitamins, checking blood sugar and blood pressure when indicated, keeping a detailed food diary, not missing any visits, and making adjustments to medications as advised in each visit.

Q: This program sounds like others I’ve tried (i.e. Jenny Craig®, NutriSystem®, Weight Watchers®, etc.). How is your program different?
A: The biggest difference between other programs and our program at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is that you will be medically supervised every step of the way by a medical bariatrician (a specialist in overweight, obesity, and related conditions). This is not a group program. One size does not fit all.
Moreover, we offer comprehensive services and the advantages of a multidisciplinary weight loss team, including education in every visit, bariatric nurses and medical assistants, dieticians for long term follow up, psychologists and physical therapists if and when you need them, and bariatric surgery for qualified patients.
We get to know you, your medical conditions, your lifestyle, and your individual needs. Our goal is help you lose weight and keep it off.

Q: What are meal replacements and why do I have to take these nutritional products for certain diet plans?
A: Aside from surgery, meal replacements have shown to be the most successful medical approach for weight loss in numerous studies. Meal replacements control portion size, provide structure, and replace poorer nutrition with better nutrition. People usually lose twice as much weight using meal replacements, and are more successful in maintenance.
Appropriate meal replacement products:
  • Preserve your lean body mass (muscle).
  • Help control your hunger and produce a greater feeling of fullness.
  • Help keep your “fat burning” metabolic rate at a pre-dieting level, increasing the amount of your weight loss by 10%.
  • Reduce your fatigue.

Q: How long does the program last?
A: This depends on how much weight you want to lose, and which diet plan you choose. Patients on average lose 2-3 pounds per week; some can lose 3-5 pounds per week with the more aggressive approaches such as a very low calorie, high protein diet.
The amount of weight loss depends on many factors:
  • Men usually lose weight faster than women do.
  • The younger you are, the easier it is to shed the pounds.
  • The more active you can be, the faster you lose.
  • The heavier you are the more you lose. The lighter you get, as the weight loss progresses, the slower the future weight loss. Increasing exercise helps you fight back and continue to lose weight.
 After you have accomplished your weight loss goal, our maintenance program will help you maintain your weight loss and continue with healthy lifestyle changes.
If you are entering the program to lose weight in preparation for surgery, you can proceed with your surgery when you achieve the safe goal weight.

Q: How much does it cost?
A: The cost depends on what diet plan you choose, the amount of weight you want to lose, and the amount of time you will be in the program. Specific costs will be discussed during your first visit, after we develop an understanding of your unique situation.
Many patients actually save money using meal replacements, and spend less on the nutrition products than what they would be spending on fast food and vending machine products! As your health improves you will need fewer medications for obesity-related problems, which will save you more money.
Overall, our program will:
  • Reduce your food budget and medication costs.
  • Improve your health.
  • Renew and build your self-confidence.
Q: Does insurance cover the cost of the program?
A: Most people have weight-related medical conditions (metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, reflux, etc). Since weight reduction and management treats many of these conditions, by using these diagnoses, your office visits will most likely be covered by your medical insurance.
If you are using a diet plan with meal replacements, the nutritional products are not typically covered. As mentioned above, these products are affordable (currently less than $2 per product), especially when you compare them to the significant reduction in your health risks.

Q: How do I get started?
A: Call our office at (207) 275-4440 and ask for the Northern Light Medical Weight Management Information Packet. After we receive your detailed history and lab results, please allow 3-4 weeks for your chart to be reviewed. We will get back to you with next steps. Depending on your history and the lab results you may need further studies before we can decide if you qualify for a very strict diet.

If you qualify for one of our variety of programs, we will call you and schedule your first appointment. 
We will design a customized program for you. Within a few weeks you could be losing weight, feeling better, and reaping the health benefits.