Our Programs

The Yale Weight Loss Program provides effective therapies under the medical supervision of our obesity experts so we can maximize benefits that you will realize quickly. You can choose from the full range of tested interventions:

Lifestyle changes : Intensive nutrition counseling goes hand in hand with medical management of your metabolic health. Your care will include a personal visit with a registered dietitian with advanced training in weight management. Your one-hour individual nutrition assessment will cover the following:

  • Medical history 
  • Assessment of current eating and exercise habits 
  • Weight and dieting history 
  • Personalized weight and fitness goal setting 
  • Exploring the challenges that hinder weight loss 
  • How to solve issues and setbacks in lifestyle change

OPTIFAST® program: OPTIFAST® is a medically monitored weight management program that allows you, under the supervision of a physician, to consume a low calorie diet and receive comprehensive lifestyle education.

The OPTIFAST program provides full meal replacement for 12 weeks and transitions to self-prepared “everyday” meals in conjunction with comprehensive patient education and support, to help patients achieve long-term weight loss.

The OPTIFAST program has been proven in clinical studies to help overweight and obese people lose weight. The typical OPTIFAST patient loses between 30 and 60 pounds in 18 to 24 weeks, and experiences a healthy decrease in blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Additionally, about half of the people assessed five years kept enough weight off to improve their health long term.

Medications: A number of medications have been used for many years to help people with weight loss. All of these medications are used as part of a comprehensive program that includes proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

  • Belviq®  is taken twice daily and can produce weight loss in the 5 to 10 percent range after about six months of use. Its main effect is to decrease appetite, so you will feel satisfied with smaller meals and be less likely to snack in between meals. We will recommend stopping Belviq if you have not lost 5 percent of your original weight at three months. This drug is not ideal if you are taking an antidepressant, have significant heart disease or are planning to conceive.
  • Contrave® is a single pill that contains two medications (naltrexone and bupropion) and is taken twice a day. It will reduce your appetite and can produce weight loss in the 5 to 10 percent range. This drug is not ideal if you have had seizures, are taking opioid pain medications or are planning to conceive.
  • Phentermine is taken once in the morning, and is prescribed for a few weeks. It causes appetite suppression and weight loss and is contingent on the dose. This drug is not ideal if you have thyroid problems, anxiety or glaucoma, or are planning to conceive.
  • Qysmia® is a single pill that contains two medications (phentermine and topiramate), and is taken once a day in the morning. It will reduce your appetite and can produce weight loss in the 10 to 15 percent range. This drug is not ideal if you have thyroid problems or glaucoma, or are planning to conceive.
  • Xenical® reduces absorption of fat and is taken three times a day around meal times. The drug is not absorbed, but side effects of intestinal bloating and diarrhea are frequent. This drug is not ideal if you have intestinal or liver diseases, or are planning to conceive.

Individual counseling: In addition to the medical management of weight loss, improved health and wellbeing, our program can offer you the following support through individual counseling, which includes:

  • Mental health assessment to identify eating disorders that interfere with your efforts to manage your weight, refer you to specialized treatment if needed, connect with your mental health provider (if you have one) to coordinate your care and help remove obstacles to weight management
  • Motivational interviewing and motivational enhancement to uncover your actual motivation for sustained weight loss and improved health and to support and reinforce your other choices to produce optimal results
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction (individual and group) to teach you proven stress management skills, explore and reduce the tendency to manage stress by eating, develop eating awareness and enjoyment for healthy living and to provide instruction in proven cognitive behavioral strategies for health and weight management

Group sessions: Attend monthly weight management classes that will teach you about good nutrition and give you the information you need to make lifestyle changes that will help you lose weight. Your care will be personalized by offering extra tools and resources to help you learn, make healthy changes and set goals.

Class topics covered may include:

  • Mindful eating and meal planning 
  • Understanding food labels and grocery shopping with lifestyle goals in mind 
  • How to track food intake and monitor portion sizes 
  • Understanding fats, proteins, and carbohydrates and their impact on your waistline

Endoscopic interventions: Endoscopy is the use of instruments to examine the food pipe and stomach. It is usually a 20- to 30-minute outpatient procedure and that does not involve incisions. Many interventions that previously required regular surgery can now be done endoscopically.

  • Managing weight gain after bariatric surgery: Some of the beneficial effects of bariatric surgery can be lost, in some cases due to stretching of the stomach pouch. If you have regained weight after gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy surgery, there are now non-surgical options to get you back on track with your weight loss journey. A new endoscopic approach can remedy this problem by placing new sutures to once again reduce the size of the stomach. This is known as transoral outlet reduction.
  • A number of other endoscopic strategies such as gastric balloons to induce early satiety are under consideration by the Food and Drug Administration, but have not been approved yet.