The Risk Factor Obesity Program has pioneered optimized individualized dietary programs coupled with behavior change and nutrition education. We have experience with both individuals who have low metabolism and a small amount of weight they wish to lose safely as well as experience in helping individuals who need to lose more than 100 lb. We are the doctor's program with an extensive internal referral base who trust us with their most complex patients. The centerpiece of the dietary program is matching your protein intake to the protein in your body. The scientific literature supports this approach for controlling hunger and giving you the best opportunity to build or maintain muscle through exercise in the long-term. You will have your muscle mass measured using equipment that has been in use at UCLA for the past 25 years. Our own research has demonstrated that this method can help determine how much protein you need in your diet, how quickly you will lose fat, and what your personalized target weight should be. We are the only program in Los Angeles with the extensive data base on thousands of patients to make this assessment.
Once we know that, you will have an electrocardiogram performed, since our intensive programs at levels of total calorie intake often below 1000 Calories per day require medical supervision, blood tests, and careful attention to balanced nutrition to optimize the loss of fat while retaining muscle mass including heart muscle. Our protein supplements are designed for use in the RFO program and enable us to meet the needs of individuals with very low or very high protein requirements. Diets can be either completely protein shakes with multivitamins and potassium or they can include shakes with one meal. Over the past twenty years, we have demonstrated that patients returning to our program up to three times lose weight at the same rate. So returning patients are always welcome. We recommend exercise as an integral part of the program. Exercise alone does not improve weight loss, but it is the best way to keep it off in the long run. In the first two weeks of your intensive personalized dietary program, you will be asked not to undertake new exercise or participate in extensive aerobic exertion. Once your body adjusts to the new diet regimen, you will be allowed to exercise.