Medical Weight Management Program

Find your care

Our specialists help you prevent and manage health conditions and meet your goals with individualized, expert nutritional care. For help finding clinical nutrition care, call 310-825-7921. To reach the Medical Weight Management Program, please call 310-825-8173.

Oonagh Sankar

Oonagh Sankar, a nurse at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center joined the UCLA Medical Weight Management Clinic (formerly RFO) to lose weight and improve her health. Check out more of our Patient Stories.

Hours of operation

We are open Wednesdays from 8 am to 5:30 pm and Saturdays from 7 am to 12:30 pm. We are closed on all major holidays.

Video visits and telephone visits are available based on the discretion of the physician.


UCLA Rehabilitation Building

1000 Veteran Ave., Suite A641 Los Angeles, CA 90095

Click here for map and directions.

Contact us to schedule an appointment

(310) 825-8173 Phone
Email: [email protected]

State-of-the-art medical weight loss clinics

The UCLA Medical Weight Management Program, previously known as the Risk Factor Obesity Clinic (RFO), has been UCLA's distinguished weight loss clinic for more than 45 years. The Weight Management Program was one of the first university programs to research very low-calorie diets (VLCDs) in the treatment of obesity. It started under the leadership David Heber, MD, PhD and Morton H. Maxwell, MD, and has continued to grow since then.

Our program features a multidisciplinary team of experienced physicians, nurse practitioners, registered dietitians, clinical psychologists and therapists who are passionate about weight management. We utilize a combination of dietary, physical activity and behavioral lifestyle changes, which are individually tailored to fit each individual’s weight loss goals.  The UCLA Medical Weight Management Program was described by the US News and World Report as "one of the most thorough weight management programs in the country."

What makes our medical weight loss program different?

Many weight loss and weight management programs focus on the simplistic view of “calories in and calories out,” but we understand that there is much more to weight loss. Weight is affected by genetic, metabolic, psychosocial, environmental and behavioral factors, among others. Therefore, we approach each patient as an individual, and try to best understand each person’s unique medical, social and environmental history when developing a comprehensive weight loss plan.

Due to the high rate of weight regain, we understand that weight loss maintenance is equally as important as weight loss. Therefore, we also offer a long-term medical weight maintenance program to continue to provide support to our patients.

See our Patient Stories to learn how our program has worked for people like you.

Our approach to personalized weight loss

The UCLA Medical Weight Management Program offers individualized nutrition therapy for weight loss. The centerpiece of our dietary program is to match each patient’s protein intake to the individualized protein their body needs. The scientific literature supports this approach to control hunger and give patients the best opportunity to lose weight without losing muscle.

At the initial visit, all patients undergo a comprehensive assessment. We collect the following information in order to develop personalized weight loss programs:

  • Initial measurements: Weight, vital signs, body composition (measuring lean muscle and body fat via bioimpedence analysis)
  • Testing: Blood tests (comprehensive metabolic panel and lipid panel) and EKG
  • Physician (+/- dietitian) visit: Weight history, eating habits, medication review, detailed nutrition plan

Dietary programs

Our dietary programs fit into four broad categorizes, but they are personalized for each patient based on food preferences and body composition testing.  To attain low calorie intake with adequate protein, meal replacements (e.g. protein shakes, bars, soups) are frequently used. We have a wide variety of products available for purchase.

The four broad dietary programs include:

  1. Very low-calorie diet (VLCD): Meal replacements plus vegetables
  2. Modified very low-calorie diet (MVLCD): Meal replacements plus one meal per day
  3. Low calorie diet (LCD): Some meal replacements with mostly whole food
  4. Maintenance program: Some meal replacements with mostly whole foods. This diet is intended for patients trying to maintain their weight.

Medically-supervised weight loss program

Based on the dietary program patients are enrolled in there are varying degrees of medical supervision.

Very low-calorie and modified very-low calorie diets involve:

  • Physician visits (weekly for the first 2 weeks)
  • Physician/Dietitian visits (approximately 2 per month)
  • Regular blood draws (more at the beginning, then approximately every 4 weeks)
  • Periodic EKG and body composition tests (initial visit, week 9, then approximately every 2-3 months)

Low calorie diets involve: 

  • Physician/Dietitian visits (approximately 2 per month)
  • Regular blood draws (approximately every 8 weeks)
  • Periodic EKG and body composition tests (initial visit, week 8, then approximately every 2-3 months) 

Maintenance program involves:

  • Dietitian visits (monthly)
  • Physician visits can be scheduled for an additional charge

Note: frequency of provider (physician/dietitian) visits, blood draws, EKG/body composition are subject to change.   

Behavioral changes

Group cognitive behavioral therapy classes are held twice weekly and led by our clinical psychologist and licensed therapists.  They are included with all dietary programs (VLCD, MVLCD, LCD and maintenance).

Due to COVID-19, all classes are currently conducted via Zoom until further notice.