Bariatric Medical

Bariatric Medical Program at Guelph’s Centre for Bariatric Excellence

The Bariatric Medical program is a non-surgical, medically-supervised, hospital-based outpatient program committed to helping you regain control over your health and weight. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping you build and practice the skills needed to maintain healthy habits.

The two-year, medically-supervised Program combines healthy behaviour-modification classes with meal replacement shakes.

This Program is designed to help you lose weight and improve your overall health by helping you gain control over your lifestyle and reduce your risk of developing further weight-related health problems.

Bariatric Medical Program

The active phase of the Program consists of weekly group visits for 24-26 consecutive weeks (dependent on statutory holidays or cancelled classes) and then transitions into monthly support groups for 5 months thereafter.

The maintenance phase begins after the monthly support groups are finished, which occur between the 1-2 year mark.

At your 1 and 2 year anniversary of starting the Program, you are required to attend a nurse and doctor visit at our Clinic in order for us to evaluate how you are doing long-term.

The weekly group classes are supported by the Clinic’s Registered Dietitian and Registered Social Worker. Several times within the hour before the weekly group classes, you will be scheduled to meet with the doctor. The frequency of the doctor visits vary depending on your individual needs and your medical history (at a minimum, you will be scheduled for 6 doctor visits). During the classes, you will learn skills to help you understand the foundation of healthy eating, in addition to training your mind and thoughts to manage your weight long-term.

Sample Class Topics:

  • Plan and prepare healthy meals that appeal to you
  • Identify and remove triggers that may encourage you to eat
  • Include physical activity that is right for you
  • Develop a strong support system
  • Cope with stress and emotions using non-food related methods
  • Deal with lapses to prevent a relapse
  • Alter your self-talk and mindset to set yourself up for success

Optifast Protocol and Cost*:

  • After the third class, you will start the full meal replacement for 12 consecutive weeks (4 shakes per day at a cost of $70 per week for a total cost of $840).
  • After the 12 weeks of full meal replacement, you will begin 6 weeks of a gradual transition back to a healthy regular diet (fewer than 4 shakes consumed daily with balanced meals/snacks). The cost of the shakes for the transition weeks is $210.
  • Therefore, the total cost of the Optifast (purchased on a weekly basis throughout the Program) is $1,050.

*Costs subject to change.

Bariatric Medical Program Commitment

In order to take part in this Program and to experience your greatest success, you’ll need to:

  • Attend all weekly classes and all of your scheduled doctor and/or nurse appointments.
  • During the meal replacement phase, purchase the prescribed amount of Optifast meal replacement on a weekly basis. The proper amount of Optifast must be purchased from our Clinic each and every week. We do not support the use of other meal replacement products and Optifast cannot be distributed without payment at the time of purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I am unable to attend one or more classes?

  • Miss 1 class – (due to something unexpected) – You will be required to contact the Clinic and make alternate arrangements to pick up your Optifast (519-837-6440 ext. 2262).
  • Miss 2 classes – You will be required to speak with our Resource Nurse to discuss whether continuation in the Program or discharge is more appropriate.

Please note that it is not acceptable to miss class due to a planned vacation. Missed classes are only to be utilized for “life happens” situations.

How much does the Program cost?

The cost of the Program only relates to the meal replacement (your weekly grocery bill). All of the group sessions, any one-to-one counselling, and supervision from the doctor, registered dietitian, social worker and/or the nurse, are covered by government funding.

When do classes take place? 

All of our classes take place Tues-Thurs between the hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Once you’re enrolled into a specific group, your day and class time will remain constant for the duration.

What is the formula of the Optifast shakes?

The Optifast formula (4 meals per day) provides:

  • 900 calories per day, 90 grams of protein per day. The shakes provide you with all of your daily vitamins and minerals. It promotes a safe, rapid weight loss while at the same time helps you to maintain lean muscle mass.
  • The shakes are available in vanilla and chocolate. They are lactose and gluten free and carry the “D Kosher Seal”. You will also need to drink 3 litres of non-caloric fluid per day (including the liquid used to prepare your shakes). The shakes contain aspartame as its sweetening agent to make them more palatable.

Click here for additional bariatric surgery resources.

For more information about our Bariatric Medical Program, speak with your doctor.