Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, we offer programs and services that fit every weight loss need, whether you've got a little or a lot to lose. Although we have programs for people looking to lose 50, 100, or more pounds, we also have programs that can help you take off just 5-10.

Yes, we have registered dietitians and exercise physiologists who can tailor eating and exercise plans to fit with whatever your weight, eating, and activity goals might be.

This is a question we get all the time, and for good reason. The most accurate response is that most medical insurance carriers “don’t take us.” The vast majority of insurance companies do not cover weight loss treatments, even the most effective ones, and even if your doctor has recommended or prescribed weight loss for you. This is unfortunate given that even modest weight losses have been shown to significantly improve health and decrease healthcare costs.

Yes, you can typically use your Flexible Spending Accounts, Medical Spending Accounts, or Health Savings Accounts to pay for our programs. This can be a great way to save a significant amount of money on your weight loss program with us. There is often a specific form that you would need to fill out to use these accounts, so refer to details of your specific account.

There are several, a few of which are outlined below.

Who You’ll Meet With

Us: You'll meet with a variety of weight management professionals - faculty and staff who are specially trained in their weight management disciplines (i.e., dietetics, exercise, psychology, medicine).

The Others: You'll meet with staff who will attempt to teach you how to lose weight, often with minimal to no training in the necessary disciplines. Or you'll meet with someone who became a program leader by virtue of having gone through the program themselves, but who has no training in the science or practice of weight management.

How Much Experience They'll Have

Us: We have been doing this for over 40 years right here on the MUSC campus. The years of weight management experience of our faculty and staff is second to none at the state level or nationally. In fact, we have staff who are recognized as leaders in their fields on both the state and national level.

The Others: Simply put, the others are less experienced.

Your Program Options

Us: We have a full range of programs and services, both individual and group, to fit all weight loss needs. Need an even more tailored plan? We can make that happen too. We will help you find the program that will be most effective for you, both for losing weight and keeping it off long-term.

The Others: Typically have one standard program, with a few variations of it. Often interested more in "upselling" you than helping you build the best program for your needs; inadequate attention to teaching sustainable lifestyle changes. These are just a few of the ways we're different from every other weight management program around. Certainly look into other programs, but we're confident we offer you the absolute best weight management options, whatever your needs.

We have several ways for you to pay for your program. You can pay in-full or pay monthly payments. There are discounts associated with paying in-full. In addition, MUSC/MUHA/UMA employees (and spouses) have the option of payroll deducting the cost of their programs, typically over 12 months. In terms of payment types, we accept cash, check, and credit/debit cards (all types).

By "lifestyle change," we mean change that you can realistically maintain over the long-run. Although there are any number of diet and exercise plans that would cause you to lose weight, many of those aren't sustainable over the long-haul, as you may have already experienced. In order to give you the best chances of successfully managing your weight over the long-term, we will teach you how to engage in healthier eating and activity behaviors that you can reasonably maintain forever.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you, but here are some points you'll want to consider when deciding on your program:

1. How much weight do you want to lose?
Generally speaking, the more weight you're looking to lose, the more aggressive of a program you would want to go.

2. How many weight-related health problems do you have (and how severe are they)? (problems include, but are not limited to: diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, arthritis)
In many cases, the more weight-related health problems you have, the more aggressive of a program you would want to go.

3. How many weight-related health problems do you see in your family (thus, potentially in your future)?
Often, the more of these health problems you see in your family, the more aggressive of a program you would want to go.

4. How busy is your schedule?
This may sound like a silly consideration, but in reality, you've got to do something that has the best chances of working for you. Generally speaking, the busier you are and the more hectic your schedule, the more you should consider a program that incorporates meal replacements.

5. How frustrated are you with your weight?
Having lost and regained on other weight loss programs, our patients often feel a great deal of frustration when we meet with them for the first time. Therefore, the more frustrated you are with your weight (or, more concretely, the more weight loss efforts you've made in the past), the more aggressive of a program you would likely want to go. Hit it hard from the beginning, and by doing so, get a jump start on turning that frustration into motivation.

Yes, we have excellent meal replacements, both in terms of nutrition and taste. Many of our patients continue to use our meal replacements even after they complete their programs with us.

Although you might experience some degree of hunger the first few days or the first week (while you adjust to the reduced calorie level), the vast majority of patients are not hungry on our programs. One of the most important things to do to avoid hunger is to maintain your blood sugar, which is accomplished by eating something every few hours and eating the right types of foods.

We provide you with the tools to be the most successful after weight loss. We know that maintenance in many ways can be harder than weight loss itself. We encourage you to continue to use some of the behavioral tools used during weight loss even for the long term We also provide with caloric needs for maintenance at the end of any of our programs.

There are a number of reasons why weight loss can stall while attempting weight loss. This can be due to the fact that you have already seen a good deal of weight change and your body is adjusting to needing fewer calorie in general, it could be from fluid shifting, or a number of other reasons. What we do know is that if you see a plateau don't let it frustrate you. Continue to monitor your food and exercise and pursue your weight loss goals.

Yes, we offer mostly all of our services from on clinic environment as well as virtually via the phone or computer. We can ship your program supplies and products directly to your home (shipping costs included) or have them picked up curbside.

No, you are able to visit our website and self-enroll into any of the programs.