Scottsdale Weightloss Center

FAQs I get as an Obesity Medicine Physician (part 1)


Background: I have exclusively practiced Obesity Medicine in Phoenix, Arizona with Scottsdale Weight Loss Center (SWLC) for the past 8 years. Previously, I practiced Internal Medicine for >20 years. I am Board certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) and the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). During this time, patients have asked many excellent questions and I would like to address some of the more frequent in this and subsequent posts.

  1. I have been on EVERY diet and they do not work. How are you different?
    • If you search the internet, go to a bookstore, or ask friends and relatives you will hear about countless diets. I tell new patients they come to me as diet experts. It it is my goal to guide them from being a diet expert to a weight manager. I believe there is a significant difference.
    • How? At SWLC we actively employ the essential 4 Pillars of Obesity Management and Treatment: 1. Nutritional Guidance (with multiple plans including medical meal replacements), 2. Physical Activity Counseling, 3. Behavior Modification (class series taught by psychologists and registered dietitians), and 4. Anti-obesity Medications (AOMs). For an excellent summary of the 4 Pillars please refer to:

  2. I have lost weight on many diets, but then all the weight returns (and sometimes more). Why?
    • Obesity is a chronic, relapsing, multi-factorial, neurobehavioral disease. This is not unlike many other chronic diseases. If your high blood pressure is treated and returns to normal while taking medications, avoiding salt, and increasing activity would you stop? Of course not! The same holds true for the disease of obesity.
    • All of the tools (discussed above) that we use during the Active Weight Loss phase of your journey, can and will be used for long-term Active Maintenance.

  3. Weight loss diets are extremely restrictive and my job/lifestyle makes many programs impossible.
    • I frequently hear “I need the option to entertain clients for lunches/dinners”, “I travel a lot for work”, “I have a vacation/wedding coming up” or “I have a young family and I want to enjoy dinner with them”. No worries!
    • Everyone’s weight loss journey looks different. This is not a “one size fits all” nor a “my way or the highway” plan. We will collaborate and decide on an individualized weight loss plan that works for you.
    • You do not need to “put your life on hold” to be successful. In fact, learning skills during these times will make you an excellent long-term weight manager.

  4. Can you use meal replacements and/or medications (AOMs) long term to maintain weight?
    • Yes! Meal replacements and AOMs have been proven safe and effective for both weight loss and long-term weight maintenance. You will not rely on them as much as you did during active weight loss, but they will always remain as an option for weight maintenance. This will be personalized for you to be successful in weight management.

  5. What about HCG?
    • It doesn’t work. (If it did, I would be prescribing it!)
    • This statement may cause some “unfriendly” reactions and responses. I will simply refer you to a summary of the American Medical Association’s policy decision (2016) and the Obesity Medicine Association’s (OMA) position statement (2010) regarding HCG for weight loss:

If you’re interested in further information regarding safe and effective weight loss and management, please visit me at Thank you.

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