Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get into the program?

You may contact us at weightloss@ku.edu or toll free at 866-962-9288. Our staff will tell you about upcoming informational meetings and obtain your contact information for future opportunities.

Do you provide state of Kansas Employees any discounts?

Yes. KU Weight Management Programs is a member of the The Star Discount Program which offers State of Kansas employees an opportunity to take advantage of product and service discounts offered by various vendors throughout the state. Find out more about the Star Discount program.

What are the qualifications for me to participate in the weight loss program?

Individuals must be 18 years or older and have a BMI of 25 or greater.

Are the health educators qualified?

Yes. Each person who teaches groups with the KU Weight Management Programs has a degree in one or more of three areas; nutrition, physical activity, or behavior. Often, group leaders have master's degrees and/or certifications to enhance their knowledge base.

How much weight loss can I expect?

The average participant of our programs loses approximately 10% of their baseline body weight, with some losing more and some losing less. Typically, participants lose 2-4 pounds per week in the beginning which gradually slows to 1-2 pounds per week.

I've never been able to maintain my weight loss. Can you help me?

Yes! We recently published data in which 70% of follow up survey respondents who had been out of the program for 6 months to 3 or more years had maintained a weight loss of at least 5%, which is both clinically significant and highly successful. If you are willing to do the work, we can help you!

What does the structured diet include?

During the weight loss phase (Phase I), participants are expected to consume the minimum daily prescription which includes the usage of portion controlled meals. In the weight maintenance phase (Phase II), participants target their weight maintenance calorie goal through a combination of grocery store foods and portion controlled meals. We strongly recommend participants continue to consume 14 portion controlled meals (entrees or shakes) per week in maintenance as a means of calorie and portion control.

The diet sounds boring! How can I make it interesting?

During the weekly group meetings, health educators offer demonstrations of recipes utilizing portion-controlled products. Additionally, participants are given an extensive recipe book which provides a variety of ways to alter and enhance the portion-controlled meals and shakes. For example, you can add zero calorie root beer to a vanilla shake to make a root beer float. You can use the Chicken Creole entree and a red or orange pepper to make baked stuffed peppers. You can even use instant coffee and a chocolate shake to make a mocha shake. The possibilities are endless!

How is the food delivered to me?

All participants receive their food when they attend meetings.

Are there any fruits or vegetables I cannot eat?

Yes. Participants are asked not to consume fruit or vegetable juices, or dried fruits. Each of these items is high in calories and/or sugars and some contain very little fiber to help you feel full.

Do I have to eat fresh fruits and vegetables only?

A major feature of the meal plan is adding lots of fruits and vegetables into your diet. This gives you variety and flexibility. You may utilize fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables. Canned fruits and vegetables should always be rinsed well to help reduce sodium/sugar content.

Can I use condiments such as catsup, mustard, or salad dressings?

Yes. Condiments should be used only in conjunction with the portion-controlled meals. We ask that you limit your condiment intake to 60 calories per day (general rule: 15 calories or less per tablespoon).

What beverages can I drink during the weight loss program?

Fluid intake is an important part of a healthy diet. Consuming the recommended amount of fluids can help to minimize and possibly prevent some side effects that could be felt due to dietary changes. We recommend that you consume 8 glasses of water each day. In addition, non-caloric beverages such as coffee, tea, diet soda and beverage mixes made with artificial sweeteners (i.e. Crystal Light) may be consumed. Alcohol is not allowed during the weight loss phase of the diet due to the caloric content of alcohol and other calories associated with its consumption.

Do I have to exercise in this program?

Yes. Participants start at 45 minutes per week and gradually increase to 300 minutes/week. In addition to structured physical activity, lifestyle forms of activity are also encouraged.

What happens at the health assessments (testing)?

During the health assessment your height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate and waist and hip circumferences will be measured. We also record all of the medications you take regularly along with their costs. Assessments are completed at baseline and 6-months, follow-up appointments are based on the level of medical supervision as determined by the plan you choose.

Can my husband/wife/friend/child attend meetings with me?

To protect the privacy of group members, children, other family members and friends are not allowed to come to group meetings. Other arrangements will have to be made to provide for their care. Adult family members or significant others may be allowed to come periodically to your weekly meetings on nights designated by your health educator.

Can I purchase the portion controlled meals upon completion of the program?

Yes! We offer product pickup in Kansas City and Lawrence. You may order online or by contacting us at 866.962.9288. We ask that orders be placed at least 24-hours in advance to ensure we have products available.


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