Meal Replacement Programs
The meal replacement programs at NYU Langone’s Weight Management Program are designed for you to lose weight safely, conveniently, rapidly, and comfortably, without hunger, pills, or shots and while under clinical supervision.
We offer two options for nutrition-focused weight loss. Both the New You program and the very low calorie diet (VLCD) plan were created by Dr. Holly Lofton, and each offers medically supervised meal replacement and the option of a healthy meal of your choice each day.
Depending on the program you choose, the plan includes three to five meal replacements per day, with or without one meal. The number of calories in the daily meal depends on your gender and weight. The program helps you learn how to keep hunger at bay by using behavioral tools and low-glycemic, high-protein foods at every meal. The goal is to enable you to develop your own unique eating lifestyle, which promotes sound cardiovascular, behavioral, and nutritional health.
As part of the program, you are required to meet with a member of our medical team, which includes Dr. Lofton, a physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or registered dietitian. We also provide you with nutritional and behavioral support.
Support groups designed to maximize your weight loss potential, help you make lifestyle changes, and reinforce the nutritional aspects of weight loss are also available to all program members.
As a board-certified internal medicine and obesity medicine physician, Dr. Lofton strongly recommends long-term follow up to maintain weight loss, monitor obesity-related health issues, and deal with expected deviations from a maintenance program.
FAQs About the New You Program
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about the New You program.
What is ketosis?
The New You program is designed to trigger ketosis. This is a metabolic state that occurs when all of your carbohydrate stores are exhausted and fat, in the form of ketones, is used as the main energy source for your body.
Is ketosis safe?
Yes. Many recent clinical studies have shown the safety and efficacy of ketogenic, or low-carbohydrate and high-protein, diets. Ketosis is a natural physical state for your body.
Humans have evolved over time to efficiently store fat as energy for later use. The opposite is also true: we have evolved to efficiently use our fat stores in times of famine. When this occurs, we enter a state of ketosis.
In addition, everyone's body starts to produce ketones whenever food is not consumed for a few hours. In particular, this occurs overnight while sleeping or after exercising.
Am I going to feel hungry while participating in the New You program?
When your body is in ketosis, it is still fueling you with the energy you need. Ketones suppress appetite naturally, and you should not feel significant hunger. During the first week on the diet, your body consumes all of its carbohydrate reserves and you may experience some slight hunger.
However, this passes. If it becomes a concern, you can always contact us.
What happens if I don’t adhere to the diet?
It does not take much to reduce or reverse ketosis. For example, if you consume a can of sugared soda or a piece of cake, ketosis is affected and it may take up to a week to re-establish it.
In some cases, consuming extra carbohydrates can cause an uncomfortable “carb crave.” This could lead to regaining some or all of the weight you have lost. This is why it is critical that you adhere to the diet. If you are having difficulty sticking to the diet as prescribed, we are here to help you.
Can I expect to feel any changes while in ketosis?
Some people may experience minor side effects while in ketosis. Dizziness, fatigue, and muscle cramps are the most common, especially if you are not drinking enough water.
Some people may also experience a decrease in energy when starting the diet, because their body is switching from burning carbohydrates to fat. This usually subsides after the first week, and many people then experience a burst of energy. If you don’t, you should contact us.
How many pounds can I expect to lose?
While on the program, women can expect to lose an average of two to five pounds per week. Men may lose more rapidly. Please note that this is an average and is different for each person.
Following an exercise program while on the diet speeds up the rate at which you lose weight. If you are unable to follow the diet as directed, the diet becomes a low-calorie meal plan, not a ketotic meal plan, and less weight loss can be expected.
Do I need to exercise during the diet?
Although you can still expect to lose weight while on the diet without exercise, the rate of weight loss may increase with regular exercise. It is also important to begin an exercise program during weight loss to provide a basis for the maintenance phase.
We recommend that you exercise 240 to 300 minutes per week while on the program and as part of your weight loss maintenance. One of the most important behaviors for maintenance is following an exercise regimen. Ceasing to exercise is one of the primary reasons people regain weight.
Do I need to take vitamins while on the diet?
No. Our New Direction meal replacement beverage contains all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need to thrive. Women who take calcium supplements may continue to do so. We recommend that you take omega-3 in the form of fish oil capsules to ensure your body has an adequate supply of essential fatty acids.
Our Dietitian-Led Weight Loss Program combines meal replacement items, such as protein shakes and protein chips, with a diet focused on well-balanced meals containing protein and complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. This conservative weight loss plan helps you lose weight while still helping you to decrease hunger.
Our program begins with an introductory free group seminar where participants learn details of the ins and outs of our calorie-controlled plan. Participants are encouraged to maintain a 1200 to 1500 calorie controlled meal plan that combines well-portioned meals with breakfast and snack food replacements. Although this plan does not keep you in a state of ketosis, as with the New You Program, weight loss still occurs while your body is at a calorie deficit. Weekly weight loss is typically achieved when you consume about 350 to 500 calories less per day than your usual dietary intake. The typical diet is usually above the recommended 1200 to 1500 calories per day. Therefore, by following our program recommendations you put your body at a calorie deficit resulting in a conservative weight loss.
FAQs About the Dietitian-Led Weight Loss Program
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about the Dietitian-Led Weight Loss Program.
What can I expect at the group seminar?
Participants are asked to meet with one of our registered dietitians in order to become familiar with the program. During this introductory session, participants have the opportunity to ask questions, discuss their starting weight loss goal, purchase products essential for the program, and get started on their weight loss journey.
There is no commitment to this program. However, planned appointments with our dietitians provide meal planning advice, assist with developing skills to regulate hunger, and healthy lifestyle habits for long term success.
How is the Dietitian-Led Weight Loss Program different from the New You Program?
While on our Dietitian-Led Weight Loss Program you are not in a state of ketosis; however, this plan still leads to weight loss. The program is based on a 1200 or 1500 calorie diet that is meant to lead to a more conservative weight loss. It also allows for flexibility in meal planning, such as adding fruits, some fats, and whole grains to your dietary intake.
Although the program does not include a resting metabolic exam, which is performed by using a digital scale that measures metabolism as well as body fat percentage through bioelectric impedance, it is available at our office for a nominal fee. While there is no program commitment, we have found that the best weight loss results occur when you meet with our registered dietitians every two weeks.
How will I know which foods I should be eating?
You will receive a detailed guide that outlines meal plans, recommended portions, and sample meal ideas. Each time you meet with our registered dietitians, you have the opportunity to customize your meal plan based on your personal preferences and needs. We realize that everybody has different schedules and sometimes meal plans need to be adjusted to work with your lifestyle.
Can I eat out on the program?
Yes. While breakfast and snacks utilize meal replacements, you have the opportunity to eat lunch and dinner out as long as portions are within recommended amounts.