Diet Plan and Weight Loss Program Frequently Asked Questions Answered

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What are the benefits of the Metabolic Nutrition Program?

MNP’s diet offers the most rapid way to lose weight

  • On the First Step program, women lose an average of 3 pounds per week.  Men average a weekly loss of 5 pounds.   Some patients may lose more, based on their weight at the time; heavier patients lose more weight each week.
  • On the Better Weighs program, women average a 1-2 pounds weight loss and men average a 2-3 pound weight loss per week.
  • Also, the more you exercise the more weight you will lose.

You will not be hungry

  • Today, you will have thoughts and feelings about food. You may eat when you are not hungry. You may eat in response to emotional triggers. This relationship to food is unhealthy and leads to obesity.
  • Since you are not hungry on MNP, you have an opportunity to recognize your unhealthy behaviors and change them. Our licensed professionals help you identify your harmful patterns of behavior and replace them with a healthy approach to food.

Your health will improve

  • If you have any medical problem related to obesity, it will improve with weight loss. You are under the care of a board-certified internal medicine obesity specialist who monitors your care and modifies your treatment as necessary.

Will I regain the weight?

With the tools learned from our counselors, dietitian and fitness instructor, our Maintenance Program helps you keep your weight off.

Will I ever be able to eat normally again?

Unlike having potentially dangerous weight loss surgery which permanently restricts your intake of foods you love, you will still be able to enjoy many of your favorite foods in a lesser amount.

Will I Feel Hungry?

Perhaps you will feel hungry for the first few days on the liquid fast, and then your body will undergo a period of adjustment. After that, you will experience a sense of well-being and will have increased energy. Many patients report feeling better than they ever have in their lives.

Why Is MNP Different From Other Weight Loss Programs?

Our small groups meet privately every week with the most experienced professional staff in this area. MNP emphasizes weight control following weight loss. MNP provides you with nutritional education, psychological counseling, exercise instruction and medical monitoring.

Who Can Benefit From The Metabolic Nutrition Program?

Whether you’re young, middle-aged, or a senior, male or female, healthy or have medical conditions related to being overweight, you can lose weight with MNP safely and effectively. Remember, this program is under the supervision of board-certified physicians, experienced clinical psychotherapists, registered dietitians, exercise therapists and other medical professionals.

What are the risks of rapid weight loss?

The most serious potential risk is the development of gall stones and an inflamed gall bladder requiring surgery.Overweight people already have a higher incidence of gall bladder disease, often without symptoms.  Rapid weight loss may lead to the clinical appearance of previously undiagnosed gallstones or the development of new stones, which might require surgical removal in up to 2% of patients.  Fortunately, ursodiol, a medication which will be prescribed, is very effective in reducing the risk of gallstones.

A change in bowel habit may occur.   Adding fiber laxatives usually helps.

Blood tests are performed every two weeks. Elevated liver blood test results may occur in a minority of patients, typically those with underlying fatty liver. These tests are followed closely until they normalize.

Other potential temporary side effects include sensitivity to cold, dry skin, rash, dizziness, fatigue, diarrhea, bad breath, change in menstrual patterns, and mild temporary hair loss that re-grows after the period of dieting.

What is the Description of the Diet?

MNP offers a liquid diet which is described both as a very low calorie diet (VLCD) and a protein-sparing modified fast (PSMF).

A VLCD is any diet that provides less than 800 calories per day. It is a tool for rapid weight loss and is supervised by a physician. The rate of weight loss during a VLCD approaches the rate of weight loss during starvation.

MNP’s First Step is a PSMF, a special formula of 70 grams of protein and 70 grams of carbohydrate, which spares our body protein while fat is preferentially burned for energy.

When we have consumed more food calories than we have burned, we store the extra energy as fat. It stands to reason, that when we are not eating and during times of starvation, we would use these fat stores to supply our energy needs.

Unfortunately energy derived from fat metabolism is able to supply the energy needs of all the organs of our body except our brain.  Our brains require glucose for energy, and our bodies cannot convert fat to glucose. In times when we are not eating, we must convert our body protein to glucose to supply our brains.

MNP’s First Step formula prevents muscle break down thus spares our body protein.

Many weight loss programs promote the fact that their diet produces ketones in the blood and urine. They state that ketones that are responsible for the loss of hunger. Ketones are produced by the body through the inefficient burning of fat, which then causes an imbalance of electrolytes and minerals.  With the MNP diet there is no ketone production, you stay in balance without having to take potassium or other minerals, a common requirement in other programs.

MNP’s First Step meal replacement formula has been proven safe and effective for more than 30 years.

How do I decide which weight loss program is best for me?

Ask these questions:

  • Is the program physician supervised?  
  • Do you see the physician weekly?
  • Is the physician readily available to talk to you?
  • Are the medications prescribed by your primary care physician adjusted, as necessary, as you lose weight and  may be no longer be required?
  • Are blood pressure and lab tests measured regularly and reviewed with you?
  • Are the support groups led by licensed therapists who are in private psychotherapy practice?
  • Are the groups an hour long once weekly?
  • Does a certified fitness instructor offer individual instruction?
  • Does a registered dietitian, rather than an unlicensed nutritionist, offer individual eating plans?
  • Does the program offer a comprehensive, long-term weight maintenance program with the registered dietitian and exercise therapist?
  YES   NO   NO   NO
  YES   NO   NO   NO
  YES   NO   NO   NO
  YES   NO   NO   NO
  YES   NO   NO   NO


What is the cause of obesity?

We are a physician supervised weight loss program and medical diet program serving clients serious about losing weight and keeping it off in Northern California and the south San Francisco Bay Area, including San Jose, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Campbell, Cupertino, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Hollister, Mountain View, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Milpitas, Fremont, and Santa Cruz.