What does the Weight Management Programme entail?

The Weight Management Programme is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, coordinated, and closely supervised programme.

You will have 4 consultations with an assigned Sport and Exercise Medicine Physician, 5 with your Dietician, and 14 supervised gym sessions with your Exercise Physiologist (in the deluxe programme).

Your Sport and Exercise Physician will screen you for medical and musculoskeletal conditions, mutually agree on goals, and customize a dietary plan and exercise programme for you. To help you along, you will receive a copy of the book Fight the Fat – What You Must Know and Do to Lose Weight (for the deluxe programme), food diaries, customized meal plans, exercise sheets, exercise diaries, weight charts, and a pedometer.

Do I need this Weight Management Programme?

The Weight Management Programme is a closely supervised programme. Not everyone needs close supervision, and some individuals can lose weight on their own without outside support. If you have attempted to lose weight but found the results unsatisfactory or don’t know where to start in making the change, then this programme may be a good next step.

I want to make one more attempt at losing weight myself, without enrolling in your programme. Can you help me?

The Weight Management Programme has seen over 2,000 patients over the years. You can benefit from our expertise and experience through our do-it-yourself, step-by-step book by Dr. Benedict Tan, Fight the Fat – What You Must Know and Do to Lose Weight.

How much weight can I expect to lose when I enrol in the Weight Management Programme?

Your Sport and Exercise medicine physician will discuss with you your weight loss targets and determine a mutually agreed target. In most cases, the weight loss target is 5% to 10% of your starting weight.

On average, our patients lose 7.3kg and shed 8.3cm off their waistline by the end of our 6-month programme. Note that we report our average results – this gives you a more accurate picture, rather than selectively highlighting the results of only our star performers, which can be deceiving. The rate of weight loss is planned at 0.5kg to 1.0kg per week. Most importantly, we equip you with effective weight management tools so that you continue to lose weight and effectively MAINTAIN your weight loss after the programme.

Will my weight loss be sustained?

We continually audit the outcomes of our Programme results, and we do not consider our Programme a success unless our patients sustain their weight loss. Our objective is to help our patients acquire two skill sets by the end of the programme: (1) The ability to lose fat quickly and safely, and (2) The ability to maintain weight loss over the long term. Most individuals find it more challenging to maintain their weight loss than to lose weight. Those who are very good at maintaining their weight loss have certain behavioural traits – we will help you acquire these traits by the end of the Programme.

What is the difference between the Singapore Sport and Exercise Medicine Centre @ CGH (SSMC@CGH) and a slimming centre?

SSMC@CGH runs a hospital-based weight management programme that is medical evidence-based and designed to achieve fat loss safely and effectively. Being a mainstream healthcare institution, we audit and publish our results, and report them accurately, rather than cite anecdotal results.

I have serious medical conditions. Is it safe for me to enroll in the Weight Management Programme?

Being a medically-based institutional programme, the Weight Management Programme is designed to handle difficult and complex cases which commercial gyms may not be equipped to manage. The Programme starts with a medical screening performed by our Sport and Exercise medicine physicians, to identify existing diseases. Our Sport and Exercise medicine physicians will work with your general practitioner or referring physician, and your medical conditions will be taken into consideration when the diet and exercise are prescribed.

I have pre-existing injuries. Can I enrol in the Weight Management Programme?

Our Programme is run by Sport and Exercise medicine physicians, who will manage your musculoskeletal injuries as you undergo the Programme. In many common sports injuries, simply resting long-term is not the solution, and inactivity can worsen the condition. This is the case for weight-related injuries such as herniated lumbar discs, plantar fasciitis, or osteoarthritis. Your Sport and Exercise medicine physicians will accurately diagnose your injury and manage it, while prescribing exercises that will minimize the impact to the injured part of your body.

I wish to enrol in the Weight Management Programme, but I will be travelling / busy for the next few weeks. Is it all right for me to start the programme now?

Dealing with busy spells, festive seasons, stressful periods, coughs and colds, and other disruptions is part of the weight management skills that we will help you acquire. Your weight management effort will continue despite these usual life disruptions. However, we prefer that you take on these challenges after a month or more into the Programme, after you’ve had a chance to acquire the basic skills. Hence, if you have major commitments that may make it difficult to participate actively in the program, it may be best to time the participation appropriately.

Will the Weight Management Programme take up a lot of my time?

Our Programme requires a commitment on your part. This includes a time commitment, especially for the exercise sessions. Your exercise prescription will be individually-tailored but typically, our patients are expected to exercise 5-7 days a week, up to an hour per session, although this can be divided throughout a day. You will exercise at our gym at intervals (once a week for the first month and once every two weeks subsequently - for deluxe programme), and in between these sessions, you are expected to exercise at your own gym or neighbourhood.

What is expected of me during the Programme?

We will determine exactly what you need to do in terms of diet, exercise, and incidental daily activities. Your role is to follow our instructions in these three areas as closely as possible.

I suspect I have ‘low metabolism’. Can you confirm it?

Your resting metabolic rate will have a bearing on the diet and exercise programme that we prescribe for you. The more accurately we determine your resting metabolic rate, the more accurate and effective your dietary and exercise prescription. To determine your resting metabolic rate accurately, we use a metalyzer to measure your respiratory gases while you are at rest. This RMR test is incorporated into our weight management programme for you to obtain your own specific RMR measurements.

Will I be taking weight loss drugs?

Generally, we do not use weight loss drugs as a first-line treatment for obesity. Our focus is on the three pillars of dieting, exercise, and increased incidental daily activities. For patients who lose weight but hit a plateau after some months, we may selectively introduce weight loss drugs after discussion with patients as an adjunct to our three pillars. 80% - 90% of our patients go through the whole Programme successfully without having to take any weight loss drugs.