We are here to support you through every step of your weight management journey through our expertise, compassion and encouragement. Our team consists of a Medical Specialist, Registered Dietitian and Registered Health & Life Coach who will collaborate to support you to tackle key areas of weight management.
We provide support through:
Frequent visits during the beginning of the program to ease you in and then progress to monthly visits to provide continued support and education, build your skillset and boost your confidence.
Phone call check-ins by the Registered Dietitian and Registered Health & Life Coach to see how you’re doing and help you overcome any issues.
Peer support group sessions for you to connect, engage with and build a support network of individuals who are also on their weight management journey.
Why choose our weight management centre?
We pride ourselves in the passion and devotion we dedicate to helping those struggling with weight to reach their best weight and live a healthier life. Obesity is a chronic disease and just like any chronic disease it requires on-going management, we aim to treat it as so to provide the best care possible. We have designed our approach to provide you with essential knowledge and skills that will support your efforts for long-term lifestyle change. It is evidence based and implemented by registered and qualified health professionals. We understand how frustrating and challenging managing weight can be so we will support and guide you through your journey. You’re not in this alone! For more information about our centre and approach, you can check out our About Us and Packages page.
How do I know which package to choose?
To find out which package works best for you, ask yourself the following questions.
Are you looking to start living a healthier lifestyle?
Are you looking for a single professional comprehensive program that would address all components related to weight loss?
Are you looking to improve your health, well-being and quality of life?
Do you feel like you know what you need to do but need help and supporting implementing a healthy lifestyle?
Do you embrace the value of losing weight gradually for the long-term?
Are you interested in participating in an intensive full meal replacement program that will get you quicker results before moving into a long-term maintenance protocol?
Do you need to lose weight at a faster pace for a surgery, procedure or health condition?
Do you feel unready yet for our comprehensive Nutrigrative Package?
If you would like to learn more visit our Packages page or give our centre a call and we will be more than happy to discuss our packages with you.
Is there a criteria to join the program?
While we would love to see everyone, we are committed to providing safe and effective services. This is why, we believe the following groups do not qualify to enroll in our program:
Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals
BMI < 25
Individuals with eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating disorder
Individuals looking for quick-fix weight management
Individuals under 18 years old
Can I get refunded for the package after I’ve purchased it?
To ensure equal opportunity to enrol in our program, we have a Zero Refund policy. Although we would be sad to see you go, no refunds will be made for cancellations or prematurely quitting the program before completing all visits or program components. Remaining fees will still be due as per the scheduled payment timeline.
How can I register for the program/package?
Our program is a medically supervised integrative program. In order for you to enroll, we require a signed Referral Form from your Family Doctor. Referral Forms can be downloaded on our website or requested by calling us at (647) 931-4725 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration Steps:
Obtain a Referral Form (you will need a signed Referral Form to book an appointment).
Have your Family Doctor complete and sign the Referral Form. Make sure you leave your contact information for us to contact you back.
Send a copy of the signed Referral Form by:
a) Email it to email@example.com b) Fax it to (905) 849-3065 c) Drop-off at our centre
Once we receive your signed Referral Form, we will contact you to book your first appointment (pre-program initial assessment).
Before your first appointment, you will need to complete our Patient Intake/History Form. You can complete this form in person at your first appointment or online by downloading it from our website.
During your first appointment: a) You will be asked to review and sign our Legal Agreement (hard copy if in person appointment or emailed if video call appointment). b) You can select your desired package on the Legal Agreement. c) You will need to pay the associated fees if not paid online already.
What do I do if I have to reschedule my appointment?
Our team is committed to providing quality services to all clients. No-shows cause an inconvenience to clients looking for different appointment times. In the event you need to reschedule your appointment, our Rescheduling Policy requires you to make a call 48 hours in advance. We will try our best to accommodate any changes to your schedule by offering alternative dates or times to your scheduled appointment. Please note that rescheduling is not possible for the Optifast Package due to the fixed cohort appointments for the Package and you will miss your appointment.
You can make payments in person at our centre in cash, debit, Visa/Mastercard or cheque. Online payment options through PayPal will be coming soon. 50% of the package fee will be collected upfront after signing the Legal Agreement and the remaining 50% of the package fee will be collected after your 10th visit. An official invoice will be provided for your payment. If you have an extended health plan for Registered Dietitian visits, we encourage you to contact your insurance company directly and ask them about your coverage details and billing procedure. We do not offer direct billing to extended health insurance companies.
Is your program covered by OHIP?
Our program is not covered by OHIP. Since this is a medically supervised program, your OHIP card information will be required to cover your visits with our Endocrinologist, Dr. Shrayyef.
If you have an extended health plan for Registered Dietitian visits, we encourage you to contact your insurance company directly and ask them about your coverage details and billing procedure. We do not offer direct billing to extended health insurance companies.
Are there any additional costs to the listed program fees?
Additional fees apply to the following:
Personalized meal plans
Optifast meal replacement shakes
DEXA body composition scan
How can you help me lose weight?
It can be challenging to lose weight and maintain it. We help you by providing education, teaching you skills and guiding you in implementing these changes to improve your nutrition and health behaviour and to support a healthier lifestyle. Our Registered Dietitian will provide an individualized nutrition plan to help you reach your nutrition goals while our Registered Health & Life Coach will help you identify and manage psychological barriers such as emotional eating, stress management and sleep hygiene.
How can I lose weight quickly?
Quick weight loss is often achieved through very restrictive/low calories diets. However, these methods are difficult to maintain long-term and are often intensive which can decrease your quality of life. Difficulty maintaining restrictive diets as well as your body’s physiological mechanisms will often lead you to regain the weight lost and more.
How do I figure out my ideal/healthy weight?
Ideal weight is calculated using a “healthy” BMI but this is often an unrealistic goal. Weight is complex and influenced by many internal and external factors and it is difficult to control how much weight you can lose and maintain. For this reason we will not provide you with a set weight goal, instead we will aim to help you achieve your best weight.
How much weight will I lose through this program?
We do not provide a goal weight for our clients. We believe in working with each client to help them improve their lifestyle through nutrition, physical activity and psychological intervention to reach their best weight. This weight will differ based on a complex set of factors. Your weight loss will also be influenced by additional supportive treatments such as weight management medications and bariatric surgery.
Can I lose weight if I’m pregnant?
It is not recommended to lose weight while being pregnant because of the potential increased risk of complications for the baby, especially when following a restrictive diet. The focus should be placed on maintaining healthy weight during your pregnancy and consuming adequate nutrients, vitamins and minerals that will support your baby’s growth and development. For this reason, we do not enroll pregnant women into your program. Instead we can help you achieve a healthier weight and lifestyle before you become pregnant or after your pregnancy. We all know how challenging those times can be and we’re here to help and support you during your journey! If you would like to receive guidance on staying healthy during your pregnancy you can connect with a Registered Dietitian in a prenatal program or a private practice dietitian specializing in pregnancy. Also, check out this resource here from Unlockfood.ca on Eating for a Healthy Pregnancy.
What medications are available for weight loss?
There are 3 medications currently approved for weight loss. They are Orlistat (Xenical), Liraglutide (Saxenda) and Bupropion-naltrexone (Contrave).
Orlistat (Xenica): Works by stopping the enzyme that breaks down fat from working, which reduces the amount of fat the body can absorb from the foods you eat leading to fewer calories taken in to promote weight loss. Liraglutide (Saxenda):Is a GLP-1 antagonist (similar to the natural GLP-1 found in your body) that decreases appetite and the amount of food consumed to promote weight loss. Bupropion-naltrexone (Contrave): Works by regulating two areas of the brain, the hypothalamus which controls hunger and the mesolimbic reward system that controls cravings to reduce overall food intake and promote weight loss. You can discuss these medications further with the Medical Specialist following you through our program. For more information you can also visit the Obesity Canada website page here on Prescription Medications.
What is bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery is a surgical procedure that physically alters your gastrointestinal system to reduce the amount of foods you can eat and/or the amount of calories absorbed from food. It is a successful method for weight management that can lead to 20-30% weight loss but is not a stand-alone quick fix. Having bariatric surgery requires adopting a healthier lifestyle to improve and maintain its success long-term. If you are interested, you can discuss this further with the Medical Doctor following you through our program. For more information you can also visit the Obesity Canada website page here on Bariatric Surgery.
Why should I try to change my lifestyle if I wont lose weight?
Making changes to your nutrition and physical activity to achieve a healthier lifestyle despite any weight loss can provide many health benefits such as improved management and reducing risk of developing obesity comorbidities (i.e. diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.). It can also lead to improved energy levels, improved mood and a better quality of life which can make a big positive impact on your overall well-being.
What is “best weight”?
“Best weight is whatever weight they achieve while living the healthier lifestyle they can truly enjoy.” - Dr. Ayra Sharma.
Best weight is a concept used to describe your individual weight goal that can be achieved using methods that are sustainable and allow you to enjoy your life so that you can achieve and maintain a healthier lifestyle and improved quality of life. You cannot control where your best weight lies, it will be dependent on how your body responds to the changes you can make. The main philosophy behind best weight is moving away from using the number on the scale as the primary outcome to using markers of health and quality of life instead. Best weight can be influenced depending on supportive treatments used to manage weight. For example, where your weight falls with nutrition and physical activity can be reduced further by adding psychological interventions and even further with medications and bariatric surgery.
Can the program costs be covered by private insurance?
The entire program costs will not be covered by private insurance but you may be able to have your visits with the Registered Dietitian and/or Registered Health & Life Coach reimbursed depending on your extended plan. We encourage you to contact your insurance company directly and ask them about your coverage details and billing procedure. We do not offer direct billing to extended health insurance companies.
What is the DEXA Body Composition Scan?
Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) is considered to be the gold standard for bone mineral and body composition analysis. It is a quick and non-invasive test that works by passing two low energy x-ray beams through the tissues of the body, one that assesses soft tissue and one that assesses bone. The more dense a tissue is the less of the X-ray passes through. The DEXA scan will provide an analysis of 3 components, (1) bone, (2) body fat and (3) muscle mass to provide a breakdown of body composition and distribution of fat and muscle tissue in the body. This provides a more detailed analysis of your body weight compared to BMI.
What is the indirect calorimetry test?
An indirect calorimetry test is completed to measure an individual's daily resting energy expenditure (REE). It is completed by breathing into a machine which either assesses concentration of oxygen and carbon dioxide or oxygen concentration on it’s own to calculate REE. It is more accurate compared to predictive equations and can be used to provide individualized and accurate caloric goals for weight loss.
What are the group sessions like?
The group sessions are designed as peer support groups to provide an opportunity for clients to connect and engage with other clients who are going through a similar journey. The purpose is to allow clients to share their stories, learn from each other, and have their questions answered while building a support network that will benefit them in the long-run. Group sessions will be facilitated by the Registered Dietitian and/or Registered Health & Life Coach. Group sessions specific to the Optifast Package will also be focused on essential Lifestyle Education Modules.
What is the ketogenic diet? Will it help me lose weight?
“Keto diets” have been used to describe many diet approaches that lower or cut out refined carbohydrates. The true form of a ketogenic diet is a diet that is very low in carbohydrates, around 20-50 grams a day, replacing it with a higher amount of fat. The purpose of this is to shift your body from using glucose (sugar) to ketone bodies (fat) for fuel. Some studies have shown beneficial changes with the ketogenic diet including reducing insulin resistance, high blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels. Studies that support the use of a ketogenic for weight loss are limited. Although, it can help with losing weight in the short-term the ability of maintaining this diet and associated weight loss is very difficult because of its restrictive nature and reduced quality of life. Also, it is important to note that there are risks with following this diet including ketoacidosis (high ketones producing toxic levels of acid in the blood), nutrient deficiencies, kidney stones, and reduced mood and energy.
What is intermittent fasting? Will it help me lose weight?
Intermittent fasting is a dieting approach that structures meal timings between cycles of fasting and eating. There are 3 types, (1) alternate day fasting, (2) periodic fasting, (3) daily-restricted feeding. The purpose of intermittent fasting is to allow your insulin levels to go down low enough between meals so that the body can release stored energy from fat cells to burn fat. Most popularly, daily restricted feeding has been used for weight loss by restricting the window of eating to a time that is in line with the circadian rhythm (day and night cycle) to improve metabolism. Intermittent fasting has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, blood sugars, and cholesterol. However, evidence shows that intermittent fasting is not more effective than calorie-restricted diets.
Although intermittent fasting can help with weight loss in the short-term, it is a restrictive diet so it is important to consider if it can be maintained long-term to avoid weight regain.
What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?
Registered Dietitian (RD) is a regulated and protected title across Canada. This means that to be an RD you must complete a degree in nutrition from an approved university and need to complete comprehensive training and examination to hold the title and practice. Nutritionists on the other hand are not regulated/protected (except for some provinces - Alberta, Nova Scotia and Quebec), meaning they are not required to have any education or training. An RD may call themselves a Nutritionist and some do! You may see the title Registered Nutritionist, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist or Community Nutritionist, which are often held by RDs. But a Nutritionist cannot call themselves or practice as a Registered Dietitian. For more information on this, check out our blog post here.
What is a Registered Dietitian? How can they help me?
A Registered Dietitian (RD) is a credible and qualified nutrition professional who will translate the science and evidence of nutrition into practical and personalized advice for you. They are basically your food and nutrition experts! RDs must undergo a certain education, supervised training and complete an exam to practice. This ensures they are competent and ethical. They can help you with your weight management by completing an assessment to understand your current status, personal needs and challenges and then collaborate with you to develop a personalized plan that helps meet your treatment goals. They will help guide you using evidence-based interventions and education.
What is the best diet for losing weight?
There is no quick fix and unfortunately, there is no best diet for weight management. The approach you choose will need to depend on your values, preferences and treatment goals. This being said it is important to understand that Obesity is a chronic disease, which means that managing your weight will be a life-long treatment. To do this, you want to make sure the changes you are making to your eating and behaviour are ones that you can maintain and enjoy long-term. Restrictive diets may work to help you lose weight especially in the beginning but once you stop and go back to your regular way of eating you will most likely regain the weight lost and more. It is also important to identify and avoid fad diets. These are usually the ones that promise large amounts of weight loss in short periods, or are trying to sell you a “magic” pill or product that will shed the pounds. At our centre, we stray away from the “dieting” culture and focus on helping you eat nutritious foods and adopt healthier behaviours that will allow you to live a fulfilled life.
Which foods are bad for me if I want to lose weight?
The goal is to eat more nutritious foods that protect your body, reduce your risk of disease, and better manage your current health issues with the added benefit of weight management. This can be done while still enjoying the foods that may not be as nutritious but provide a sense of pleasure and social connection, which is essential for our mental well-being. Finding a sustainable way of eating that will support a healthier lifestyle will require finding a balance between the foods you eat. Part of that is building a healthier relationship with food. That being said, it is helpful to shift from categorizing foods as “bad’ or “good” to an understanding of which foods to eat more often while allowing yourself to enjoy other foods in moderate amounts.
Are carbohydrates bad for me?
The simple answer is no, carbohydrates are not bad for you. In fact they are a primary source of fuel for your body and are essential for your body to function properly. But, not all carbohydrates are created equal and this is where things can become challenging. Some carbohydrate foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy and whole grains are highly nutritious and provide many health benefits. While others like refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, pastries, sugary drinks and breakfast cereals, provide high calories (energy), sugar and/or salt, and saturated fat with little added benefit from other nutrients. The key thing is to find balance between the types of carbohydrates. For example, eating a variety of vegetables everyday with your meals but still enjoying a piece of cake with friends on the weekend. Without balance, having too many refined carbohydrates can lead to health issues like obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol and triglycerides.
Are fats bad for me?
No fats are not bad for you, it depends on the amount and type you eat. There are 3 types of fats, (1) mono- and polyunsaturated fats, (2) saturated fats, and (3) trans fats. Just like anything eating fats requires balance. The majority of your fat intake should come from fats with the most health benefits, mono- and polyunsaturated fats (salmon, nuts, avocado, olive oil, etc.) while moderating saturated fat and trying to avoid trans-fats. Without balance, eating high amounts of saturated and trans-fats can increase your risk of high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke.
What kind of physical activity will help me lose weight?
Although not a driving force, physical activity is a great way to help you lose weight, provided it is done safely. And the good news is, you do not have to perform at an athlete level to achieve results! Simple and fun physical activities such as jogging, biking, swimming, and basketball can bring in great health benefits and help you in your journey to losing weight.
Is physical activity important for weight loss?
Physical activity is not only important for weight loss but is also key to maintaining a healthy mind and body. However, we strongly believe that your weight management journey involves more than physical activity and diet. Physical activity is one of the many pillars highlighted and addressed by our team. Other weight management pillars that we focus on in our program include medical history, social determinants, stress, sleep [ADD PILLARS].
What is a Registered Health & Life Coach? How can they help me?
A Registered Health & Life Coach is a healthcare professional who works collaboratively with you and makes sure to put you in charge of creating the best and the healthiest version of yourself. They also provide the tools, guidance, methods, support and sometimes the push that you need to ensure greater success. A Health Coach’s focus is your overall health and well-being and they hold a promise to hold your hand and walk with you every step of your new journey and help you to search inside and find the solution to every challenge you might have in life.
Why is changing my behaviour important to lose weight?
Behaviour change and lifestyle intervention has a key role in managing your weight. To maintain a healthy weight, modifications and adjustments need to be done in one’s lifestyle which has to be sustainable for life. Short term quick fix diets usually lead to failure and regain.
How does stress impact my weight?
Increased stress level increases your appetite hormones and decreases your metabolism and that is the main reason we gain weight especially in our mid section when we are stressed.
How does sleep impact my weight?
Research shows that lack of sleep lowers the level of your appetite suppressant hormones and raises your appetite increasing hormones. By not getting enough sleep we are at higher risk of taking more calories during the day.
How can I stay motivated to make change and maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Finding the right support system, which helps create accountability for you and put you in the right mindset is the key factor for staying motivated and mastering lifestyle interventions.
What if I don’t feel ready to make any changes?
You need to ask yourself these questions:
How important is your health to you and your loved ones?
What will be the cost of you ignoring your health?
How long can you go without doing something about it?