• Dr. Florencia Halperin

Form Health: Medical Weight Loss at Your Fingertips

Form Health is a medically supervised, evidence-based weight loss program delivered through your smartphone; our service is for those who are motivated to lose weight and want the convenience of getting care anywhere.

Roughly 100 million Americans have obesity, and that number has increased significantly over the past 2 decades. Obesity is a complex medical condition involving an excessive amount of body weight. Losing that weight is an incredible challenge, especially when most traditional programs get short-term results, but aren’t sustainable. Despite patients’ best efforts, without the proper care and tools, many end up losing weight just to gain it back.

To combat this issue, our physicians and dietitians use intensive lifestyle intervention, incorporating all the strategies that are currently available and backed by research.

Form’s medical approach with guidance from a physician

At Form, we take a medical approach to weight loss. Every one of our patients is paired with a board-certified physician who has special training and experience in weight management. We don’t manage just one symptom or condition, we take a look at the whole you, and your lifetime medical and weight history. We then approach weight loss with consideration of other medical conditions you have, the other medications you’re taking, what you have tried in the past for weight loss, and a deep understanding of how you live your life day to day. With all of that in mind, we’ll work to help you modify your nutrition plan and physical activity, and incorporate behavioral science to help these changes be sustained. Sometimes we diagnose new medical conditions that affect your ability to lose weight, change existing medications that promote weight gain and/or prescribe FDA-approved weight loss medications to help you towards better health.

Your physician will evaluate your medical history and create a customized medical treatment plan, just for you. Through a collaborative approach via video chat, you and your physician will determine what treatment or treatments are right for you. If medications are prescribed, we make the process simple and ensure that they can be sent directly to your pharmacy or home.

Dr. Florencia Halperin is Form’s chief medical officer and has dedicated herself to treating patients with obesity. Dr. Halperin founded and was the co-director of Brigham and Women’s Center for Weight Management and Metabolic Surgery and chief of endocrinology at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. She believes that close contact with patients is vital to their success.

“Telemedicine can facilitate close contact between the patient and the clinician, and therefore we believe could increase the likelihood that, working together and leveraging technology, we can help people achieve and sustain weight and health goals,” she explained. “I am really excited about reaching patients in all corners, even when an obesity medicine physician isn’t close enough to have face-to-face appointments. We use evidence-based strategies that science has shown us actually work. This is a growing field in medicine, and many people would benefit from working with a team that includes an experienced dietitian partnering with a doctor with expertise in the medical approach to obesity. ”

We strive to be accepting, non-judgemental and respectful. When you’re working with us, you can expect the highest standards of professionalism, and evidence-based strategies based on the best available clinical studies.

Registered dietitians on your team

In addition to an MD, you’ll have a dietitian on your Form team. Your dietitian will help you evaluate and change food choices, habits, and behaviors, and support you on your journey to wellness. You will also be provided with ongoing real-time support via text chat, whether you’ve got questions about your nutrition program, restaurant choices, meal prep or anything else.

Julia Axelbaum is our lead dietitian. “It’s my goal to help eliminate the stigma and discrimination toward people suffering from obesity and start offering the highest level of care that we can in this space. We provide cutting edge, evidence-based obesity treatment, combining diet, behavioral therapy and exercise, along with a high level of support, all through your phone,” Axelbaum said.

In order to create the most effective treatment plan, we start by taking the time to listen and really get to know you and your unique circumstances.

“Obesity is a complex, multifaceted disease influenced by a combination of factors including genetics, hormones, medications, lifestyle choices, and more — and at Form we understand that there is no single treatment that will work for everyone. Only once we have a complete picture of a person’s background and needs, do we then work together to create a realistic and sustainable plan,” she explained.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, weight loss patients need at least one counseling session with a registered dietitian, monthly, in order to obtain their goals.

With Form, you and your dietitian will be working together much more than once per month to maximize results.

“As a Form dietitian I meet with all of my patients every other week for one-on-one video chats where we work through personal challenges, strategize for upcoming situations, and celebrate success,” Axelbaum said. “Each week we teach a new nutrition topic, whether that’s combating emotional eating, dining out, or grocery shopping, and our clients receive daily tips and tricks on ways to incorporate these topics into their lives.”

In between visits, Axelbaum says she communicates with her patients to see photos of their meals, offer food swap suggestions, and to coach them through each day.

“I love getting photos of menus from my clients and being able to send back suggestions guiding them on what dishes to order. Sometimes later in the evening a patient may be struggling with emotional eating, and I am there to coach them through it and help them,” she said. “By sharing the science and teaching behavioral modification techniques rather than simply telling our clients what to eat, we empower them to apply the skills they learn with us to real world situations, so that they can lose the weight and finally keep it off for good.”

Axelbaum added that there is no calorie counting, and no foods are off limits. We use simple visualization techniques to teach patients how to eat healthy meals made of high quality foods in appropriate portion sizes. The sense of control you’ll feel as these skills become a part of your lifestyle will allow you to achieve the results you’ve been striving for.

Who is Form for?

Our program is for adults over the age of 18 who are struggling with obesity or who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 27. Our program is not for adults that have a history of eating disorders, women who may be pregnant or anyone looking for a quick fix; our goal is to deliver lasting results over time.

How to get started

We launched Form in an effort to help people lose weight, keep it off and enjoy a healthier life. If you think you’ve tried every approach and nothing has worked, you need Form to tip the scales.

For more information or to sign up, visit formhealth.co.

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