The One That Works

The Medi-Weightloss Program has won many converts — including State Representative Charlie Geren.

Everyone knows that losing weight is hard. Aside from counting calories and exercise, someone who wants to lose weight must commit himself to an entirely new way of life. For anyone who has struggled to keep the pounds off, it can feel as if nature fights against hard-won gains. Studies have shown that in some cases, metabolism does actually slow after weight loss, as the body struggles to replace lost weight.

When nature itself undermines weight loss, it’s easy to feel defeated. Many people, including Fort Worth native Charlie Geren of the Texas House of Representatives, need a little help. Representative Geren found the assistance he needed at the Medi-Weightloss Clinic, which offers a physician-supervised weight loss program.

Representative Geren was gracious enough to share with us his success in the program.

What prompted you to pursue a healthier lifestyle?

Geren: The reason I decide to pursue a healthier lifestyle is because I was fat. My clothes were too tight. A friend of mine from Waco who served in the legislature went through the program, so I decided to try it. This is my third time, and I’m very comfortable with it and know that it works. Unfortunately, I’ve never stuck with the follow-up program, but I will this time.

For someone who knows absolutely nothing about the program, how would you describe it?

Geren: It’s basically no carbs for the first week, just small portions of protein and cheese. I call it hell week. After that you eat healthy vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. Once a week you go in for a check-up, and they can give you a B-12 complex shot to keep your energy up. It lasts as long as you want it to, and so far I’ve lost 22 pounds in four weeks. They’re really great people to work with, and offer a lot of encouragement.

How does your restaurant (Railhead Smokehouse) factor into the program?

Geren: Well, being in the BBQ business, there are a lot of different meats I can eat. Today I’ll have either turkey or chicken, jalapeños and a pickle for lunch. I usually save my beef for an evening meal, and tonight I’ll have a steak and some artichoke hearts. It’s also important to drink a lot of water while you’re on the program.

Through a combination of weekly visits — which involve body composition analyses and check-ups — and nutrition education, Medi-Weightloss has a proven track record in helping clients lose weight. Jana Howell of the Fort Worth Medi-Weightloss Clinic provides additional information on the process itself.

What sets Medi-Weightloss apart from other 
diet programs?

Howell: We help patients understand how many calories their bodies burn. In order to lose weight and maintain weight loss, you must know how many calories you can eat. We want people to understand their bodies, and be able to eat food from the grocery store and restaurants, not from a box. Our tagline is, “The One That Works,” and it’s true. You can integrate Medi-Weightloss into your everyday life, your vacations and work commitments, everything.

How is the program organized?

Howell: The program is patient specific, and it depends on how much the patient needs to lose. It’s organized in weekly visits, and the average is 5-7 pounds after the first week, 12-15 pounds after a month, and 40 after three months.

The biggest problem we see with most people’s diets is too many carbs: the fluffy white fillers such as bread, pasta, potatoes, cakes, candy, soda, and rice. We want our patients to eat healthy fats and recognize caloric content. We typically decrease carb intake, keep protein and dairy, and include fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats like avocados and nuts. After the patient reaches a goal, we break down caloric intake to 40% protein, 30% carbs and 30% healthy fats. This is when maintenance comes in, and we value the opportunity to teach people how to keep weight off.

What about the program surprises people?

Howell: If you’ve tried everything else, this is the one that will work. Medi-Weightloss is a lifestyle, not a diet. People always think they can lose weight on their own, but education and accountability are huge. Our passion is teaching people how to live healthier lives.

For more information on Medi-Weightloss, visit their webpage at