Losing weight through diet and exercise, and then regaining it, is a frustrating cycle that repeats itself for many people. This struggle, combined with common weight-related conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, leaves patients discouraged about their ability to live healthy lives.

What is Medical Weight Management?

Medical weight management (MWM) is a science-based medical program for people with obesity. The specially trained physicians affiliated with Memorial Hermann are on the forefront of obesity medicine, and strive to produce healthy outcomes for patients through individualized treatment plans. Our goal is to help you create and follow a physician-guided plan for weight loss and long-term wellness.

MWM programs are best suited for people who have not been able to effectively lose weight and keep it off. While MWM programs do not offer surgical weight loss options, they do collaborate with surgeons and often help patients lose weight in preparation for surgery or postoperative patients who have regained weight.

With a comprehensive medical plan that may include medications or other therapies, MWMs aim to bridge the gap between behavior and biology. Our team strives to help patients become better partners with themselves, apply healthy behaviors more consistently, and achieve health and weight goals in the both the short and long term.

Each patient has unique needs. To meet individualized weight-loss goals, MWM can include:

Causes of Obesity

People tend to focus only on diet and exercise, but there can be other causes of obesity. To reverse weight gain, treatment plans must be tailored to address the full range of driving factors.


People dealing with obesity often interact with their environment in ways that make it difficult to lose weight. Environmental stressors like living with someone who is also overweight, struggling with family or work difficulties, or even having a long commute time can all interfere with the ability to focus on self-care and healthy living.


Underlying mental health concerns, including depression and anxiety, can contribute to weight gain. Other psychological factors that can make it hard to lose weight include disordered eating habits, binge-eating behavior, negative self-talk, “all or nothing” thinking patterns and “people pleasing” personality types.


Sleep habits, physical activity, beverage selection and meal planning are all behavioral activities that can affect health and weight.

Inadequate sleep can be caused by insomnia, sleep apnea or certain medications, and it affects the ability to feel rested enough for exercise and quality physical activity during the day. Addressing an underlying sleep problem can have a significant impact on the ability to lose weight.

When people are tired from a poor night’s sleep, they may turn to caffeinated, high-calorie beverages like sugary sodas and coffee products for energy. Alcoholic beverages also contribute to excessive calorie intake and can disrupt sleep patterns. One of the fastest ways to gain weight is drinking too many calories, and people often overlook beverages as a cause of weight gain. In addition to sleep and drinking habits, eating without a structured plan can affect the ability to lose weight. Behaviors like skipping meals early in the day, followed by excessive hunger and overeating later, can be causes of weight gain. Without a good meal plan, people are likely to make poor food choices like fast food and processed foods because they run out of time.


Physical medical problems like arthritis, chronic pain, fibromyalgia or headaches can limit the ability to get enough exercise. Conditions that affect cognitive function, like autism or intellectual disability, can make it hard to understand and engage in healthy eating behaviors. Addressing these needs, first, can set a better foundation for working on weight loss.


One of the most common biological causes of obesity is insulin resistance. This condition causes glucose to accumulate in the blood and may lead to diabetes. Insulin resistance usually does not show symptoms and must be diagnosed with a laboratory test. Scientists have also discovered certain genetic and hormonal factors that may contribute to obesity.

Another biological consideration is increased appetite that can be caused by common drugs like beta blockers, insulin and mental-health medications.

How Does an MWM Program Work?

Obesity-medicine physicians and dietitians work together with patients to create a plan for sustainable weight loss and improved health.

Let’s Get Started.

Find a medical weight management specialist affiliated with Memorial Hermann. Specialists are located throughout Greater Houston.

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Medical Weight Management Program

Specialists affiliated with Memorial Hermann’s NewStart Medical Weight Management Program use a scientifically based medical approach to weight loss.

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Care Concierge Program

With the Memorial Hermann NewStart™ Care Concierge Program, our staff of experienced professionals will help guide you through the entire process and provide the support you need at no additional cost...

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