830 W Diversey Pkwy, #300

Chicago, IL 60614



Medical Weight Loss

Center for Athletic Medicine  >  Services  >  Medical Weight Loss


What is it? Obesity is a disease of chronic low-grade inflammation that leads to other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, kidney disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Obesity is classified as a BMI of >30. Since March 2020, the United States obesity prevalence has been 41.9%.

Studies show modest weight loss of 5-10% of body weight is associated with significant improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors in 1 year.

Conventional weight loss strategies include diet and exercise. Now we have FDA-approved medication for weight loss! These new opportunities aid patients in achieving the necessary weight loss to live happier and healthier lives. As we all know, it is not always as simple as changing your diet and working out more. Factors such as hunger, cravings, metabolism, and insulin resistance make it harder for people to lose weight.

What we offer
GLP1 agonist medication
A GLP1 agonist is the class of medication that includes semaglutide, dulaglutide, and liraglutide. These medications work to mimic hormones that are already made by the body. The mechanism of action of semaglutide is to activate GLP-1 receptors which in turn increases insulin secretion, decreases glucagon secretion, and delays gastric emptying.

Effectiveness of the medication
STEP5 clinical trials show that in combination with lifestyle modifications (exercise and healthy diet), semaglutide weekly injections led to 15.2% weight loss. At 2 years, 77% of patients using semaglutide lost at least 5% of their weight, with 36.1% of participants losing > 20% of body weight.

Route of administration
This is an injectable medication that you can inject subcutaneously at home, once weekly.

Adverse drug reactions
Potential side effects include GI upset, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, dehydration, injection site reaction, and allergic reaction. This medication cannot be taken if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

Concierge Service
This includes an in-office consultation, a prescription for semaglutide by a compounding pharmacy which is delivered to your home, education on the medication and administration, and periodic follow-up appointments.

What is a compounding pharmacy?
A compound pharmacy is a type of pharmacy that can mix and combine ingredients to make customized medications. Since semaglutide injection is on the FDA drug shortage list, compound pharmacies can make “copies” of the medication.

Pros of using compounded semaglutide:

  • There is a shortage of Wegovy and it is very difficult to obtain the medication.
  • If insurance does not cover Wegovy or Zepbound it can cost around $1,000-1,350 per month, out of pocket for the medication alone. Compounding pharmacy prices are around $400-800, and depending on the dose can last 1-3 months.
  • You may not require as frequent office visits and prescription refills, depending on your dose.

Cons of using compounded semaglutide:

  • You need to inject your medication yourself, there is no autoinjector.
  • This medication needs to be refrigerated.
  • Health insurance is not used.

Nutrition Education

The Basics
It is not all about fad diets, but rather learning to follow a healthy diet with an understanding of what nutrients your body needs and how it uses them.


  • Protein – Protein is the building block for all tissues. With 4 calories per 1 gram of protein, we obtain energy, but more importantly amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks for protein synthesis in our bodies to make tissues, muscle, and cellular products. Animal proteins are complete protein products and provide us with all 9 essential amino acids. There are a total of 20 common amino acids, some of which our body can synthesize itself. It is important that if you have diet restrictions to avoid animal proteins, you ensure that you eat a combination of plant proteins to be able to consume all essential amino acids. This is called protein complementing. The goal for daily protein consumption is 10-35% of your calories or 0.8 g/kg of body weight for a sedentary person. Protein requirements increase with increased exercise and goals to build muscle mass. You should strive to have the majority of your protein intake for your first meal and last meal of the day.
  • Fat – Fat is an important nutrient for stored energy and use in cell membranes and protection for our bodies. With 9 calories per 1 gram of fat, it is the most energy-dense macronutrient. There are 3 main types of fats, saturated, unsaturated, and trans fats.
    • Saturated fat is often from animal sources and a general rule of thumb is that it is solid at room temperature. These are called saturated fats because the chemical makeup of these fats are long chains of carbon connected by single bonds, with hydrogen atoms attached at every other point so they are “saturated” with hydrogen atoms. These are the kinds of fats that if eaten in excess are often associated with high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.
    • Unsaturated fats are often from plant sources and liquid at room temperature. They are unsaturated because their chemical makeup also includes long chains of carbon but will have a few double or triple bonds so there are fewer points for hydrogen atoms to be attached. This is considered to be the healthiest fat to consume and a staple of the Mediterranean diet.
    • Trans fats are industrial made by adding hydrogen atoms to unsaturated fat (vegetable oil) to make it solid. Most often found in margarine, vegetable shortening, and processed foods. These fats are most associated with cardiovascular disease. It is best to avoid trans-fat.
  • Carbohydrates – We use carbohydrates for energy. With 4 calories per 1 gram of carbohydrate.
    • Carbohydrates are more than just sweet things! Yes, chemically they are sugars, but this includes simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are 1 or 2 sugar molecules. They are easily broken down into glucose (how the body uses sugar. Everything is essentially digested into glucose molecules for our cells to use for energy.) Simple sugars are often sweet and can spike the blood sugar. This is a quick form of energy and excess will be stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles, when there is still an excess the body will turn that to fat. Simple sugars are good when your energy expenditure requires quick energy or in moderation for a healthy diet.
    • Complex carbohydrates are 3 or more sugar molecules such as fiber and starch. It takes the body more time to break these down to glucose resulting in steady glucose release. It is best to have more complex carbs in your diet to avoid excess sugar in the bloodstream and also helps with GI health to have a good amount of fiber.

These are our vitamins and minerals. It is best to obtain these through a diverse diet, but a daily multivitamin supplement can help to support vitamin and mineral requirements. An easy tip to ensure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals is to have a diverse diet with various fruits and vegetables. Make your plate look like a “rainbow” aka you don’t want everything you are eating to be white or brown. For those who are vegan, it is important to add a vitamin B12 supplement as you can become deficient if you do not consume animal products.

Hydration is an important part of being healthy. It is recommended to drink 0.5-1 ounces of water per pound you weigh. So, if you weigh 200 lbs, your daily water intake should be around 100-200 ounces of water (3-6 liters) Your water requirement may increase depending on your water loss (sweating from exercise). Avoid alcohol use as it often has empty calories (no nutritional benefit from calories consumed) and is a diuretic (makes you urinate) which can make you dehydrated.