Weight Loss

At CCHL, we understand that losing weight can be very challenging. Let us support you on your journey to better health with helpful tools, resources, and ongoing contact. Our trained medical team can help you adopt healthy lifestyle habits in a safe and welcoming environment, in order to:

  • Promote weight loss
  • Increase activity and energy level
  • Improve your overall health by lowering blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol

During our individual counseling sessions we will work together with you to determine which of the following programs, or combination of programs, would best meet your specific weight goals

Medically Supervised Weight Management

Both individual counseling sessions and group classes are offered by our team of medical practitioners, nurses, dietitians, health educators, and exercise physiologists. Clients of all ages are welcome.

Nutrition Counseling

What you eat has a great impact on your health. At CCHL, many people learn to improve their health and manage weight through better nutrition. Healthy eating is discussed at CCHL during medical appointments, in classes, and at individual meetings with our Registered Dietitian/Nutritionists (RDNs).

At a meeting with the RDNs, you can develop specific strategies to address the following health concerns:

  • Obesity/Overweight
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease

In addition, the RDNs are experienced with the following concerns:

  • Anemia
  • Cancer
  • Celiac disease
  • Child nutrition
  • Digestive problems (including irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, GERD, gastritis, and diverticulitis)
  • Food allergies
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Irregular eating patterns and disordered eating
  • Pregnancy
  • Sports nutrition
  • Special diets (such as low oxalate, high potassium, low potassium)
  • Special eating concerns (including swallowing problems and tube feeding)
  • Underweight

HMR® Weight Management

Cayuga Center for Healthy Living (CCHL) offers a supervised weight management program that closely monitors your progress towards better health and well-being. Health Management Resources (HMR) is an intensive weight-loss and lifestyle-change program designed to help you lose weight fast and build healthier routines that last. Our weight loss program works because it offers a different path than traditional weight loss programs by combining supervision, meal replacement with nutrition counseling, accountability, education and support, and lifestyle changes. CCHL and HMR© help you achieve lasting weight loss!

Learn more

Bariatric Surgery

CCHL provides lifestyle support for the Cayuga Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. If your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 40, or greater than 35 and you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other weight-related problems, you may be a candidate for weight-loss surgery.

Exercise Transition Program

The Exercise Transition Program at Cayuga Wellness Center is designed to teach you how to safely exercise.  The program provides guidance to those who are new to exercise, have chronic medical conditions or have limited mobility. Classes are led by exercise physiologists from Island Health & Fitness, utilizing cardiovascular equipment, hand-held weights, functional activities, and stretching. Referral with medical clearance from your primary care provider or the providers at CCHL is needed to enroll.

Living Well Classes

Monthly Classes for a Healthier YOU!

Cayuga Center for Healthy Living offers a series of monthly classes starting in January continuing through December each year.  The classes are led by our expert staff of providers, dietitians, nurses and health educators and focus on a variety of topics to help improve overall health, addressing exercise, diet, sleep, stress and how to successfully adopt healthy habits.

Class format:  30-minute presentation, followed by a “hands-on” activity related to the month’s subject with plenty of time for questions.

Who should attend:  Anyone looking for ways to improve their health!  An optional (private) weigh-in is available before each class for those working on weight management.


A growing body of scientific evidence has demonstrated that lifestyle intervention is an essential component in the treatment of chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes. With appropriate changes in your lifestyle, you can go a long way toward turning the tables on type 2 diabetes.

  • Our diabetes team provides outpatient services at CCHL, as well as inpatient support to patients who are hospitalized at Cayuga Medical Center. Our services are comprehensive and our care team is very experienced.
  • We will help you learn to manage your diabetes and prevent or slow its progression, in coordination with the treatment you receive from your primary care provider.

What Can You Expect When You Get Referred to CCHL for Diabetes?

  • A clinical visit with one of our medical providers to discuss your individual lifestyle issues and your history with diabetes
  • Access to American Diabetes Association accredited diabetes education classes
  • A visit with one of our dietitians to assess your dietary goals
  • Information on our programs and classes including, weight loss, tobacco cessation, stress management, and exercise
  • Ongoing support and education based on your goals and needs

Diabetes is a complicated problem. For a thorough explanation of type 2 diabetes you can go to the website of the American Diabetes Association or WebMD.

Diabetes Prevention Program

More than 84 million US adults—that is 1 in 3—have prediabetes.  With prediabetes, blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetes.  People with prediabetes are at high risk for Type 2 diabetes (the most common type of diabetes), heart disease, and stroke.  Have you ever been told by your doctor that you:

  • Are at risk for getting diabetes?
  • Have pre-diabetes?
  • Have borderline diabetes?
  • Have high blood sugar or glucose?
  • Had gestational diabetes?

The Diabetes Prevention Program offered by CCHL can help you make a change for life. The program helps you learn how to change your lifestyle to prevent Type 2 diabetes.  This evidence-based program is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP).

Learn more

  • WHAT: Groups meet with a trained Lifestyle Coach for 16 weekly sessions + six monthly follow-up sessions over the course of a year.
  • WHO: Groups are open to all qualifying
  • HOW: Ask your doctor for a recommendation, or contact CCHL at 252-3590

Diabetes Education Classes

Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) is recognized by the American Diabetes Association and taught by a Certified Diabetes Educator together with other professional staff. Topics cover an overview of diabetes, complications, exercise, self-monitoring, medications, and nutrition.

Classes meet weekly each month. Call for upcoming dates and times.

Eating and Nutrition

At CCHL, we understand that changing the way you eat can be very challenging, especially if you are the family member who is responsible for preparing meals for everyone. With our assistance you can develop an eating plan that incorporates fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products to help control diabetes and also effectively lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

The Impact of Exercise

For most people with diabetes, engaging in regular exercise is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your health because physical activity lowers blood glucose. We can help you develop an individual exercise routine that is safe and effective for your specific health concerns. If you are overweight and have high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, exercise can help to improve those numbers.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Cayuga Medical Center offers medically monitored exercise and risk management education for people with qualifying cardiac diagnoses. Our program is certified and accredited by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).

Patients are typically referred to our program through a cardiologist or primary care provider and must have one of the diagnoses listed below.

  • myocardial infarction (MI or heart attack)
  • percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)
  • stable angina
  • congestive heart failure
  • coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)
  • valve repair or replacement
  • heart transplant

The program varies in length depending on the nature of your health care coverage. Additional cardiac diagnoses may be covered. We urge you to check with your insurance provider regarding coverage and co-pays.

Building Confidence with Exercise

Cardiac rehabilitation is an exercise program that includes telemetry monitoring and is administered by a multidisciplinary team of professionals including a supervising physician, registered nurses certified in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), and exercise physiologists.

  • While class is held in a group format, each participant receives a personal exercise prescription and individual instruction.
  • Once enrolled, patients attend 60-minutes exercise sessions, two times a week, in the attractive and accessible Cayuga Wellness Center.
  • Our cardio equipment is comfortable, well-maintained, and suitable for all levels and abilities. Additional exercise instruction may include resistance exercises, functional fitness, and stretching.
  • Patients who complete the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program have the option of continuing, and building on, their exercise routine in the Transition Exercise Program at Island Health & Fitness.

Lifestyle Modification

There are a number of lifestyle risk factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease. Lifestyle education and disease risk management are essential parts of cardiac rehabilitation.

  • Cardiac rehab patients often have co-existing diagnoses such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes, which increase the risk for future cardiac problems.
  • Participants in our program have access to individual education and lifestyle counseling sessions provided by the clinical staff at CCHL.
  • Whether the goal is to lose weight, adopt a heart healthy diet, quit tobacco products, or manage stress, we assist people in developing a plan and help them follow it through.

Tobacco Cessation and Heart Disease

Tobacco use is bad news for people with heart disease. Tobacco significantly increases your risks for further health complications, including additional cardiac events and premature death.

Visit the NYS Quit Line for more information.

Stress Management

A certain amount of stress is a good thing. But in our busy, complicated lives, many of us live in a state of constant, low-level stress. Most of us describe this as normal, everyday stress; however, this constant surge of “fight or flight” hormones causes inflammation, which contributes to virtually every kind of disease. Eliminating stress from our lives is an unrealistic goal; it’s our approach to handling our stress that can make the difference.

Scientific research has shown the benefits of stress management for people with chronic health problems, such as heart disease. Our collaborative partners at Island Health & Fitness and Rasa Spa offer various avenues for stress reduction, including:

  • Body work: massage, reflexology, aromatherapy (Rasa Spa)
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction program (IH&F, Rasa Spa)
  • Meditation (Rasa Spa)
  • Yoga (various approaches) (IH&F)
  • Medical therapeutic yoga (Rasa Spa)
  • Tai Chi (IH&F)

About Cayuga Medical Center

We are a not-for-profit, acute-care medical center bringing state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment services to the residents of Tompkins, Cortland, Seneca, and Tioga counties. And a century after our founding, we remain intrinsically tied to those we serve: our corporate membership includes representatives from over 100 community organizations. At Cayuga Medical Center, we believe that hospitals are shaped by the people they serve


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