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


CCHL offers the HMR® medically supervised weight management program. Meal replacement together with medical supervision, nutrition counseling, education, and support can help you achieve lasting weight loss.

Tobacco Cessation

Many smokers are concerned about gaining weight after they quit using tobacco. Don’t let those concerns get in the way of quitting. Talk to us – we can help! Our tobacco cessation staff provides motivation and support, and can advise you on medication.

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 are for individuals who have difficulty being active due to chronic conditions or disabilities, such as diabetes, obesity with back or joint pain, intermittent leg pain due to circulation problems (claudication), or irregular heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation). Exercise is usually safe and effective with these conditions, but many people need some help getting started.

You will be scheduled into classes to meet your particular needs. Almost all classes use cardiovascular equipment and may involve the use of hand-held weights, functional activities, and stretching. The prerequisite for this program is referral by one of our clinicians. Many people take ETP concurrently with individual counseling sessions.


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.

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.

Tobacco Cessation and Diabetes

Tobacco use is bad news for people with diabetes. Because of the changes diabetes causes in your body, you already have increased risks for elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, heart attack, and stroke. Add tobacco to the equation and you are significantly increasing your risks for health complications, including premature death.

Our tobacco cessation classes provide motivation and support (both psychological and with medication). We’ve got a good track record, too.

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.

  • Under the medical direction of cardiologist Amit Singh MD, FACC, FASNC, the cardiac rehabilitation team at CCHL works closely with the Cayuga Heart Institute and referring cardiologists to provide comprehensive, outpatient care.
  • 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.

A Word from Our Medical Director

“Many studies have shown unequivocally that patients with certain cardiac diagnoses can expect to have better outcomes and more successful recoveries when they participate in cardiac rehabilitation. We now know that medically monitored exercise and lifestyle counseling are well-validated, integral tools for both the management and prevention of heart disease.

At Cayuga Medical Center, we are proud to provide a cardiac rehabilitation program of the highest quality, delivered with expertise and compassion.”

-Amit Singh MD, FACC, FASNC

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.

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)

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.

Our tobacco cessation classes provide motivation and support (both psychological and with medication). We’ve got a good track record, too.

The Cayuga Heart Institute

The Cardiac Heart Institute is a hospital-wide multidisciplinary team of health professionals linking Admissions, the Emergency Department, the Cardiac Catheterization Team, Intensive Cardiac Care Unit, Inpatient Telemetry, Outpatient Testing, the Laboratory, Imaging Services, Nutrition and Dining, the Cayuga Center for Healthy Living, Cardiovascular Rehabilitation, and our Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers. Working together, we provide a comprehensive network of cardiac care.

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