Health Aware: Edward Hospital’s new Medical Weight Loss Clinic

<p>Zaid Jabbar, an internal medicine physician with Edward Medical Group, is medical director of the new Edward Medical Weight Loss Clinic. | Submitted</p>

Zaid Jabbar, an internal medicine physician with Edward Medical Group, is medical director of the new Edward Medical Weight Loss Clinic. | Submitted

Dr. Zaid Jabbar learned the importance of lifestyle choices when he was much younger. His father had suffered a major heart attack at 39, due in part to obesity. This scare prompted him to lose weight and get his health back on track.

Now, Jabbar is an internal medicine physician with Edward Medical Group and medical director of Edward Hospital’s Medical Weight Loss Clinic. He offers a variety of strategies that have helped patients in his practice, along with information on lifestyle and fitness programs available through Edward.

“The clinic is all about having options,” Jabbar says.

One of his patients, Julie Keith, now 41, was concerned about her high triglyceride levels.

“I wasn’t feeling down on myself about my weight,” Keith says. “I just wanted to be at a weight that would be healthy for my height.”

Occasionally, the Plainfield resident would try to cut back on what she ate and work out at the gym, but she hadn’t been able to make her efforts stick.

“At one of my check-ups, Dr. Jabbar suggested I start with simple changes, such as cutting the carbohydrates I was eating daily in half, and doubling the protein,” she says. “I also committed to exercise on my elliptical 10 minutes a day. By making change seem easy, Dr. Jabbar helped me stick with it. Gradually, I increased the exercise times, and made additional changes to my diet. Now if I occasionally want to eat a few cookies or other carbs that I usually avoid, I compensate by watching what I eat for the rest of the day.”

Jabbar also gave Keith a prescription for the weight loss medication, phentermine, which she used for a few months.

“This made me less hungry while I got in the habit of making more sensible food choices,” Keith says. “I followed up with Dr. Jabbar monthly while I was on the medication.”

In the last two years, Keith has lost 100 pounds, brought her triglyceride count down from 300 to 70, and thrown out her high blood pressure pills. And, that 10-minute exercise session has morphed into 5K running races, bike rides of 25 miles or more with her family, and regular workouts at her martial arts gym.

“The weight loss changed my mind about a lot of things,” she says. “I used to think I couldn’t do things because I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without feeling winded. Now I feel I can do anything.”

The Edward Medical Weight Loss Clinic tailors treatment to the individual after an initial consultation and thorough evaluation. This may include a baseline EKG and lab work. Patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or greater may be prescribed an FDA-approved weight loss medication. Monthly follow-ups are scheduled to monitor the effectiveness of any medication.

Clinic patients also receive information about a meal replacement plan and two Edward weight management programs: a six-week fitness-based course, “Work for Results,” and a 12-week program, “Lifestyle Under Construction,” a medically-based program that features advice from a cardiac nurse, dietitian, exercise physiologist and certified professional counselor.

For information about the Edward Medical Weight Loss Clinic in the Edward Heart Hospital, visit or call 630-527-7205.

Health Aware is a weekly column submitted by Edward Hospital.