Fifty-eight-year-old Rick Gullo has lost 65 pounds in six months.
Today, he's off one blood pressure medication and the dose for another has been cut down.
"I feel great. I really do," Gullo said.
Gullo followed a program at Vive Medical Weight Loss & Aesthetics in South Jersey.
Dr. Matthew Pinto specializes in obesity medicine and closely monitors all patients.
"Rick came in with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, he actually had a stent placed for a blockage so he already had heart disease. His focus to me was I want to be healthier, not just to lose weight," Pinto said.
Dr. Pinto spoke with Gullo's cardiologist and kept a watchful eye on his condition.
Gullo is a real estate agent so he wanted a plan that was convenient to follow. He decided on meal replacements.
"Once I found what I liked, that was it. Six times a day, I would have either a shake or one of the bars and that was all I had for the first four weeks," Gullo said.
He also took a prescription medication to curb his appetite.
There are several approved by the FDA.
But Dr. Pinto cautions they're not for everyone, and again, patients must be closely monitored.
"Any physician can prescribe these, but it's better to go to someone with experience with these drugs," Pinto said.
Gullo has now scaled back on meal replacements, substituting in real, healthy foods.
Now he says he feels addicted to feeling good and living healthy and he has a lot to live for including four grandchildren.
"I want to be around, I want to see them grow up. I want to be around for all four of them. Now I feel like maybe I will be," Gullo said.
Dr. Pinto says for anyone looking to lose weight:
First, recognize where you are. You can do this by calculating your Body Mass Index, or BMI, here.
Second, keep a food journal for one week. This way you can add up your average daily calories.
Third, determine how many calories you need versus how many you are eating.
If you have other medical conditions, talk with your healthcare provider before starting any weight loss plan.
If you are overweight, even losing just 5% of your body mass can improve your overall health.
The cost for weight loss programs at Vive Medical Weight Loss & Aesthetics ranges from $80 per week to $300 per week depending on your needs.
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