Valley woman's success story with Medi Weight Loss Clinic

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"At least every year it was like up a size or half a size, admits Chelsea Pilon, 22. She has been battling her weight since high school


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While she has tried every diet you could think of, nothing has worked long-term. She says, "I thought my body was just like 'You know what, you're a chunky girl and that's the way you're going to be'."

That is until Chelsea tried a new approach at the Medi Weight Loss Clinic of Central Phoenix. They have a very restricted calorie diet combined with an overall health plan.

Mary Beth O'Neal, the owner of Medi Weight Loss Clinic, explains, "We've had patients that have lost more than 100 pounds so potentially they can lose as much as they want." She says the medically-supervised program has three phases: Losing the weight plus short and long term maintenance.

Chelsea admits, "I was very guarded because even though I knew I was at my point where I was going to be in trouble, pretty big, I looked at it as another program that I was going to fail at, but give it a shot."

Debra Smith, a physician assistant at Medi Weight Loss Clinic says, "It is a lifestyle change for people because you will learn to eat differently, you will feel differently. You start exercising and we give you tools to help you maintain the weight and the support if need it." She says before anyone starts the program each person must go through a series of tests from blood work to an EKG. She says, "We want to make sure if they have any health issues that we know about this."

Clients will eat between 500 to 800 calories during the first phase and, while that may seem low, Smith says once people reach their goal weight they return to a normal calorie diet. Smith says, "We call it the Ketagenic diet and the reason we call it a Ketagenic diet is because what we do the first week is we have you just eat straight protein, eggs, meats, fish and cheese in the process. Your body will use up all the quick types of energy which are carbohydrates in your body and then it will turn to burning your fat." She adds, "Once you're done with that what we do is then we start adding back in more fruits and veggies, but the whole goal is to keep you in ketosis as long as we can."

Chelsea admits, "It was hard that first week, but after three of four days passed you kind of get in a routine and groove that I can do this, it's not so bad." Chelsea is monitored on a weekly basis. In addition to her diet and exercise she takes supplements and an appetite suppressant, which you must meet certain criteria to be given plus B-6 and B-12 injections.

Smith says, "Just because we know during the diet you're getting a lot of meat nutrients, but you're not getting nutrients you get from fruits and veggies and the dairy products, so we supplement with that."

Since starting the program in January, Chelsea has lost more than 70 pounds. While she still wants to lose another 40 she is glad she took a chance. "It's easy to me. It's not a cheerleading setting and it wasn't a group setting. It's about you and you work it around your life."

This is a medically-supervised program. For more information, go to .