Weight Management

Are you struggling with your weight? Is your weight leading to health problems? At Pella Regional, we approach weight management by surrounding you with a medical support team. We are dedicated to helping you gain or lose weight in the safest, most effective way possible to ensure long-lasting success.

Lower Your Risk Factors

Your treatment at Pella Regional is tailored to your individual needs and risk profile. Our primary goal is to reduce associated health problems of being underweight or obese and to improve your well-being and social function.

Many medical complications associated with obesity can be improved by intentional weight loss, and even very modest weight losses were shown to affect cardiovascular and metabolic risk markers. By working with us you can be more active, live a healthier life whether it’s for pre- and post-operative weight loss surgery care, or to lower your chances of having:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Joint or back pain
  • Sleep apnea
  • Certain cancers

What to Expect

You will meet with Dr. Maria Lao, internal medicine physician, for a complete evaluation at your first visit to set the foundation of your personalized weight management program. Dr. Lao uses evidenced based recommendations to help you reach your goals. At the visit she will:

  • Look for health related issues that might cause you to be underweight or overweight.
  • Review your medicines that can lead to weight loss or gain.
  • Evaluate if meal replacements are an appropriate option.
  • Make recommendations to support your weight management goals by building a team of experts around your needs which may include a dietitian, physical therapist or mental health counselor.

Your Team of Experts

Partner with our knowledgeable providers for support and encouragement to achieve your goals and maintain your progress. You will meet with Dr. Lao and your team regularly to monitor progress and learn lifelong healthy habits to sustain weight loss or weight gain.


Cathy Pollock, RD, LD, will help you find ways to make small changes in lifestyle behaviors that can result in long-term success. Together, you will explore your individual food and activity habits so you can identify habits that may be disrupting your efforts.

Trust us to help you set realistic goals to cut back on excess calories and burn more calories through activity. Developing an appropriate weight loss plan will allow you to:

  • meet your distinct nutritional and health needs
  • suit your individual lifestyle
  • include a wide variety of foods from all food groups
  • focus on realistic life-long changes to nutrition

The ultimate goal is to assist you in forming a healthier relationship with food and develop sustainable healthy habits.

Medical Fitness

Your participation in Pella Regional’s Medical Fitness Program through Therapy Services gives you access to the following tools to make healthy lifestyle changes.

  • A physical therapy evaluation to develop a home exercise program specifically set up to address your strength, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance and balance.
  • Follow–up visits with a trainer for 60 days to monitor your progress and adapt the program to meet your needs.
  • Follow–up visit with a physical therapist at 30 and 60 days to address any issues or pain you may have.

Mental Health

Dr. Lao may refer you to Charles Ingle, LMHC, NCC, to help you work on understanding and managing the thoughts and behaviors may be interfering with your weight loss. Mental health counseling with Charles focuses on helping you identify the types of behaviors and beliefs that are sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

Talking through challenges can be helpful in making healthy choices and identifying the triggers that prompt unhealthy choices. Counseling can give you the tools to reduce the need to cope with food and make it easier to achieve healthy eating and weight management.

Quality of Life Improves with Healthy Lifestyle

Take the first step to a healthy lifestyle and identify and learn new behaviors with the help of Pella Regional’s team. Gradual changes over time can lead to big benefits:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased energy
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Decreased risk of chronic disease
  • Tools for stress management
  • Improved relationship with food

Make an Appointment

Dr. Maria LaoGet started on your journey to better health and make a weight management appointment with Dr. Lao.