Partners for Healthier Weight

Obesity Management Services

Partners for a Healthier Weight

Guiding Principles

Partners for Healthier Weight (PfHW) recognizes the great need for comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and evidence-based obesity management treatment in Nova Scotia. The PfHW Program emphasizes treatment for the obese population that targets lifestyle modification to encourage behaviours supportive of healthier weight as evidenced by the most current scientific research.

The Program’s guiding principles include: 1) availability of food predicts choice and amount of consumption creating a risk for obesity when our environment contains calorically dense, nutritionally sparse, over-processed foods in mass quantities; 2) eating does not occur exclusively as a health choice, but is also a social and emotional experience; 3) substances such as sugar, salt, and fat have been implicated in scientific research as having addictive properties potentially necessitating addiction treatments for those that consume foods with these substances to the extent it affects their health; and  4) single modality interventions for obesity have low success necessitating treatments that include a comprehensive, evidence-based approach including dietary intervention, psychological intervention, and physical activity components to maximize success.

In line with these principles, the PfHW Program utilizes a short-term meal replacement phase to accomplish elimination of choice and withdrawal from food to produce optimal weight loss during the first phase. This phase allows the participants to explore relationships with food, including the factors contributing to weight and other health indicators.  The Program also utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to facilitate teaching, discussing, and employing lifestyle modification tools to foster skills that will support participants in long-term behavior change. 

The PfHW Program approaches success as it occurs through changing behaviours, attitudes, relationships, and emotions, rather than rewarding individuals for losing pounds or inches.  This approach is coupled with the management of expectations of healthy weight and weight loss in our participants, other health care professionals, and our environment that are so often unreasonable or unrealistic.

52 Week Intensive Program

Core Program Overview: The PfHW Core Program is a 52-week obesity management series designed for individuals with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater. All participants receive an individual initial assessment, completed by our team of experts, to ensure they are appropriate for the Program. The Program's guiding principles focus on limiting choice and intensive lifestyle modification to support participants in re-learning their relationship with food.

A 12-week meal replacement phase (Optifast®) is used, followed by a slow and gradual transition back to healthier food options. Participants are medically monitored throughout these phases of the Program. An intensive schedule of facilitated lifestyle change sessions, as well as group support and discussion sessions occur throughout the 52-week Program to make a truly comprehensive Program.

Enrollment Process: All individuals that are interested in participating in the PfHW 52 week Core Program are asked to view the on-line Information Session videos and read the Program Information Booklet/Next steps to Enroll. Interested individuals are asked to submit the Participant Availability Form to start the enrollment process. All of these resources are found on our website: .

6 Month Follow-Up Program

Program Overview: The 6-Month Follow-Up Program is a 25-week obesity management series designed for graduates of our Core 52-week Program.  All participants must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater and complete a psychologicaly based readiness assessment, in addition to a full medical assessment, to ensure they are appropriate for the program.The follow-up program is designed to reinforce behaviours, skills and knowledge from our core program, while introducing new concepts, skills & tools to further establish a healthy behaviour around weight management. 

An 8-week meal replacement phase (Optifast®) is used, followed by a slow and gradual transition back to healthier food options. Participants are medically monitored throughout these phases of the Program. The program schedule consists of weekly facilitated lifestyle change sessions (2h) for the first 15 weeks of the program, followed by biweekly sessions for the remainder of the program.

Enrollment Process: All individuals that are interested in participating in the 6-Month Follow-Up Program are asked to submit the Participant Availability Form to start the enrollment process. The updated referral form is found online and needs to be completed by your family physician. All of these resources are found on our website:


Reset & Recommit:

Program Overview: Recognizing obesity as a chronic and complex condition, Program participants may require additional support to prevent relapse into previous lifestyle behaviours. To support the ongoing struggle with lifestyle change, PfHW has created the Reset and Recommit Program. The focus of R2 is relapse prevention. That is, to stop or prevent a backslide or downward spiral some participants experience when faced with challenges, barriers, and temptations while trying to maintain a health behaviour.

 R2 will provide graduates of the PfHW Program with an opportunity to explore and address the challenges and/or barriers that can cause a relapse, to engage in group support from other graduates, to reinforce the concepts and skills learned during the Program, and continue to learn and be supported by the PfHW facilitators. The modules will be focused on maintaining health behaviours, progressing a behaviour change plan, and strategies to prevent relapse over time. Discussions will center around challenges participants often face such as social support for healthy behaviour, coping with stressors, time management, maintaining motivation, self-efficacy for health behaviours, and planning for the future.

R2 is open to any PfHW participant that has completed the year long Program. A total of 6 sessions will be delivered over a 12 week period. Each session will be 1.5 hours on the same day, at the same time each week. All sessions are facilitated by a member of our PfHW Psychology Team. (January program: Andrea Fougere-Chou, Registered Counsellor Therapist-Candidate.)

Enrollment Process: Contact Marsha at (902) 473-1189. 


Additional Services

PfHW also offers other obesity management services including:

• Group lifestyle change and education sessions
• Individual assessments, consults and treatment with a psychologist, dietitian or physiotherapist

**Please contact our office at (902) 473-1189 to book an appointment**

PfHW is committed to providing a comfortable and safe environment for persons with a BMI of 30 or greater. The PfHW clinic amenities include equipment and furnishings to support this commitment. Visit Tour our Clinic on this website. PfHW also offers a wide range of specialty equipment, clothing, and goods. Examples include: bariatric canes, walkers, rollators, and wheelchairs, aids to improve activities of daily living, active clothing in a range of sizes, therabands, stainless steel water bottles, and other goods to support healthy lifestyles.