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Feeling Hungry? Here’s How to Make Sure Your Appetite STAYS Suppressed

We often receive questions or comments regarding the effectiveness of using phentermine for weight loss.  Phentermine, also known as Adipex, works very well to control hunger; however, the results are still based on you and your motivation to eat healthier and your ability to stick to the plan.

After taking phentermine for several months, you may notice that the appetite suppressant effect does not seem as strong as it was for the first few weeks.  This diminishing effect is due to your body becoming acclimated to the medication.  So the question is: How do you make the appetite suppressant keep working for longer?

Here are some suggestions– based on your doctor’s approval:

  • Ask your doctor if you should take the whole tablet of phentermine in one dose rather than half a tablet twice a day.
  • Take the medication later during the day, 2 hrs before you are likely to be hungry, however not too late during the day which may inhibit sleep.
  • Consider doing weight lifting exercises instead of cardio. Cardio tends to stimulate appetite while weight lifting help suppresses appetite for many people.DSC_0843
  • Add on the B-12 and fat burner injections if you have not already done so. The B-12 and other components can make it easier for you to maintain your diet
  • Keep snacks away and do not have things around the house (or office!) that you really enjoy eating.
  • Drink more water. A gallon a day is best. When you find yourself hungry, drink a glass of water and wait 30 minutes to see if you are actually thirsty instead of hungry.
  • Consider consolidating your meals into a 6 hr window during the day, like during 2p-8p. This known as intermittent fasting and when used properly can be very effective for helping certain people regulate or “reset” their appetite.
  • Consider trying the other manufacturer/brand of phentermine.  Different companies use different dyes or binding agents as part of the inactive ingredients that may work better for certain individuals.  The pills look slightly different from each other, but the active ingredient is still entirely phentermine 37.5 mg.
  • Get more sleep. A lack of good sleep increases the release of a stress hormone, known as cortisol, that will cause you to eat more. Also, it’s hard to eat when you are asleep so it’s a win-win.
  • Take at least a 1-week break from phentermine (and other stimulants, such as caffeine, if you can handle it).  This allows your body to reset so the medication is new to you again.

These are just a few strategies to help you get the most out of the medication and better take control of your eating habits. Hopefully, something here will help you on your way to a healthier you.



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Tips on How to Be Healthier in the Fall

To make an appt, call us or schedule an appointment online hereBook an appointment using SetMoreElevation Medical Weight Loss of Pittsburgh & Weirton
2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205 (412) 304-2016 
241 Three Springs Dr. Weirton, WV 26062 (304) 914-3112


Summer is coming to an end and cooler weather is just around the corner. With the temperature drop usually comes less outdoor activities and the inevitable cold and flu season. Here are some tips for enjoying a happy and healthy fall this year. Pumpkins, for instance, are good for more than just carving as they are jam-packed with immune-boosting vitamin A, and are a low-calorie and low carb snack. They can be roasted, mashed, turned into soup and baked. Fall veggies, like fiber packed beets and vitamin  packed Brussel sprouts, can also add a healthy bump to your diet.

pumpkin latte

  • Avoid the Pumpkin Spice Latte trap! You know it’s fall when Pumpkin spice drinks make its debut. Although they may make you get into the fall spirit, they are sky-high in sugar and fat, which adds up to hundreds of calories. Make drinks healthier by choosing non-fat milk instead of whole, no whipped cream, and ask for less syrup. Cinnamon is great fall spice and a better substitute for sweetener.
  • Get a flu shot! The flu shot can cut your risk of getting the flu by up to 60 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These natural immune boosters can help you stave off the virus as well as recover more quickly if you do get sick.
  • Even if everyone around you is sniffling, you should still take steps to protect yourself. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands regularly. get plenty of rest, and eat a healthy diet.
  • Fall also means Halloween, which means candy. The best advice for buying Halloween candy is to buy candy that you do not like. Sounds simple, but it will work.
  • Even though there is less sunlight, try to keep the same routine. Your body will thank you.

These are just a few of the things you can do to stay healthy during this jam packed season, but same as the rest of the year we can’t overstate the positive effects of a properly balanced diet and regular exercise.

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Additional Walk-In Hours for Weight Loss

Due to increasing demand, we are extending our walk-in hours and appointment availability for both new patient weight loss consultations and medication refills.

The new hours will include Tuesdays 12p-3p in the Weirton office and Wednesdays 11a-2p in the Green Tree / Pittsburgh office effective immediately.

Tues: 12p-3p
Fri: 11am – 1pm
Sat: 3pm – 5pm

Walk-ins are always welcome during these hours

Weds 11a- 2p
Fri: 3pm – 6pm
Sat: 10am – 1pm

Walk-ins are always welcome during these hours

Just a cute baby picture

You can schedule an appointment in Pittsburgh or Weirton by clicking below.  There will be no change in non-physician hours.

Book an appointment using SetMore

or contact us HERE
Please allow up to 24 hours for response.
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Protein Intake and Weight Loss

To make an appt, call us or schedule an appointment online here
Book an appointment using SetMoreElevation Medical Weight Loss of Pittsburgh & Weirton
2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205 (412) 304-2016 
241 Three Springs Dr. Weirton, WV 26062 (304) 914-3112

Often when we discuss diet with our patients, we may fail to talk much about protein. Depending on how you approach your weight loss, the amount of protein you need will relative to your body weight. Protein serves a variety of purposes depending on the situation, but for now we want to address how it protects muscle during the weight loss process and how this should inform your personal protein consumption.

When your body is running at a caloric deficit, it will at some point turn to amino acids to supply its caloric needs at points throughout the day. By supplying your body with amino acids in the form of protein rich foods, you can prevent your body from breaking down underused muscle into those amino acids. Several studies have shown that by increasing protein intake to double the recommended amount (for the average women ~120 grams of protein per day, men ~180 grams per day) total weight loss was the same as other dieters except they lost significantly more fat tissue and less muscle mass.

You don’t have to go crazy with protein to gain the muscle protecting benefits it provides, but now that you are aware of the effect you can use it to your advantage even to smaller degrees, Additionally, as we often mention in the clinic, weight training is hugely beneficial for fat loss but works in tandem with increased protein intake to further preserve muscle mass.  And remember, less muscle burned mean more fat burned.

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No Checks, Please

To make an appt, call us or schedule an appointment online here
Book an appointment using SetMoreElevation Medical Weight Loss of Pittsburgh & Weirton
2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205 (412) 304-2016 
241 Three Springs Dr. Weirton, WV 26062 (304) 914-3112

sorry no checks

We have encountered several instances where we received personal checks as a form of payment and the check was returned unpaid due to account closing, change in account, or insufficient funds.  We realize sometimes it can be an honest mistake, but we do want to emphasize that we stopped taking checks as payment since November 2016 and there will be no exceptions.

Payment is rendered at the time of service.  We accept many forms of payment for our weight loss & hormone replacement services:  Cash, VISA, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX, CareCredit, and certain FSA or HSA plan if the card is a Mastercard or VISA and scan in our machine.


Thank you for your understanding.

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Keeping It Simple: What to Count to Make Your Diet Work For You


If you’ve come in and received nutritional counseling at Elevation Medical Weight Loss, you probably noticed that we take a more relaxed approach to dieting than many would expect.  As a result, this leads to several frequent followup questions. Before we continue let us be clear, healthier and more nutritious food choices are always preferred for general health and wellness. What we want to address today are the nuts and bolts of our dietary recommendations, and what matters on a daily basis so you can make more informed decisions when circumstances limit your food options.

In the strange and surprisingly vast world of online bodybuilding forums you will frequently run across the acronym, IIFYM (if it fits your macros). “If It Fits Your Macros” is a school of thought that so long as you eat the appropriate amount of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, and protein) you will get the results you want. When you come in for a consultation with myself or Dr. Cooper, we will typically give you two numbers; a calorie goal and a carbohydrate goal. We focus on these two numbers because when it comes to fat loss, these are what you need to get right in order to get results.

Calorie counting is important, since you can physically only lose as much weight as the amount of fat you burn for fuel. There are, of course, other factors that impact weight loss.  But when it comes down to it, the single most important factor is whether or not you consume fewer calories than you expend. Calories will also tend to control your food choices a bit, since fat has more calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein, you can only eat so much fat while staying within your targeted calorie range.

When we provide nutritional counseling, we spend a significant amount of time discussing the importance of reducing or (nearly) eliminating carbohydrates from the diet. The reason for this is two fold:

  • Firstly, consuming carbohydrates can cause insulin spikes, and since insulin is an anabolic hormone this is the last thing you want while attempting to lose weight. (anabolic hormones essentially tell your body to grow with no concern for how, and in most cases make you grow wider)
  • Secondly, your body prefers to burn glucose (carbohydrates) because it is easier than burning fat. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when you are constantly fighting your appetite the last thing you want to do is to put off burning fat for later. Basically, the fewer carbs you consume, the more time you will spend burning body fat as your primary fuel source and the time your body spends adjusting to a constantly changing diet.

While there is always more to learn, especially about nutrition and health, if you remember to focus on these two elements of your diet you should see the progress you want. By keeping your calories low and largely avoiding carbohydrates, you can put you body in the best position to burn fat and when it comes to losing weight, every little bit of help is welcome.

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What’s the difference? HCG Diet vs Phentermine Diet


When someone comes to us looking to lose weight, we typically prescribe one of two diet and medication programs.  The program we chose depends on how much weight they want to lose over the next 30 days and which methods they are willing to employ.

Phentermine (also known as Adipex, or Adipex-P) is an appetite suppressant that we commonly prescribe to help people lose from 5-15 lbs a month.  Actual results during any 30 day period can vary depending on an individual’s starting weight, body type, age, gender, and most importantly, will power. Since phentermine is a stimulant, your energy will improve despite eating much less than you typically would while also experiencing a diminished desire to eat food.

The HCG diet is specifically geared toward rapid fat loss, helping you achieve as much as 20-35 lbs of weight loss in 30 days. As with phentermine, individual results depend on your body type, how much extra weight you are carrying, and your adherence to the diet program and instructions. HCG attacks the other side of hunger, providing you the opportunity to operate comfortably at very low levels of calorie intake, while allowing you to burn off extra fat to provide this energy.

HCG is a hormone produced during pregnancy that encourages the metabolism of fat, reducing some aspects of hunger while encouraging the body to burn significantly more fat than it ordinarily would in a 24 hour period. If you feel highly motivated and want to lose in the range of 20-35 lbs a month, we may suggest the HCG diet program as a good choice for you, and in some cases HCG and phentermine have been used in combination for a safe way to reach your 30 day fat loss potential.  

So how are these two diets different from one another?  There isn’t much different except that the phentermine program is a little more flexible in terms of which foods to eat.  While both diets are restrictive in nature, the HCG program calls for a lower calorie intake and is more sensitive to the benefits of eating a low carbohydrate diet. Technically you could eat the same foods on either diet, but when you try to keep your calories low you will want to stay away from calorie dense foods or be left unsatisfied more often.

Anytime you eat a low calorie diet, you WILL lose weight.   However, phentermine will assist by dramatically reducing your appetite for food, providing energy, and removing the discomfort associated with being on a calorie-restricted program.  Of course you can definitely lose weight without any medications or assistance, but phentermine gives you that extra control and motivation because it removes the discomfort factor.  As a result, this will allow you to more easily stick to the diet plans you make for yourself.   HCG shots have similar effects of improving energy and reducing hunger, however this is achieved by utilizing body fat to create energy while protecting muscle mass rather than directly as a stimulant.

So what do I eat on the phentermine diet vs the HCG diet?

Phentermine Diet HCG Diet
·         1000-1600 calories per day ·         600-1000 calories per day
·         30 grams of total carbs, including dietary fiber (or 15-20 grams of NET carbs) if possible, but you may have up to 100 gram of carbs with good weight loss results ·         30 grams of total carbs, including dietary fiber (or 15-20 grams of NET carbs)
·         Lean meats, eggs, low-carb cheeses ·         Lean meats, eggs, low-carb cheeses
·         Oils, butter, and fat are OK (watch calories goal) ·         Oils, butter, and fat are OK (watch calories goal)
·         Green, leafy low-carb vegetables ·         Green, leafy low-carb vegetables (these should be your primary source of carbs)
·         Bread, pasta, sugar, or starch will hinder your progress. Try to avoid if possible ·         No bread, pasta, sugar, or starch
·         A small handful serving of berries or other tart fruits if desired

·         Other fruits or treats may be OK depending on your goal

·         Can only have berries or other tart fruits if within total daily carb limit
·         1-2 drink of alcohol per week is OK, as long as it meets your caloric requirements ·         No alcohol, and no beverages with calories except low-carb protein shakes
·         Use a water pill as needed for fluid retention or bloating ·         No water pill, unless you are already taking a water pill from your family doctor.
·         A small amount of Splenda, Truvia, Stevia and other artificial sweeteners are OK ·         A small amount of Splenda, Truvia, Stevia and other artificial sweeteners are OK
·         1 gallon of water a day is the general recommendation ·         1 gallon of water a day is the general recommendation
·         No restriction on activity, typically exercise is not required ·         No restriction on activity, typically exercise is not required

As a general guideline, we provide you with a food list below.  For a downloadable Food List PDF, click here.  FYI, this list is not comprehensive, however, if you choose your foods from this list, you are probably safe.

Meat & Fish

  • Eggs
  • NY Strip or T bone
  • Filet Steak
  • >90% lean beef
  • Top Round Steaks or
  • Roast         
  • Top Sirloin
  • Flank Steak
  • Eye of Round
  • Stew Meat
  • Skinless chicken
  • Chicken liver    
  • Pork     
  • Ground Turkey, Turkey
  • Breast slices or cutlets
  • Lamb
  • Whitefish
  • Salmon    
  • Tuna


  • Green Leafy lettuce (red, green, romaine)
  • Turnip Greens        
  • Mustard Greens     
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Bell Peppers (Green or Red)
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Artichoke
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Cucumber  
  • Carrots     
  • Eggplant   
  • Onions
  • Garlic    
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Kale
  • Mushrooms


(only a small handful total daily)

  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Lemons or limes
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes

Oils & Butter

  • Olive Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Butter
  • Flax seed oil
  • Avocados
  • Fish Oil
  • Mustard
  • Garlic


  • Onions
  • Dry seasonings (Herbal, etc.)
  • Scallions
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • Water (target is 1 gallon/day)
  • Water with lemon/lime
  • Flavored water
  • Iced tea (without sugar)
  • Herbal tea
  • Stevia/Truvia/Splenda

In the next few posts, we will include several meal plans for optimum weight loss.