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Struggling to lose weight? Time for Lifestyle Changes

Read all about it…our newest press coverage from Caroline O’Halloran of www.SavvyMainLine.com.

Obesity Medicine- and Family Medicine-certified physician Janine Darby, MD, treats patients from her sunny home office. Online visits are convenient for busy moms and keeps patients accountable. “No excuses about being late or missing appointments due to traffic,” Darby says.

For years, Dr. Janine Darby had put healthy eating on a back burner. With a bustling Penn Medicine family practice in Phoenixville and four demanding kids, who had time to cut vegetables?

Eating on the run – a pizza here, a bowl of ice cream there – and diminutive Darby (she’s 4 ft. 11) packed on 55 pounds.

“Oh, my gosh, I’m huge for my size!” she remembers thinking. Her husband was a foot taller but weighed just 10 pounds more.

Diabetes, cancer and heart disease – all connected to obesity and advancing age – ran in her family. Nearing 40, she knew her luck wouldn’t last forever.

Plus, the mirror was demoralizing.

“I hated how I looked in clothes,” Darby recalls. “I would turn down events because I didn’t have anything to wear. I didn’t feel sexy for my husband. I became a little depressed. For all these reasons, I knew I had to get it together.”

An inner voice, whispered at first, grew insistent: Physician, heal thyself. 

And so, she did.

Cutting way back on carbs, Darby dropped 40 pounds in four months.

And kept them off.

Thrilled at her transformation, she pulsed with purpose and newfound energy. She became board certified in Obesity Medicine, wrote the bestseller, Get Your Sexy Back: A Guide to Bouncing Back After Pregnancy, and opened a virtual medical practice, Lifestyle Changes LLC, a full year before the advent of telehealth under COVID.

Darby had changed her own lifestyle; she would help others do the same.

Dr. Janine Darby counsels patients from her serene home office in Montgomery County. Freed from the fee-for-service payment model, she no longer has to rush from one patient to the next. Another advantage to her visits via video chat: she can ask to see the patient’s fridge and pantry.

Focused on weight loss and ongoing weight management, Dr. Darby sees patients via secured video chat and makes house calls if needed.

Her approach is holistic. After a comprehensive evaluation of medical and family history, and lifestyle, she creates a customized program based on the three Ms: mindset, meal prep and movement.

For three months minimum, she monitors her patients’ vitals using a state-of-the-art smartphone app.

Because she’s an MD, she can tweak meds and, when needed, prescribe stimulants to jumpstart metabolisms and suggest supplements that balance hormones and support the sleep that’s vital to weight loss.

She knows which syndromes can cause obesity and which underlying conditions keep the pounds on. She can tune into psychosocial factors that cause stress-, depression- and anxiety-eating. “That’s what makes me special. I’m able to weed out diseases vs. behavioral factors.”

Her typical patient needs to shed 30 to 50 pounds but Darby has successfully treated those who need to lose far less – and far more. Many come after failing to manage their weight on their own. Others come after they put back pounds they lost after bariatric surgery.

Meals aren’t part of the program but meal planning is.

“If you don’t plan your meals, you’re going through a drive-thru or reaching for a candy bar,” Darby says. “You need to plan your week, plan your snacks. You should never be hungry.”

Patients check in weekly, recounting their challenges and triumphs.

In the third month, Darby incorporates movement as a way to tone skin, maintain weight loss and boost cardiovascular health.

But exercise is “a bonus,” she says. “Ninety percent of losing weight is what you’re putting in your mouth.” To cut the confusion over sourcing and quality of vitamins and minerals, she recently private labelled a supplement line.

Years into her new life, Darby’s weight – and her life – are back in balance.

She has time for other passions. She leads the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Task Force she founded after her children shared their experiences of racism in Methacton schools on a Facebook Live post that went viral.

She contemplates her next book, about weight loss for post-menopausal women.

She’s even thrown her name in the ring for township supervisor in East Norriton. If she wins in November, she says she’ll be her township’s first Black supervisor.

After years of frenetic, fee-for-service medicine, the pace of Darby’s practice is blessedly slow. Deliberately, mindfully, she can give patients the time they need to ensure their weight loss journey is a success. “There’s no one-size-fits-all fit with my program. It’s not like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. This is a customized program by a relatable doctor who knows what she’s doing and has experienced the same thing.”

For more info, visit Dr. Janine Darby/Lifestyle Changes LLC or call 484-685-0033 or email info@lifestylechangesllc.com for an appointment. 

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