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Helping men and women lose weight in Hampton Roads


Five years of success helping men and women lose weight and reclaim their lives

by Jan Matsoukas

Margaret Gaglione, M.D.

By the time she was just 39 years old, Felicia Townsend’s weight had climbed to 277 pounds.

"I realized it was time to do something," she recalls.

And do it she did: by May 2012, when she turned 40, she’d lost 106 pounds. By the end of last year, her total weight loss was 123 pounds.

And she feels as terrific as she looks.

"I feel wonderful!" Felicia says. "I’ve been really blessed. This has changed my whole life in such a positive way."

The team at Tidewater Bariatrics, from left: LeCardi Johnson, Samantha Persson, Megan Van Bibber, Dr. Margaret Gaglione, Meghan Brickner, Mariah Anderson and Kaitlin Dwyer. Not pictured are David Collins, Jennifer Salemme, Francesca Mathers and Candace McKiver
Felicia’s one of more than 1,000 patients whose lives have been changed since 2007, when Margaret Gaglione, M.D., opened Tidewater Bariatrics.
"My medical practice is solely dedicated to helping people win the war against weight," Dr. Gaglione says, "so that they can regain control of their lives
Dr. Gaglione radiates passion when it comes to helping patients overcome weight issues.

"Throughout my career as a physician, first as a doctor in the Navy, and always as an Internist, I found myself moved by patients struggling with all kinds of health problems caused by excessive weight. I empathized with them and felt their suffering," she stresses.

She and her highly trained team of nurses and health educators provide a total environment for obese and overweight patients to achieve their health and weight goals: first, with a complete physical that includes a patient’s health history, EKG and lab work, and then a combination of an effective diet plan, educational classes and unending support.

Tidewater Bariatrics offers different weight loss programs depending on patients’ needs and weight loss goals. For those who need to lose in excess of 30 pounds, Dr. Gaglione most often recommends the patient start on the HMR DecisionFree™ program, using nutritionally complete HMR shakes and entrees, delicious-tasting, affordable meals that replace regular food. Learning new habits regarding food and decreasing calories are both important for weight loss and weight maintenance.

If a patient already eats a good number of fruits and vegetables each day, Dr. Gaglione will recommend that the patient start on the Healthy Solutions Program, which incorporate fruits and vegetables into the early part of the weight loss program. Patients who have started on the Decision Free program are transitioned to the Healthy Solution Program after they have lost some weight.

For patients who wish to use regular grocery store foods, Dr. Gaglione will have them start on the Smart Choices program.

"For some people, food has become such a priority in their lives, and eating is a way that people self-soothe," Dr. Gaglione points out. "Until they gain a deeper understanding of the emotional reasons they overeat, the HMR® products help them take control of their caloric intake with fewer temptations. We know that structured eating works, and it gives our patients a real sense of success as they begin to lose weight."

"My medical practice is solely dedicated to helping people win the war against weight so that they can regain control of their lives."

—Margaret Gaglione, M.D. 

That’s exactly what Felicia credits her success to and what made the positive difference this time from other diets she had tried.

"It was actually a relief to not have to make choices about what I ate," she recalls. "Not having to think about what I would eat actually allowed me to refocus mentally, and to understand that food was not the most important thing in my life. It truly gave me a renewed sense of accomplishment."

Patients meet weekly with Dr. Gaglione and attend weekly nutritional classes.

Providing patients with education on the importance of nutrition and exercise is a step in the right direction, but patients also need to learn how to desensitize themselves to the excessiveness of food in our country, Dr. Gaglione stresses. "We have to decrease the mindless eating. Keeping track of calories is more important than ever in our society because we are surrounded by ads and images that encourage overeating."

Dr. Gaglione and her team understand and empathize with the societal changes that have led to our growing obesity problem.

"People used to view eating out as a special occasion and gave themselves license to eat unhealthy foods, but now they go out and do that five days a week. You just can’t have appetizers and desserts and eat those large portions every day," Dr. Gaglione says.

"There’s such a tremendous need in our community and I’m very proud of this practice. I’m proud, too, of our patients and the success they have achieved — and continue to maintain," Dr. Gaglione says. "Our patients are learning to be accountable and the creators of their own healthy destiny."

"At 155 pounds, I’m at my all-time lowest weight," Felicia says with obvious pride.
"I feel great! And I’m still determined to protect my health and weight loss. I’m thankful to Tidewater Bariatrics and HMR for saving my life!"

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This is the first step in improving your health and lifestyle.

At Tidewater Bariatrics, my staff and I are committed to helping you achieve your weight loss goals.

I am a board certified Bariatrician and Internal Medicine physician. I will tailor a program specific to your needs, time constraints and abilities.

Our program is modeled after successful academic university medical center programs, and is dedicated to decreasing your health risk, improving nutrition, providing health education, and increasing your overall wellness. You can expect to lose weight, improve your cardio-vascular health, and reduce your risk of developing long-term obesity complications.

Even if you already have the complications of obesity, weight loss can decrease or eliminate their effects.

Dr. Margaret Gaglione

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