When you have diabetes, being overweight or obese increases your risk for complications. Losing just a few pounds through exercise and eating well can help with your diabetes control and can reduce your risk for other health problems. You will also have more energy and feel better in general!


Cornerstone Wellness is a medically supervised weight management program available to Dr. Vanessa Rodríguez’s patients.  The program offers a safe and sensible approach to help you gradually lose excess body fat while preserving muscle (lean body mass).  Weight management is all about improving your health – focusing on eating better, being physically active, depending less on medications and even sleeping better.  Even though weight loss may and should occur, a smaller size or looking good in a bikini is just an added bonus.


Cornerstone Wellness was created in 2005 by Dr. Jonathan Burg, who after attending medical school at the University of Miami, and specializing in Internal Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Arizona and University of Washington, respectively, wanted to provide a more practical and evidence-based way for physicians to manage the growing epidemic of metabolic syndrome due to obesity and other lifestyle issues.


The Cornerstone Wellness program and products were formulated with input from a team of Endocrinologists, Cardiologists and PhD dietitians.   It is evidence-based, nutritionally sound and uses a “real world” approach addressing the core issue of lifestyle modification to result in meaningful, measurable improvements in health and quality of life.


You are not alone…


Lifestyle Changes and Weight Management vs. Weight Loss


There are three ways you can lose weight: by losing fat, by losing muscle, and by losing water. With a perfect meal plan and workout regimen, you’ll just be shedding fat. But because there are so many moving parts when it comes to eating well and working out, chances are you may also be losing weight you’d rather keep.

Muscle Loss – If you focus on calorie restriction, you will mostly lose weight from muscle tissue.  You want to keep muscle tissue because it regulates your metabolism and insulin sensitivity—determining how well your body absorbs nutrients.  And unabsorbed nutrients, unfortunately, tend to turn into fat cells.


Water Loss - One of the fastest ways to lose weight in the short-term is to cut carbs— because carbohydrates retain about 3X as much water as any other type of macronutrient.  By losing water weight you might lose bulk, but you’re also triggering the same insulin sensitivity that comes from losing muscle.


Fat Loss – your goal should be to break down fat lipids and triglycerides, in either the food you eat or that is already stored in your body at a rate of 2 lbs. per week.  If you lose more per week, you’re definitely dealing with more than just fat loss.


Dr. Rodríguez’s interest in her patient’s healthy weight


Patients tend to underestimate their caloric intake by about 40% and overestimate their caloric expenditure by 40% - this is why patients are discouraged by their lack of success with many short-term diet plans.  These poor lifestyle choices lead to overweight and the early onset of diabetes.  Then, Dr. Rodríguez and other endocrinology specialists, need to spend much of their time with patients treating the consequences or symptoms of all that extra weight with medications…  She much rather treat the root of the problem.


Dr. Rodríguez’s interest is for her patients to live healthier, more active and productive lives without depending on so many medications.  Belly fat causes insulin resistance which then causes higher blood sugars, higher cholesterol and blood pressure, requiring more medications.  On average, a Type-2 diabetes patient is on 10 different medications to deal with all the havoc the extra weight causes. Who wants to live their life taking a heap of pills every day?


There’s plenty of medical research proving that losing just 5-10% of the current weight, especially belly fat, significantly improves diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Dr. Rodríguez wants for the grandma to be able to babysit and play with her grandkids in the park, for the retired executive to enjoy playing a round of golf a few times a week without a golf cart, for the parents to visit an amusement park and ride with their kids all day long, for the college kid to be able to run a 10K to celebrate turning 21…  For YOU to live your life according to your own desires, and not limited by what your body can or can’t do.  To live well for many, many years to come!




How does the Cornerstone Wellness program works?

Once established in the practice, Dr. Rodríguez refers you to our Cornerstone Wellness Coach who performs a simple, painless diagnostic test using a handheld device to determine your metabolic requirements and body composition.  Your test results, combined with your medical history, will be used to create a customized and flexible meal plan and exercise program tailored specifically to your goals and desires.  Our Wellness Coach will review the plan with you and meet with you regularly for support, feedback and behavioral education. She will periodically re-test your body composition and metabolic rate to help you track your fat loss and adjust your plan as needed.


Is this weight management program only for diabetes patients?

No.  Many Thyroid, PCOS, Osteoporosis patients, among others can also benefit from reaching a healthy weight.  For example, uncontrolled hypothyroidism slows the metabolism, which can cause weight gain and makes weight loss efforts and goals difficult to achieve.  This program is also for them…  Ask Dr. Rodríguez if joining a weight management program would benefit your specific medical condition.


What makes this program different than all the others?

Cornerstone Wellness is safe, easy, and scientifically sound.  The Cornerstone Wellness Program is designed and managed by physicians so you can be confident that you’re doing what’s best for your health and well-being.  The program uses state-of-the-art, proven technology to track and monitor your progress and give you useful and motivational feedback.


How much can I expect to lose?

With a properly managed meal plan and exercise program most people can expect to lose 1-2 lbs of fat or more per week. Although it is difficult to predict how much weight you will lose, the goal of Cornerstone Wellness Program is to maximize fat loss and preserve lean body mass.  We work closely with you to make sure the weight you are losing is, in fact, fat and that you are maintaining optimal health and energy levels throughout the program.


How much does it cost?

The cost of the Cornerstone Wellness Program will vary depending on your customized plan.  But, one of the advantages of it being available at our medical office is that insurance plans cover the costs of the counseling/coaching appointments.  Our services might also be available as an out-of-network provider and for patients without insurance, self-pay rates and payment plans are also available.  For detailed information, please contact our staff at 561-600-2408 or email us at info@endocrinologywellness.com.


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