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Medical weight loss

Not a fad: Real diet change, regular workouts key for Angie

As a child, Angie Engelmann remembers eating anything she wanted without gaining weight.

“I was an emotional eater,” she said. “No matter if I was feeling happy or sad, I would eat whatever I wanted, but somehow was able to stay thin."

As Angie entered her 30s, her metabolism began slowing down, which meant her weight started going up. By the time she was 37, her weight peaked at 260 pounds, which she found depressing. Angie didn’t have much energy and didn’t feel good about herself. She was also concerned about becoming diabetic, increasing her risk for heart disease and many other health problems that tend to come with obesity.

Angie Engelmann leaning against a tree

“I tried a bunch of fad diets and supplements that claim to help you lose weight,” said Angie, a dental hygienist from Pardeeville, Wis. “But I think a lot of these companies are more interested in getting you to buy their product than helping you get healthier. My weight would yo-yo up and down, but nothing really helped keep the weight off for the long term."

In April 2021, Angie got a referral from her primary care doctor to the UW Health Metabolic Weight Management program, led by Dr. Compton Kurtz, a medical bariatrician.

After just two years in the program, combined with a frequent workouts at a nearby gym, Angie has become nearly half the woman she used to be — literally. She now weighs 142 pounds, about 120 pounds less than she weighed when she first met with Dr. Kurtz and the program’s nutritionist, Michelle Swader-Harnisch.

“I appreciate everything about the Metabolic Weight Management program,” Angie said. “You get the benefit of working with people trained with medical knowledge and science, which helps position you to succeed on your own for the long haul. You also learn to appreciate food as something to nourish your body rather than something to mindlessly consume at every celebration.”