What does “SLIM TLC” stand for?

SLIM TLC has two meanings.  Most importantly, it represents becoming SLIM and healthy through “TLC” (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes – see below). SLIM is also an acronym for the optional use of a Short-term (<1 year), Low-dose (18.75 mg/day), Intermittent (20 doses per month), Mid-day (taken 15-30 minutes before or two hours after lunch) appetite suppressant (phentermine), prescribed as long as lifestyle changes (“TLC”) are made and continued.  This “SLIM TLC” approach utilizes phentermine in several beneficial ways, while reducing the likelihood of side effects.  It may ensure the highest chance of turning your weight loss efforts into long-term success but must not distract from the primary goal of making crucial therapeutic lifestyle changes.

Why short-term?

Phentermine is only FDA-approved for short-term use (for those with a BMI of ≥30, or ≥27 if you have comorbid conditions like diabetes).  Its benefits tend to wear off after several weeks, it is potentially addicting, and it is a stimulant medicine with possible side effects of dry mouth, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, rapid heart rate, tremor, dizziness, irritability, headache, and stomach upset.  It is contraindicated in agitated states, high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, glaucoma, significant heart disease, and a history of drug abuse.  Therefore, many physicians are very hesitant (or refuse) to prescribe it.  However, even though it is only used short-term, if you combine it with the SLIM TLC program (which facilitates long-term lifestyle changes), the benefits can last a lifetime.

Why low-dose?

  1. It decreases the chances of side effects (including insomnia) and dependence.
  2. You feel less of a difference when not taking the medicine
  3. You must not rely solely on medicine to help you make wise decisions.  We do not want to suppress your appetite too much – it is imperative to learn to pay attention to your internal hunger signals and eat when you are truly hungry.  The low-dose phentermine helps you make smarter choices by making it easier to say “No!” to the less-healthy foods to which most Americans are addicted (unhealthy meats, dairy products, sweets, fried foods, and other processed goods), and the goal is for these choices to become a habit.

Why intermittent?

As mentioned above, phentermine loses its efficacy after a few weeks, can be habit-forming, and has potential side effects. Intermittent use largely overcomes these issues.  It also helps patients learn how to make the necessary lifestyle changes on days the prescription is not used, thus building self-sufficiency and self-confidence.

Why mid-day?

Most patients struggle with their hunger during the last half of the day, far more than the first half.  The most damage to their waistlines usually begins in the early afternoon.  Taking phentermine around the middle of the day assists many patients in making better eating choices, and may give them a little extra energy, when they need the most help. Taking phentermine in the morning, on the other hand, encourages poor eating habits.  It causes one to eat an inadequate amount of food during the first half of the day, which may leave them hungrier at night and lead to worse night-time bingeing.

Why phentermine?

Phentermine is an inexpensive and effective prescription appetite suppressant.  It may also provide some extra energy to help you exercise.  As such, many folks feel it is the closest thing we have to a magic pill.  However, because of its downsides and the fact that its efficacy wears off after a few weeks, it is only approved for short-term use.  Therefore, as traditionally prescribed and recommended, it leads only to short-term weight loss, and sometimes may encourage poor eating habits as described above.  SLIM TLC uses phentermine differently, in a revolutionary way that truly can be magical, by encouraging healthy lifestyle changes and helping you learn how to manage your weight long-term.  If done as prescribed: 1) It serves as an incentive to make necessary lifestyle changes (refills are only given if other aspects of the program are followed); 2) it suppresses your appetite and may give you more energy to exercise (when you need it the most); and (most importantly) 3) it teaches you to pay more attention to your true hunger level (if you’ve taken phentermine that day, you automatically stop before eating and ask yourself if you are truly hungry – something we call “Checking Your Fuel Gauge,” or CYFG).

Why therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC)?

Without making permanent lifestyle changes, any weight loss effort, including the use of phentermine, results in only temporary weight loss.  After your first prescription of phentermine, refills are only provided if attempts at important lifestyle changes are made.  Long-term lifestyle changes, which include following The 4:1 Rule and exercising regularly, are the keys to long-term health.  These lifestyle changes and the long-term weight loss they provide, along with not smoking, will prevent most cases of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes (responsible for the grand majority of deaths), along with a host of other diseases and ailments.  As such, they will likely save both your life and our health care system.

How hard is it to make the lifestyle changes?

Permanent lifestyle changes are never easy – if they were, we’d all be slim.  However, those required by the SLIM TLC program are simpler than most programs require and may be facilitated by using phentermine.  SLIM TLC encourages realistic, maintainable changes in your eating and exercise habits, founded on medically sound principles, along with significant recent advances in the field of nutrition science.  Participants follow a livable, rational exercise regimen, and strive to follow The 4:1 Rule of healthy eating and snacking, which does not prohibit other foods you enjoy.  Livable changes are made as quickly as you feel comfortable, and lead to long-term weight loss success.

How do you know I’m making the lifestyle changes?

They are tracked through a unique goal-setting and tracking system called the “SLIM TLC Map.” 

How do I make the lifestyle changes on the days I don’t take phentermine?

To have long-term success, you must not rely solely on the boost that phentermine provides to make the necessary lifestyle changes.  We will provide you with the education, and teach you the necessary skills, to make these changes permanent, without requiring daily phentermine.  Most experts agree that it takes a few weeks to develop a habit, and the goal is to develop healthy and sustainable patterns of diet and exercise (even before the end of your first prescription), which will hopefully become a permanent part of your life.

When and how is phentermine prescribed, and is it required?

Weight loss occurs when lifestyle changes are made, which are facilitated by the SLIM TLC program materials. You can choose to make the journey without phentermine, or to delay its use.  We can help you succeed with or without it.  If you desire a prescription, you must be an appropriate candidate (BMI of ≥30, or ≥27 if you have comorbid conditions like diabetes, and not have uncontrolled high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, glaucoma, significant heart disease, or a history of drug abuse). If you desire a prescription, you may receive it at the initial visit if you bring a completed three-day Diet and Exercise Log.  Optional refills may then be provided monthly thereafter, only during one-on-one follow-up visits, and as long as the program is followed (and efforts are made to continue the lifestyle changes), for a maximum of one year.  Many will learn how to have success on their own after only a few prescriptions and be able to discontinue receiving them.

How do I continue to have success after I stop taking phentermine?

Simply follow the SLIM TLC principles you have learned.