Among a sea of trendy diet fads, Ahwatukee Weight Loss aims to give patients a healthy, lifestyle change with their physician-supervised programs and simple combination of healthy eating with exercise.

Since starting her program last February, Ahwatukee Foothills resident Malinda Davis has lost 218 pounds. Now at 186 pounds, just 10 to 20 pounds away from her goal weight, Davis said she feels great.

“I buckled down right off the bat, and didn’t really let myself cheat,” said Davis, about her tailored program.

Davis quickly learned that going out to eat with friends was a challenge, finding program-friendly meals of 3 ounces of protein and a serving of vegetables.

“The first few months were very tough,” she explained.

Davis was on an overall similar diet plan for the first year, which was adjusted as necessary during her weekly visits with her physician.

Light exercise with a treadmill was then introduced into her program, and carbs like pastas and breads were brought back into her diet.

Davis described supervising physician Dr. James Nichols and program coordinator Dylan Valenzuela as being completely available to her.

“If I feel like I’m having problems, I can email or text them with questions,” Davis said.

Ahwatukee Weight Loss was established in the summer of 2008, in conjunction with the Ahwatukee Family Medical Center. Nichols was also Davis’ primary physician.

“What makes us different is that we’re a physician-supervised program, with individual, one-on-one follow up,” Valenzuela said.

According to Valenzuela, a lot of the patient’s success, whether a little or a lot of weight, comes from working with one person the whole time.

Each patient will get a body composition analysis, a customized meal plan, education and training in nutrition, among other things.

Valenzuela mentioned, however, one important ingredient is key.

“You need the mental commitment to lose weight and come in every week,” he said.

And that’s what Valenzuela noted as being the key to Davis’ weight loss.

He referred to Davis as a “perfect candidate” to show that success is in accountability, even with a hectic work schedule.

“For me, I’m single and I don’t have anyone around me all the time to push me,” Davis said of her commitment.

She advises those who also are seeking a weight-loss program to be wary of trend diets, as they are not always helpful or healthy.

“There is a whole (medical) integration with the program, and my health is always primary,” Davis added.

For more information about Ahwatukee Weight Loss, visit


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