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January 16, 2008 > Washington Hospital Offers New Weight Loss Program for Women

Washington Hospital Offers New Weight Loss Program for Women

Education and Self Management Skills Are the Keys to the "Right Weigh" Program

During this time of year, many people make weight-loss resolutions but they have trouble sticking to them. Losing weight is not just about dieting and looking good, it's about making permanent lifestyle and behavioral changes that result in healthy and long lasting weight loss. If you or someone you know would like to join a weight management program that can improve your long term health, then a new nutrition program offered through Washington Hospital's Women's Center may be just for you.

"The Right Weigh" nutrition program is taught by a registered dietitian and promotes activity, nutrition and behavioral lifestyle changes for long term weight loss and improved health. The program is based on the most current evidence-based practice guidelines for weight loss by major health organizations including the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), among others.

"The goal of the Right Weigh program is to provide the necessary tools to help women in our community achieve healthy weight loss, reduce the risk of disease and improve the quality of their lives," says Andrea Vintro, R.D., M.S., Washington Hospital registered dietitian and program course instructor. "Education and self-management are key components to aiding long-term results and the emphasis will be on learning about food groups, meal planning, physical activity and behavior strategies."

Geared exclusively for women, participants will initially meet with Vintro one to one to develop a personalized meal plan and discuss individualized activity and behavioral goals. After the initial consultation, participants will attend eight, small group sessions over a 12 week period. Sessions will include individual weight checks followed by group discussion topics that will help the individual stay focused on their weight management goals.

"The emphasis is on whole foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and lean meats, says Vintro. "Although high fat and high sugar foods need to be limited for an overall healthy lifelong diet (and especially during the weight loss phase), there are no "bad" foods, and education is tailored to help individuals include special food to avoid feelings of deprivation."

According to Vintro, many people trying to lose weight already know a lot about what they should do to lose weight. She says the difficulty comes in the "How-To" and to implement the necessary changes into our daily lives.

"It's imperative that the diet and exercise goals are tailored to the individual - this is not a "one-size fits all" approach," she says. "This is often why individuals get discouraged following a diet because it doesn't take the individuals life, time schedules and responsibilities into consideration. This program will provide the tools and support so that each participant can find the right methods that can work for the rest of their lives."

Health Benefits
Vintro who has worked for several years as a research dietitian and recently completed her certificate in adult weight management, estimates that participants in the "Right Weigh" program should experience healthy weight loss of one to two pounds a week. Over the 12 week program, participants may also see other benefits such as a drop in their high blood pressure and improvement in their cholesterol levels. Participants will also likely experience an increase in energy and improved mood.

Group Discussion
Each group session will start off with an interactive lecture and participants are encouraged to ask questions and provide perspective. The group sessions can be a valuable opportunity for participants to share experiences and insight that can benefit the entire group.

Who Should Join the Program?
All overweight women who want to lose weight but don't know hot to begin are encouraged to sign up. Vintro says that women who struggle with eating behaviors that prevent healthful eating will benefit from this program. Women with severe obesity and those that need to continue weight loss upon completion of the program will be referred to appropriate health providers as needed. (Participants will be asked to inform and be cleared by their physician before participating.)

Classes are Now Forming for the "Right Weigh" Program
To register for the "Right Weigh" Nutrition program, call Kathy Hesser, R.N., Washington Women's Center Coordinator at (510) 608-1356 to schedule your private consultation. Group classes begin on Tuesday, February 5 and meet once a week for the first four weeks. Group meetings will then meet every two weeks for the next two months. The fee for the entire program is $185. Group classes and meetings will take place inside the Washington Women's Center Conference Room located at 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont.

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