Diet AND Exercise Ideas

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Lynn Morrow, MEd, RD, CDE, exclaims, “Pedometers! People seem to respond well to gadgets and I am having good luck with pedometers.

Once they have an idea how many steps they walk a day, I encourage them to increase this by 1,500-3,000 steps depending on their ability.” Lynn finds most people like numbers.

One of the things that seems to work well for Sandy Couvillon’s classes and individual patients is using her hunger scale. She has patients rate how hungry they are from 0-10. She encourages them to eat to a five or just comfortable. A seven would be needing to let out a belt notch. A ten is “Thanksgiving-turkey stuffed” – way too much food. This technique really has helped a lot of folks learn their own internal cues for eating and that it’s okay to leave food on their plate. Sandy just coauthored The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Weight Loss and the hunger scale is discussed in that book. (Editor’s note – there are tips and links on Sandy’s site at www.NutritionSandy.com.)

Judy Simon, MS, RD, CD, has these tips from her nutrition clinic at University of Washington Medical Center:

1. Pedometers – motivates people to assess the amount of activity they are actually performing. Then they can set goals (at least 10,000 steps) and track their success.

2. Food diaries – either online, on their PDA or in their own journal.

3. The Healthy Shopping List at www.foodandhealth.com serves as a tool for clients to plan their diet!

4. Pictures and food models – Judy often shows Dr. Shapiro’s Picture Perfect Weight Loss book to teach the concept of caloric density! She also uses Volumetrics by Barbara Rolls, PhD, to teach this concept in more depth and show sample menus.

5. Judy’s clients leave the office with at least 3 of their own attainable goals.

Domonique Adair, MS, RD, is in private practice in New York City. Here are some techniques/tools she has been using:

1. Self-monitoring (using food diaries, e-mails and weigh-ins) to track progress. She believes the scale is a good way for people to take responsibility for their behavior. She does have a few clients who are obsessed with the scale; it’s not a good idea for them.

2. Encourage physical activity. While the research shows that activity alone will not generate large weight/body fat loss, there’s a lot of data to support that it helps support dietary modification and certainly improves maintenance outcome.

3. Change the big things first. Dominique compares it to buying a fixer-upper house. You wouldn’t look at a house with a leaky roof, no floor, collapsing walls, and say “What color should I paint the trim?” Likewise, she has had patients obsess about lowfat yogurt versus nonfat yogurt and then go out and have a few margaritas and chips.

Elovia Peddle saw a cute idea from Weight Watcher’s® that she has used. Using the letters in the word “successful,” cross off a letter for each pound lost. By the time all letters are crossed off, you will have lost 10 pounds.

Lyssie Lakatos, RD, LD, CDN, would say one of the most successful things about her weight management classes is giving them a food to sample for themselves. For instance, they may be skeptical to try I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® Spray on their bread, but when they have it and eat it in class they realize they like it and won’t waste their money by buying it. The same is true for soy sausage patties, etc.

Rhonda Gabaldon, RD, LD, has found that developing short-term goals in a “building-block” fashion has been successful with her clients. Rhonda provides individual counseling, in which she does a full nutrition assessment and lifestyle evaluation of eating habits, strengths/weaknesses and the patient’s personal goals. She spends a lot of time on meal planning, recipe modification and changing habits and behaviors.

Mona Gentry will be using a diet/exercise journal throughout her class. She encourages participants to start a walking program together.

Amanda Bartlett, RD, LD, taught the food groups using the Healthy Plate from the Mayo Clinic. Amanda says, “This is a much better representation of how we should eat.” Amanda teaches them to cut back on refined starches and increase nonstarchy vegetables.

People are very successful in Monica Callan’s programs. Monica focuses on the use of meal replacements, keeping track of calories burned in physical activity (with a goal of burning a minimum of 2,000 per week), eating 5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily, daily record keeping and a weekly check-in for support and accountability.

Nancy Kennedy, MS, RD, focuses on fiber. She shows them fiber on a label, encourages grains with at least 3 grams fiber per serving, promotes AT LEAST 3 servings of fruits and 4 vegetables per day plus one serving each of nuts and beans. Fiber goal: 30 grams per day. She has 2 sample menus which include all the recommended servings and are low in fat and high in fiber, just to give them an idea of what 30 grams of fiber would be like. Nancy has clients complete a diet diary so they can brainstorm how to add more fiber.

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