Weight Loss Education

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Anne Linge, RD, CD, CDE

University of Washington advises, “We emphasize changing the balance on the plate. We draw a plate, sectioning it off to be half vegetables and salad, and using the remainder for smaller amounts of protein and starch. This is an important visual to show clients how to make better choices so they consume fewer calories.”

Clients really respond to pictures. Anne uses the book Picture Perfect Weight Loss by Howard Shapiro to show the density of hidden calories in some of her clients’ favorite foods. It really motivates making changes.

Anne strongly encourages exercise. She and her colleagues wear pedometers and show them to their patients. They encourage them to work up to 10,000 or more steps a day. Patients love having a tool that provides feedback. They see great success with patients who are walking on a regular basis. Anne has also had some disabled patients who have increased their steps by 1,000 a day and have seen substantial improvement in blood glucose levels.

Kimra Warren Hawk, RD, LD, Outpatient Dietitian, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Portland, Oregon, writes, “I find that the old fashion record keeping works for many people – monitoring calories or at the minimum food groups. I have also had some people using pedometers. They start by seeing what their baseline is and then adding to that working toward 10,000 steps per day and ideally for weight loss 13-15,000 per day. Accountability is also important – I see people for follow-ups and they say without that they wouldn’t do as well.”

Helen Nicholas, RD, says, “One big tip for weight loss success is give it some time! Don’t expect to start working toward that swimsuit body in May when the sunshine is just around the corner. My clients start in January with genuine expectations.”

Layne Lieberman-Anapol, RD, teaches a class titled, “The Truth About Low-Carb Fad Diets.” Her attendees learn the truth about low-carbohydrate diets. But most important, an emphasis is placed on the best goals for weight loss and how people who lose 30 or more pounds and keep it off for more than a year accomplish this goal.

Eat with your eyes open

Bonnie Gunckel, RD, suggests that her clients use a small mirror in front of them while they eat.

This helps them see how fast they eat. She recommends the use of smaller plates to help reduce portion size of food selected. She encourages them to share an entrée with someone else when dining out or request a take-home box when the entrée is served and put half in the take-home box before starting to eat the meal.

How much would you eat?

Christine Parshall, UNH Cooperative Extension, sets out 3 bowls that are just large enough to hold 1-, 2- and 3-ounce servings of potato chips. She places a blown-up copy of the Nutrition Facts label for one serving on display, as well as fat tubes containing the grams of fat for each serving. Christine asks people to show her which bowl they would sit down to eat if they were watching a TV show or movie. If any wise guy says he can eat the whole bag, they do the math!

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