Losing weight is not easy. It requires a willingness to change physical, nutritional and emotional habits that may have been in place for a lifetime. Getting expert guidance and support is key to successful weight loss.
St. Joseph Hospital makes weight loss possible for Orange County residents who want to lose 10 pounds or 150—or more—through its Healthy Lifestyle Series.
“We have exercise, nutrition, and weight loss programs that are customizable based on each individual’s unique needs,” says Stephanie Grier, MS, ATC, CSCS, the lead wellness coordinator. “[Clients] can come for one visit or as many they like, depending on what the health and wellness goals they want to achieve.”
Steps to weight loss
The basics of weight loss are simple:
Cut down on food portions. People will eat more food if it’s offered, according to the Mayo Clinic, which is why reducing portion sizes is key. Many weight loss experts also say dieters should decrease processed, high sugar foods and increase whole grains, fruits and vegetables to lose weight. The idea is not just to shed pounds but shift to healthier eating habits for the long term.
Keep a food diary. This helps people really face what and how much they’re eating, and to identify situations that trigger overeating or indulging in junk foods. The American Heart Association website provides a downloadable food diary.
Exercise. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends 30-60 minutes a day of moderate or vigorous exercise, five days a week for weight loss.
But how does this all play out in a person’s life? Recognizing that everyone’s life is different, the Healthy Lifestyle Series offers customized weight-loss programs to ensure the highest chance of success.
“First, we schedule a one-on-one consultation [with clients],” explains Grier. “We want to take the time to know each person, and make sure we create a health and wellness plan that is right for them.” After the initial visit, she says, “we work together to create a plan with attainable goals.”
For people who need a structured program to kick start their weight loss, Grier offers Itrim—this focuses on the three “E’s” of weight loss: exercise, eating, and encouragement, and is offered in a three-month and six-month format.
Losing weight takes commitment, time and money. The Healthy Lifestyles Series charges $30 for the initial one-on-one consultation, which is about an hour long. “Each session after that is $20 for a half-hour and $40 for an hour,” says Grier. The Itrim program comes with monthly fee of $50, which includes one individual coaching session, two group coaching sessions, and access to a circuit gym on select days and times.
Keeping the weight off
Once the weight is off, a bigger challenge can be keeping it off.
A 2014 British study of 23 women who participated in an 18-week weight loss and weight management program revealed what helps weight loss and what gets in the way.
“Accountability to others, social support, planning ahead, awareness and mindfulness of food choices, basic nutrition education, portion control, exercise, and self-motivation,” helped the women lose weight and keep it off, according to the study results.
Barriers to weight loss were life transitions, health status changes, internal factors, environmental pressures, lack of accountability and an absence of social support.
Support is a key component of the St. Joseph Healthy Lifestyle Series. “We encourage patients to play a proactive role in reaching their goals,” says Grier. “We remind them we are always here for support and follow-up as needed.”