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September 2, 2009 > Nutrition Program Can Help You Lose Weight The "Right Weigh"

Nutrition Program Can Help You Lose Weight The "Right Weigh"

Washington Hospital Weight Management Program Promotes Long Term Weight Loss and Improved Health

As the summer vacation season comes to a close and the kids go back to school, take advantage of this time to focus on what you can do to improve your health. For people that want to loss weight and learn to keep it off, Washington Hospital's Women's Center offers a weight management program that can help improve your long term health.

The Right Weigh Program is taught by a registered dietitian and promotes nutritious, tasty meal planning, personalized options for physical activity, and best behaviors for long term weight management. 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 permanent weight loss, reduce the risk of disease and improve the quality of their lives," says Anna Mazzei, R.D., C.D.E., Washington Hospital registered dietitian and program course instructor. "Although the emphasis is on nutritious, whole foods (fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and lean meats), there are strategies to help enjoy the usual forbidden items to avoid feelings of deprivation," says Mazzei. "Education and self-management are key components to achieve successful long-term results. The focus is not on will power, but skill power."

Mazzei says many people trying to lose weight already know much 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 consistently.

"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 educates and guides the participant to empower themselves to achieve a healthier weight. We provide the tools and options the participant needs to individualize the meal and exercise plans to fit their changing needs."

Health Benefits

Mazzei has been a registered dietitian at Washington Hospital for more than 20 years. During these years she became a Certified Diabetes Educator by the National Certification Board of Diabetes Educators (NDBDE), and obtained a certificate in Adult Weight Management from the American Diabetes Association. She 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 an improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Participants will also likely experience an increase in energy and better mood.

Program Schedule

Geared exclusively for women, participants will attend eight, small group sessions over a 12 week period. Classes will include individual weight checks followed by group education sessions on pertinent topics that will help the individual stay focused on their weight management goals. 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.

Those enrolled will also meet individually with the dietitian for two 30 minute appointments (midway through the program and upon completion). These visits will include an evaluation and discussion about individual goals and specific needs.

Can Anyone Join This Program?

All women who want to lose weight but don't know how to begin or have been unsuccessful with "other" weight loss programs are encouraged to sign up. Mazzei says that women who struggle with barriers that prevent nutritious meal planning, engaging in regular exercise and/or developing healthy behaviors 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 individual appointments and enroll in the class starting Tuesday, September 22.

Group classes meet once a week for the first four weeks. Then sessions 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, Suite 145, located at 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont.

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