|(From UAB Reporter, April 4, 2005)|
Office Associate I Wanda Edwards (Pastoral Care) was more concerned with not gaining any more weight than she was with losing any. But after she enrolled in UAB’s EatRight Weight Management Program, she lost seven pounds, her cholesterol dropped more than 20 points and she started exercising.
"It’s the best thing that ever happened to me," Edwards said.
EatRight is a 12-week, weight-loss and wellness program that works to teach people how to choose food wisely, not simply tell them.
"We’re trying to help people figure out which foods are the most valuable and why," said Assistant Professor Suzanne Henson (Nutrition Sciences), coordinator of EatRight.
Weight loss is dependant upon more than food choices, Henson said. It also involves identifying which foods have the greatest value, how to eat out, how to manage stress to avoid emotional eating and more. EatRight teaches all those things and more to its participants. For example, EatRight instructors take a class to the grocery store to help them learn where particular food products are on the shelves. Participants learn to plan meals, either by cooking ahead or buying meal cards to restaurants where they know they have healthy food choices, thereby making the meal cards part of their preassigned food budget. "If you wait until you’re hungry to decide what to eat, then it’s too late," Henson said.
People sign up for the class for all kinds of reasons. Some want to lose weight, others want to lower their blood pressure, improve their eating habits or set better examples for their children. For those with obesity-related health issues, there are two physicians with weekly clinics on campus associated with the program. "We do have a niche in that we can specialize in helping people with medical conditions, but some people think that because it’s hospital-based, it’s only for people who are sick," Henson said. "Although we have a variety of people coming in with a variety of conditions, we also have people who are, for example, looking to lose their baby weight or learn how to make better food choices"
Interested? The registered dieticians at EatRight tell participants that losing 10 percent of their current body weight in 12 weeks is realistic and doable. Some people lose more; others less. But while maintaining a reasonable weight is essential to a healthy lifestyle, EatRight is all about helping you learn how to live a healthy life. There are no quick fixes. There are no fad diets. Participants lose weight the right way, and they’ll be able to maintain their entire lives. "We want to teach you to choose foods with the greatest value, not foods that make you feel deprived," Henson said. "When you enroll in EatRight, we want this to be the last program you start." Edwards, who is participating in her third EatRight session, highly recommends it to others. "I just wouldn’t miss it for anything," she said.Posted by [Deleted User] on 5/2/2005 10:15:00 AMRelated To: