We’ve all heard that maintaining a healthy weight is very important to our overall health. According to the National Institute of Health, maintaining a healthy weight can significantly reduce, or help control, several diseases and conditions, including: heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease and many types of cancer. Nevertheless, many of us find maintaining a healthy weight a decidedly difficult task—weight goes on, weight comes off, we diet for a few weeks, then return to our old eating habits—in other words, the yo-yo goes up, then the yo-yo goes down.
With those all-too-common weight struggles in mind, Door County Medical Center is excited to announce the Door Healthy Weight Center, an individualized one-year program that provides guidance, support, and information to those who struggle with a weight issue. “Professionals walk with the participant during their journey so they are never left on their own to figure out how to navigate their weight loss,” says Jodi Hibbard, Director of Clinic Operations at DCMC. “Perhaps more importantly,” she adds, “The Door Healthy Weight Center offers a whole-being approach to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight by focusing not only on weight loss, but also on the reasons a person overeats.”
How we eat and what we eat—working with a Registered Dietician
How we eat and what we eat affects more than just or physical health, it also directly influences our mental health. In fact, researchers have recently discovered that 95% of our body’s supply of serotonin—a neurotransmitter that relays signals from one area of the brain to the other and directly influences mood—is produced by bacteria in our gut. Eating healthy makes us feel better in body and mind.
However, developing healthy eating habits is not an intuitive process—it is a learned skill. As part of the program, The Door Healthy Weight Center provides 12 visits with a Registered Dietician. With each visit, you will learn to:
- Read food labels
- Measure portions
- Boost fiber intake
- Eat mindfully
- Keep a food diary
“Keeping a diary takes some effort,” notes Hibbard, “but, it’s often one of the most successful tools used by people who reach and maintain their weight goals. Several studies suggest keeping a food diary helps people reduce their food intake by increasing awareness of problem patterns in their eating behavior.”
Additionally, The Door Healthy Weight Center will also provide you with techniques for developing a shopping list, meal planning and kitchen reorganization. “And, we will provide you with healthy recipes and techniques that teach you how to reduce the calories in a recipe without affecting the taste—in other words, you’ll learn cooking techniques that capture the flavor and nutrients from your food without adding excessive amounts of fat or salt,” says Hibbard.
Why we eat—working with a Behavioral Health Specialist
Perhaps most importantly, The Door Healthy Weight Center helps people address the reasons they may overeat by providing 22 visits with a Behavioral Health Specialist.
“People eat for various reasons other than hunger—it’s often due to stress or other emotions. This program gets to the heart of why a person overeats in the first place,” says Hibbard. “Because our physical health and our mental health are closely interconnected,” she adds, “how we think and feel affects our physical health, and how we treat our physical health affects our thoughts and feelings. Your Behavioral Health Specialist will address the thoughts and feelings that result in the unhealthy use of food and also help you develop more effective ways of coping with those unpleasant thoughts and feelings.”
Increasing physical activity—working with an Exercise Professional
We’ve all heard the phrase “diet and exercise” in regard to successful weight loss, but sometimes, getting the exercise portion of a weight loss program going can be the most difficult part. In order to help you get started on the movement phase of your weight loss journey, the Door Healthy Weight Center includes 2 visits with a skilled Exercise Professional.
The exercise portion of the program will be custom-tailored to each individual participant to ensure independence and sustainability. Exercises may start from beginner seated exercises and adjust accordingly to each individual’s abilities and may include:
- Basic cardiovascular exercises
- Strength training
- Flexibility activities (with a focus on proper body mechanics).
“The exercise portion of the program includes a varied approach that is intended to build effective, healthy behaviors, not just get your heart rate up,” says Hibbard. “Ultimately,” she continues, “the goal is to provide a roadmap of exercise-based activities that participants can grow and stick to long-term.
The Door Healthy Weight Center is a cash based program—the 22 visits with a Behavioral Health Therapist, 12 visits with a Registered Dietician, and 2 visits with an Exercise Professional, as well as regular contact with a Registered Nurse Clinical Health Coach cost $2,060 for the full year. HSA or flex spending accounts may be used.
For questions or to learn more about The Door Healthy Weight Center please call (920) 743-0530 or visit us online at https://www.dcmedical.org.
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