According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is adjusting one’s lifestyle to include healthy eating, regular physical activity and balancing the number of consumed calories with the number of calories one’s body uses. In order to help our patients make those lifestyle changes that will help them better manage their weight, Niki Kubiak, RD, CSSD, LMNT, a medical dietician at OneWorld, has started a new class for adult patients called “8 Steps to Better Weight Management.” Kubiak has more than nine years of weight loss counseling experience outside OneWorld.

“Successful weight loss takes time, and it requires adopting multiple lifestyle changes that many people overlook,” Kubiak said. “Each of the eight steps presented in the class play a role in not only the process of losing weight, but also maintaining it for a lifetime.”

The one-hour class will be offered in English and Spanish every month, and each session will include a PowerPoint presentation as well as time for group interaction and idea sharing. While Kubiak says the information will be “more or less the same each month,” she is encouraging patients to take the class several times.

“Each time, they will learn something new or gain reinforcement to keep moving forward in their health goals,” she said.

Kubiak says her intent is to provide scientific nutrition information in a relaxed, inclusive environment where people feel comfortable. The first class was held in early October, and according to Kubiak, patients responded well to the information.

“I was very pleased by the number of patients who attended as well as by their overall interest in the class information,” she said. “I also noticed several ‘ah-ha’ moments as patients were challenged to think differently about weight loss and what it takes for long-term success.”

Between the monthly “8 Steps” classes, Kubiak will also offer classes in both English and Spanish about specific nutrition topics like carbohydrates or meal planning. Classes like these, she says, give patients opportunities to build action plans for better health so they can successfully apply the advice they receive from their health care providers.

“By the time participants are interested in a class like this, they are often frustrated and may feel a sense of failure due to not having long-term success,” she said. “I hope patients come away with enhanced awareness of their eating behaviors, more confidence in knowing what they can eat and a sense of empowerment that they will succeed with time and gradual changes.”

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