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How to win at weight loss
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Former Winning at Weight Loss participant Cathy Baldwin works out with the help of Blount Memorial fitness and weight management manager Chad Hodson. Baldwin works out daily and has lost more than 25 pounds.

Weight loss is on a lot of minds this time of year, thanks to the ever-popular weight-loss resolution. For many, however, those resolutions are all but over by March. Part of this is because many people resolve to make changes that are simply too large and unrealistic. Quite simply, by setting the bar too high for yourself, you’re also setting yourself up for failure.

Blount Memorial fitness and weight management manager Chad Hodson says it is important to take things one step at a time. “This will sound like a no-brainer, but it is rarely practiced. Focus on changing a behavior you feel confident you can change. Before asking a client to change something, I always ask ‘On a scale of zero to 10, how confident are you that you can follow this new practice?’ If the person answers nine or 10, then it’s a good thing to try. If the answer is seven or lower, I encourage them to focus on another habit,” he said. “Believe it or not, this is highly effective. For some reason, people try to cut things out that they aren’t ready to, and that sets them up for failure,” he added.

Because so many people make those big resolutions each year, you won’t have to look far to find weight loss programs that promise quick results with minimal effort. Just turn on your television, and wait a while. Odds are good you’ll see advertisements for at least one dietary supplement, workout plan or weight loss program telling you how simple, fast and easy it is to lose weight. While short-term successes can be possible, Hodson says long-term weight loss requires choosing to make healthy choices for a lifetime.

Acquiring these skills is the focus of the Blount Memorial Wellness Center at Springbrook’s 12-week “Winning at Weight Loss” program, which begins Monday, January 28. “Winning at Weight Loss is a comprehensive weight loss program that focuses on lifestyle changes versus gimmicky diets or exercise programs,” said Hodson. “The overall goal of this program is not only weight loss, but finding an approach that helps someone keep the weight off,” he added.

“Winning at Weight Loss” participants attend weekly meetings. Each session includes a presentation on specific topics related to weight loss, nutrition or exercise. Participants also receive a nutrition consultation with a registered dietitian and two exercise consultations with a qualified personal trainer. The consultations focus on creating an individualized program that provides a realistic approach to weight loss. Blount Memorial registered dietitian Angie Tillman says this is key to helping people reach their goals. “We take a tactitcal, realistic approach,” she said. “We work with you to set up your life to make losing weight and maintaining weight as simple as possible. Working with the Wellness Center at Springbrook is ideal because it really helps emphasize and further the goal of finding a way to fit regular exercise into your life,” Tillman added.

Hodson says one of the most effective components of “Winning at Weight Loss” is the accountability. “Each week you weigh in, and you are given an achievable goal for weight loss for the next week. Knowing that you will face the scale each week is very motivating to most people,” he said. Hodson adds that being a part of the structured program makes it easier for people to see how their hard work will translate into lasting results. “We provide a plan based on a person’s needs. There is nothing cookie-cutter about our approach,” he said.

Classes will take place Mondays, Jan. 28 – April 15 at 6:30 p.m. Space is limited and the cost is $117 for members of the Wellness Centers or $339 for non-members. To register for this session or to learn more about future sessions scheduled for this year, call the Winning at Weight Loss staff at 865-980-7119 or 865-977-4673.

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