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Discover the Latest Trend for Successful Weight Loss Backed by Health Professionals

Tim Boyer's picture

One of the biggest disappointments dieters typically face during a fad diet program is when they find themselves regaining lost weight after a momentary period of successful weight loss. Such disappointment then leads to abandoning the diet fad program and adopting a new one with the religious fervor of a newly converted believer only to find themselves repeating the lose-weight/gain-weight cycle once again. However, according to academic health professionals at the University of Connecticut, where fad diets fail, lifestyle modifications succeed—with a little help and education.

A UConn Today news release tells us that academic health professionals are discovering that their newly created Lifestyle Modification Clinic at the University of Connecticut Health Center is helping people with weight problems drop pounds and become healthy as an alternative to fad dieting and other commercial weight loss programs.

The key to helping overweight individuals lies in showing people how to focus more on understanding their bodies rather than on the bathroom scale, and making gradual lifestyle changes to turn their bodies into well-maintained bio-machines.

“It’s not just about weight. It’s about your cholesterol, blood work, and how your body works. For the first time in a long time my blood work has been normal,” says Marlene Francis, a patient at the Lifestyle Modification Clinic who not only lost 50 pounds in less than a year, but also decreased her cholesterol levels by 50 percent. “Seeing the scale is only one difference,” she states.

The Lifestyle Modification Clinic is staffed by cardiologists, physician assistants, nurses, and exercise physiologists who work together as a team to help patients learn about the multiple systems that make up their body and how it can all work together in concert to make a person leaner and healthier with education and lifestyle modifications that are both realistic and doable for the individual. These modifications are based on the patient’s current behaviors, lifestyle and limitations.

“The stigma of exercise is that if you are not sweating and short of breath, you’re not getting any benefit. This couldn’t be further from the truth,” says Physician Assistant Brad Biskup, a staff member at Lifestyle Modification Clinic. “The ‘talk test’ is one of the most reliable markers for appropriate intensity of exercise. If you are short of breath while exercising and can’t say a complete sentence, you are exercising too hard and are increasing your risk of injury, as well as the likelihood that you won’t continue exercising,” says Biskup.

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Eligibility for admittance to the clinic includes patients with coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease or carotid artery stenosis, history of a stroke, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension. Upon admission, a past medical history review and a cardiovascular risk assessment are made as well as a review of the patient’s typical diet and exercise habits. Once a big picture of the patient’s health and lifestyle is painted, the staff works to educate and help the patient paint a healthier image of what they can be.

“We do a lot of education,” says Biskup. “The more education they get—the better.”

Marlene Francis states that since she has started the program that she now walks 3 miles every morning before leaving for work, engages her family in Wii Fit challenges and substitutes lunch meat for turkey and chicken in her salads at meal time—all of which she learned as tools with guidance from the staff at the Lifestyle Modification Clinic.

“Brad gives you homework assignments and things to look for. He gives you a lot of samples and tools to guide you and help you to succeed. I think that’s what has helped me make a difference in my life,” she says.

For more information about lifestyle modification type diets, see WebMD’s informative review of The Best Life Diet.

Image Source: Courtesy of MorgueFile

Reference: UConn Today