Posted by Blog Administrator June 7, 2012
For years, BWH patient Gary Morse struggled with weight loss. He tried everything, from dieting on his own and joining a gym to commercial weight loss programs.
“It wasn’t until I went to the Brigham that I saw the light at the end of the tunnel,” said the 60-year-old.
Earlier this year, Morse enrolled in the BWH Department of Endocrinology’s Program for Weight Management and, with the guidance of physicians and dietitians, he shed 52 pounds, dropping from 229 pounds to 177.
“This is just the first step toward living a healthier life, and I couldn’t be happier,” Morse said.
Morse attributes his success to the personal attention he receives from the Program for Weight Management staff. The dietitians developed a plan for Morse that included a few nutritious shakes a day and a portion-controlled meal. As Morse approached his weight goal, the staff transitioned him from the shakes to three balanced meals to help him maintain his healthy weight. Morse also went to the gym almost every day and was an active participant in the program’s weekly education and behavior modification group.
Patients who join the Program for Weight Management begin with a visit to a physician, who establishes a baseline and clears them to begin. Then, patients meet with BWH dietitians to develop an individualized diet plan. Patients are followed closely with weekly dietitian visits and monthly physician visits. They also attend weekly group sessions, where they receive healthy eating and exercise guidance and share challenges they encounter.
“The program is not just about losing weight,” said Jessica Sugalski, program manager. “It’s about establishing a solid foundation so patients make healthy eating and exercise part of their lives going forward.”
Kathy McManus, MS, RD, director, Nutrition and Behavior Modification at the Program for Weight Management, explains that this program is different from others because the focus is not just on the weight loss phase. “We recognize that most people have lost weight; the challenge is in keeping the weight off. We not only support people in losing weight, but help them develop skills and strategies to manage their weight over a lifetime,” said McManus.
– Julio C