Information sessions offered for Winning at Weight Loss

Kevin Boozer Staff Writer

August 28, 2013

WINNSBORO — Fairfield County residents who are fighting the battle of the bulge can receive help to win at weight loss this fall at a 12-week program offered at Fairfield Memorial Hospital.

Winning at Weight Loss provides support and education for people who want to lose weight and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Winning at Weight Loss is a team taught course that his based on a behavior modification program developed in the 1970s. Participants who complete all 12 weeks of Winning at Weight Loss receive a $15 refund on the $60 program.

“Unlike traditional diets, this program focuses on making healthy choices and on healthy eating for a lifetime,” said Sandy Kammermann, MS, EdS with Martin Primary Health Care Center. “Diets and an all-or-nothing mentality are things we try to help people avoid. Instead we help them find balance and moderation in both work and life.”

A key part is teaching participants to be aware of their environments and what triggers inappropriate eating. Some people eat because of stress.

For others food looks so appetizing it is hard to resist. Regardless of the reason behind it, taking in more calories than one can burn off through exercise can lead to weight gain.

Strategies like reducing portion sizes and replacing high calorie foods with lower calorie foods allow people to lose weight gradually and then enter into a lifestyle that helps them keep the weight off.

Increasing physical activity and adding physical activity into daily living are two other key parts of participants meeting their goals.

“Winning at Weight Loss is about getting people to think about health and being healthy,” Kammermann said. “This program helps us, as leaders, to keep on track with the (work/life/nutrition) balance in our lives, too.”

One session is devoted to eating healthy on a budget, so they take trip to the grocery store together and the group learns about reading labels and shopping. Planning ahead with menus and food preparation is important. Kammermann said that people live such hectic lives that they often go for convenient, faster, pre-prepared food.

“In the long run, we find that those kinds of food are actually more expensive because they are higher in salt, fat, and calories,” she said.

Group support is big for this program. Different things help different people and the social support is helpful. Sometimes family members join the program together. They have had mothers and daughters do Winning at Weight Loss together and married couples have done it together as well. If someone brings a friend or spouse, the friend or spouse’s fee is $50 instead of $60 for the program.

“We have tried to keep costs low with the fees to cover materials and this is much less than Weight Watchers or any other program,” Kammermann said.

Winning at Weight Loss is for people age 15 and up. Russell said so many teens in the county have been identified as overweight and some have pre-diabetic symptoms, so having another tool to help them work through those issues helps the county in the long run as well as the teens.

The goal is to help change the trend of South Carolina ranking number seven in the nation for obesity.

Fairfield residents and their friends and family can learn more about how to do their part at Winning at Weight Loss information sessions that will be held Sept. 3, 10 and 17 from 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at the Fairfield Diabetes Education Center. The information sessions are free.

For more information, or to sign up if one cannot attend an information session, contact Kammermann at Martin Primary Health Care Center 635-0699 or Mac Russell, RD, at the Fairfield Diabetes Education Center at 712-0372. Winning at Weight Loss is sponsored by Eat Smart Move More Fairfield County.