Health Team

'Lose to Live' teaches healthier lifestyle

Posted February 18, 2010 3:59 p.m. EST
Updated February 19, 2010 3:27 p.m. EST

— Participants say that a weight loss program offered by Duke Raleigh hospital is teaching them to lead a healthier lifestyle.

The 12-week "Lose to Live" program offers nutritional counseling, fitness testing, exercise programming and stress management. It costs $240 to participate and has a wait list.

Participant Pam Frazier said that registered dietitian Dena Lowry helped her change her eating habits and that exercise coach Sherron Leigh taught her valuable skills to keep exercising.

"I am also healthier in general," Frazier said. "In exercising, I'm more flexible (and) have more energy."

Each morning, Frazier eats a high-fiber breakfast. Lunch is often dinner leftovers in a low-calorie wrap. She aims to eat five to seven servings of fruit and vegetables throughout the day.

Frazier said she doesn't deny herself tasty treats, such a baked potato, but she'll eat smaller portions and use seasonings such as a butter substitute.

Portion control and "mindful eating" are keys to losing weight, she said.

"I'm much aware of when I'm hungry now. I don't just eat to be eating. I eat when I'm hungry," she said.

Experts say that another key to losing weight is to not think of it as diet that only helps you reach a weight-loss goal. Instead, thinking of it as learning a healthier lifestyle – with better foods, controlled portion sizes and a more active lifestyle – helps people maintain weight loss.

Frazier said she didn't lose quite the 10 pounds she expected in 12 weeks, but the lessons "Lose to Live" taught her are far more valuable.

"This is a lifelong commitment. This is what I want to do to stay healthy as I age," she said.