Losing weight is one of the toughest tasks to accomplish for many patients. Not only does it require determination, consistency, and willpower, but navigating weight loss in today’s “diet culture” is an additional challenge. This is why practitioner-guided weight loss programs are of great importance. The ability to create and maintain proper utilization of nutrition products in weight loss programs can be the game changer for any patient-centered approach to weight loss. These programs create support, goal setting, and can also be enhanced through the use of nutrition products. By utilizing nutritional products such as shakes or premade meals, patient-centered weight loss programs can improve adherence to recommendations, better-standardized portion control, and less confusion and guessing over nutritional choices.
When guiding a patient in weight loss, the use of educational materials, behavior counseling, and goal setting are all tools to improve compliance with nutritional recommendations.
Educational materials. Supporting weight loss through the use of education is necessary so that patients understand how to sustain weight loss throughout their lifetime. This assists with patient understanding from a physiological standpoint and may help with motivation because of this greater understanding. In addition, sustained healthy habits include education surrounding nutritional habits – what encompasses a healthy plate, what foods support or hurt weight loss, and how to time nutrient intake throughout the day. The information must be practical, easy to understand, and applied individually.
Behavioral coaching. Intensive behavioral therapy aims at making lasting lifestyle changes to promote sustained weight loss through nutrition, physical activity, time management, and perhaps stress management. This type of behavioral counseling is to be individualized, typically lasts 1-2 years, and aims to achieve and maintain at least 5% body weight loss. Weight loss of this magnitude has been seen to improve chronic diseases like high blood pressure and high cholesterol while greater weight loss has been seen to improve other comorbidities¹. Behavioral counseling may include self-monitoring of nutritional intake and exercise, problem-solving, social support, and stimulus around food². Through behavioral counseling, both parties can further understand the specific driving factors behind weight loss for each individual patient.
Goal setting. The most successful goals are to be mutually negotiated based on desired outcomes. For example, SMART goals may be created and as the ‘A’ within the acronym is deemed ‘attainable’, goals need to be viewed within reach of both practitioner and patient. It is necessary for fruitful action plans and goals to be attainable because when goals are within reach, patient compliance and outcomes improve.
How to make Nutritional Products a Win for both patients and our practice?
Nutritional products help to take the guesswork out of ensuring nutritional needs are being met while minimizing the overwhelm of choices your patient may experience in navigating food choices. By implementing products into your practice, you can easily guide someone through their day while working on behavior changes and understanding of nutrition concepts. Here are some other ways to apply nutritional products:
Portion Control: Portion control helps to assist patients in understanding what nutrients the body needs by preventing overconsumption. Research shows that people will eat more food when it is presented to them³, therefore, if patients are able to control their portion sizes consumed, greater weight loss can be achieved. Patients can be counseled on portion control for different nutrient groups and eventually be able to apply those to other foods. In the meantime, pre-portioned foods add structure to meals and minimize decisions about the amount of food to eat. This may help patients feel more comfortable with their decision-making to support their weight loss goal and decreases the confusion over portions and healthy food options. All HealthWise products help with portion control, but can also provide healthy dessert options for those losing weight, but do not want to feel deprived – these include products such as High Protein Mug Cakes and High Protein Instant Pudding.
Meals: Meals can get overwhelming for those who are trying to plan out, make choices, cook and potentially plan ahead. HealthWise nutrition products provide a practical way to support mealtime recommendations as they may require little prep time, which is one of the major barriers to healthy eating. Dinner nutrition products provide a great meal framework, which can be first emphasized through education. By providing the outline of a healthy plate, the individual can learn how to form a meal that supports their weight loss goals. HealthWise Light Entrees like High Protein Vegan Chicken Curry make dinners easier. Other nutrients like fiber, protein, and micronutrients within vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains can then be added to these meals as desired, boosting the nutritional value of these products.
Snacks: Most people grab convenience items when they are so hungry that it leads to unhealthy choices. By providing the structure of snacks and HealthWise choices of nutrition products, practitioners can ensure patients are being provided with enough protein and fiber to keep clients full and promote weight loss. This teaches the client what are the necessary nutritional elements of a healthy snack and may further help them transition to also using whole foods for snack options in the future. Nutrient timing is also very important throughout the day, therefore, coaching clients when it is appropriate for them to consume nutrients will help to combat brain fog, sugar cravings, and crashes. By having Meal Replacements and Divine Protein and Fiber Bars on hand, healthier dietary choices can be made when options may be limited due to busyness or traveling, as well as providing something that is convenient.
Nutrition products provided by HealthWise are specifically tailored to promote weight loss in patients. HealthWise nutrition products are useful in minimizing decision-making and stimulus around food while still ensuring patients are given adequate nutrients to meet their needs. Some additional products that may be most helpful include: High Protein Shakes and Smoothies and High Protein Cereal. Because of the large variety of options, this option reduces the tendency to get bored and allows for long-term sustainability. HealthWise nutrition products are generally high in protein, low in sugar, and may additionally be low in carbohydrates, making them suitable for patients with diabetes. By making HealthWise nutritional products mandatory within your weight loss program, patients are able to apply the education and behavioral coaching you’ve supplied them within a safe space to explore foods to meet their weight loss goals. Furthermore, this provides the opportunity for patients to know exactly what to eat, when to eat, and how best to navigate their weight loss journey through the use of nutrition products.
- Ryan DH, Yockey SR. Weight loss and improvement in comorbidity: differences at 5%, 10%, 15%, and over. Curr Obes Rep. 2017;6(2):187-194.
- Paixao C, Dias CM, Jorge R, et al. Successful weight loss maintenance: a systematic review of weight control registries. Obes Rev. 2020;21(5):e13003.
- Rolls BJ. What is the role of portion control in weight management?. Int J Obes (Lond). 2014;38 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S1-S8. doi:10.1038/ijo.2014.82
By Katie Chapmon, MS, RD
About the Author:
Katie Chapmon, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in Bariatric Nutrition, GI Issues and Hormonal Health and with 10+ years of hands-on clinical experience for leading medical providers. She is the proud recipient of the 2010 Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award and 2018 Excellence in Weight Management Practice Award through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
She spent the first decade of her career as the lead dietitian for Kaiser Permanente Southern California. For the past several years, she has been working with industry partners and consumers to improve nutrition education within the field and maintains a virtual private practice. In April 2021, she launched Bariatric Nutrition Pro – to provide healthcare practitioners education to start (or continue!) their bariatric career with the confidence and knowledge to succeed.
She is a past Chair of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Integrated Health Clinical Issues Committee and Chapter author of the 3rd Edition of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Pocket Guide to Bariatric Surgery. She is a national speaker and enjoys time hiking and cooking in the kitchen.