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Weight-loss group meetings often contain informational and social components. Members gather to discuss weight-loss strategies, share information from the sponsoring organization and support each other through the weight-loss process. A member’s continued participation depends on how well the group meets her needs. Stimulating discussion on relevant weight-loss topics provides potential benefits for each member who attends the group’s meetings.
Realistic weight-loss goals often mean the difference between success and failure. For example, short-term goals provide immediate challenges and benefits. You achieve your long-term weight-loss goals as a result of your short-term successes. Goal setting also means selecting a feasible weekly weight-loss target, and developing strategies for restaurant and party scenarios. Create an ongoing group discussion that explores each member’s evolving goals.
Weight-management problems often arise from emotional eating behaviors 2. For example, you may reach for food to cope with a sad occasion; or perhaps to celebrate a happy event. Anticipating the food’s appeal, and developing a strategy to handle the event without emotional eating, represents an important weight-loss milestone 2. Discuss the role emotional eating has played in members’ weight-loss challenges, and encourage each member to share his successes 2.
Invite each group member to share her favorite interactive meal-planning tools. For example, the Department of Health and Human Services provides a daily meal planner template for 1,200- to 2,000-calorie weight-loss programs. Select an appropriate meal or snack, and choose from up to seven meal components. Examples include proteins, milk, fruits and beverages. Subtract each meal’s calories from your daily total to track your progress.
Realistic Exercise Program
Consistent weight loss depends on each member’s adoption of an appropriate exercise program. A realistic exercise regimen begins at your current fitness level, and incorporates activities you already enjoy. Examples include dog walking, gardening and mall walking with a friend. Start with a low- to moderate-intensity pace, and regularly gauge your exertion level. Ask each group member to share her successful exercise strategies.
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