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Make Your Weight Loss Resolutions Stick
By Kaitlyn Summitt
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mercy  medical center des moines

Like clockwork, every New Year’s Day, people resolve to drop those extra pounds – a promise frequently made, but rarely kept. This year, no matter your weight or age, Mercy wants to help you keep your resolution on track. Losing the weight not only means looking better, it carries some major health benefits, including reduced risks for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer.

Here are some ways to help assure your weight loss resolution doesn’t fail this time:

Keep it simple. Humans can only focus on a few major tasks at a time, and losing weight certainly qualifies as major. Follow a regimen you can do for a lifetime. Weight loss is not a quick fix. If you set realistic and healthy goals, the chance you’ll achieve them goes up. Instead of committing to lose 50 pounds by summer, set a smaller goal – 5 pounds by end of the month or walk 5 mornings a week with a friend or pet.

Tell someone about it. Often people find themselves making weight loss promises only to themselves. Harness the power of partnership by telling someone you know will hold you accountable. Whether it’s a workout buddy or a professional weight loss coordinator, this vastly increases your odds of being successful.

Find a support system. Losing weight is hard both physically and emotionally. Whether you attend group sessions or classes or verbalize your fears and anxieties to a best friend or family member, talking about your experiences will allow you to better focus on your goals.

Write it down. Experts aren’t sure what exactly causes humans to commit to things written on paper, but research shows writing down your goals increases the likelihood you’ll stick to them. So write it big and put it someplace visible – your fridge, your wallet or even your mirror.

Manage your expectations. Mistakes happen; exercise is missed; and extra dessert is eaten. What matters is that you rebound from it. Don’t let one mistake negate the rest of your work – move on and resolve to get back on track.

Get started today!

Getting to a healthy weight doesn’t just mean better health, it means a better life. In order to achieve your goals, and maintain your progress, it takes support and encouragement. Mercy Weight Loss & Nutrition Center is here for you with a wide variety of classes to kick-start your resolution!

“Intuitive Eating: A Behavior Modification Program”

Intuitive Eating is a program for the “chronic dieter.” For more than a decade, the Intuitive Eating approach has helped chronic dieters and emotional overeaters overcome their struggles with their weight, without deprivation, guilt and obsession with food. This 12-week program teaches students how to have a healthier relationship with food and be able to return to and maintain their body’s natural weight.

“Live Healthy, Cook Healthy, Be Healthy”

“Live Healthy, Cook Healthy, Be Healthy” is a three-pronged approach to healthy living at the YMCA Healthy Living Center in Clive. The program consists of a weekly exercise class, followed by fellowship time and an educational class. Class topics range from heart healthy oils to gluten-free cooking and simple portion control education. Often there are live cooking demonstrations to show how to prepare healthier meals.

Plant-Based Nutrition Coaching

Have you ever been curious about a whole food, plant-based approach to eating? The benefits are many:

  • Maintenance of a healthy weight;
  • Increased longevity;
  • Improved energy and well-being;
  • Prevention and/or reversal of heart disease;
  • Prevention and/or reversal of type II diabetes;
  • Lower cancer risk (prostate, breast, colon);
  • Improved bone health;
  • Improvement in arthritis symptoms;
  • Improved bowel function; and
  • Reduction in the need for prescription medications.

Our lifestyle coaches have the knowledge to help you get started with a whole food resolution.

Individual Nutrition Counseling

Mercy Weight Loss & Nutrition Center offers personalized nutrition counseling by registered, licensed dietitians (RD). Our dietitians perform a complete nutrition assessment including your nutrition and lifestyle factors. Based on this assessment, the dietitians can help you identify practical and achievable nutrition goals.

Individual nutrition counseling is available for a variety of needs:

  • Weight loss;
  • Calorie needs and BMI category;
  • Low cholesterol, low sodium or heart healthy diet;
  • Reading food labels;
  • Meal planning/recipe ideas;
  • Grocery shopping;
  • Restaurant eating;
  • Review of carbohydrate counting for diabetics;
  • Nutrition for exercise; and
  • Portion control.

Meal Replacement Programs

Mercy also offers OPTIFAST® and OPTITRIM meal replacement programs.

When exercise and diet aren't enough.

Diets, pills and exercise are not effective for 98 percent of those patients classified as morbidly obese – defined as being 100 pounds over ideal weight. Morbid obesity causes health problems like heart disease, diabetes and depression. According to the National Institutes of Health, bariatric surgery is the only long-term effective treatment for morbid obesity.

Mercy offers several long term weight loss solutions:

  • Gastric Banding;
  • Gastric Sleeve; and
  • Gastric Bypass.

For more information, call (515) 358-9400.

How can I tell if my portion is the “right” size?

Research shows nearly 25 percent of Americans underestimate the amount of food they eat each day. To keep your portion sizes in check, visualize these portion sizes:

  • Pasta – size of one scoop of ice cream;
  • Meat – size of a deck of cards or the size of the palm of your hand (minus the fingers);
  • Apple – size of a baseball;
  • Potato – size of a computer mouse;
  • Bagel – size of a hockey puck;
  • Pancake – size of a compact disc;
  • Cheese – size of a pair of dice or the size of a whole thumb (from the tip to the base).

Learn more.
Are you ready to kick-start your weight loss resolution?
Learn more about Mercy’s weight loss programs and experts by calling (515) 358-9400 to speak with a health coach who specializes in weight loss. More information about Mercy’s programs can be found online at




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