Call on Your Dietitian – It’s good for your Weight Loss
In Naples, many of our patients are seen during season, and then return home for the summer months. One of the best ways we have found to help patients who still desire to lose weight over the summer is to touch base with them via weekly phone contact or email from a dietician.
The research shows we may be on to something.
In a study published by Annals of Internal Medicine in 2009, researchers found that high frequency, or weekly, contact by a dietitian over the phone is even more helpful for losing weight than low frequency contact with a dietitian face to face. The study participants who spoke with a dietitian each week on the phone had more weight loss than any other group, with the most weight loss being in the group that had high-frequency face to face contact with a dietitian.
Participants were evaluated after 6 months for change in body weight, waist circumference, lipid, glucose, and insulin levels, as well as blood pressure, weight-related symptoms, and quality of life. All patients received a lifestyle manual, access to a weight loss website, instructions for energy intake, pedometers, a daily goal of 10,000 steps, and behavioral strategies.
Based on the results of the study, the type and frequency of lifestyle counseling support have a profound effect on weight loss. Participants lost the greatest amount of weight when exposed to frequent face to face contact, then frequent phone contact, followed by low frequency face to face, high frequency email, and no dietitian contact.
Physicians typically have difficulty implementing lifestyle counseling despite the additional benefits of combining both weight-loss medication and lifestyle modification programs. As a clinical practice based on creating and developing healthy lifestyle changes and weight management, we are able to provide this service to patients to help them improve their health on so many levels.