Avera Medical Minute: Balanced Weight Loss Program

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (DAKOTA NEWS NOW) - Sometimes you meet a special person in life, who is always giving to others. A retired Nurse, Mary Ihli cares for others in the Sioux Falls area.

Mary Ihli enjoyed the Balanced Weight Loss Program

"I get to bring communion to the Heart Hospital, so I do that every Wednesday, and also a volunteer at the Dougherty Hospice House," said Ihli.

Mary realized she also needed to take care of herself after keeping a log of the food she was eating.

"I was hardly even eating any vegetables and fruits. I was eating meat and mostly carbohydrates," said Ihli.

and that's when she was connected to the Balanced Weight Loss program at the Avera Heart Hospital. She said being accountable with a food diary kept her on track. "If I was going to put this in my mouth and I had to write it down, maybe I was going to think about it one more time before I did it," said Ihli.

The plan Mary and her dietician chose together, follows carbohydrates, protein, fats and drinking at least 60 ounces of water each day. "My little water glass in my kitchen. I have to go past it, I see it and I know I need to drink," said Ihli.

The success Mary is enjoying has partially come from the encouragement of Dietitian Lauren Cornay. "Mary has worked in healthcare. She definitely understands the importance of good nutrition and balanced nutrition and so with her a lot of it was, how do we optimize this," said Cornay.

The Balanced Weight Loss Program is personalized to fit each person's needs, lifestyle and stresses that trigger a desire to reach for food. "From personalized meal plans which we're happy to do, or maybe it is having someone to talk through these barriers with because there are big barriers to lifestyle change," said Cornay.

There's practical advice for busy lives, like using your hand to estimate portion sizes. "A cup about the size of your fist, half a cup fits in the palm of your hand, a tablespoon is your thumb, a teaspoon is the tip of your pinky," said Cornay.

Eating healthy is a lifelong journey but it's a path to feeling better, in many ways.

"You don't have to do it by yourself. And so, yeah, I'd give it an A rating."

The balanced weight loss program at the Avera Heart Hospital is $275 for 13 individual sessions, with a 50 dollar rebate for attending all of your sessions. No referral is needed.