Avera Medical Minute: Ideal Living program offers weight loss, lifestyle changes

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - It's a whole new healthier life for Gerry Heuer. He's lost thirty pounds and works out. His success started with a realization.

Avera Health educator Becky Hanzen holds a replica of 5 pounds of fat

"I just decided, I can't do this by myself I need some help," Heuer said.

Gerry went to an Ideal living workshop at the Prairie Center at Avera McKennan. He lost the weight and now focuses on balance.

"Have I ever had a french fry? Yes. but do I have french fries on a regular basis? no. It's not like you have to quit everything, but it's a lifestyle change and that's what I needed, was a lifestyle change," Heuer said.

The Ideal Living program, featuring Ideal protein food, is done in four phases. Avera Health Educator like Becky Hanzen says every pound lost makes a difference.

"This represents five pounds of fat. If anybody loses five pounds the orthopedics will tell you it's 20 pounds off your joints, so anything helps, and it's all magnified," Hanzen said.

And the program is simple.

"It's three packets of food, supplements are there. The program is so nice that you can follow the program and really work on the habits as you go through," Hanzen said.

"There's so much more that goes into losing weight, it's about making sure that you're planning ahead, food bought and prepped. That you're taking the time to exercise, reducing stress loads," Hanzen said.

Well-rounded and highly educated, the health coaches have much insight to offer.

"They ask me about, well how is your blood pressure? Because she knows I can get wound up pretty easily. Or how's your sleep? It's not just the weight thing, it's really being concerned about all aspects of my life," Heuer said.

While on the weight loss phase, you'll meet once a week to talk about questions, challenges, and update your weight and measurements.

"I can do it. Put your mind to it and I think you can do anything," Heuer said.

A free education event is coming up Wednesday, January 8, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. at the Prairie Center on the Avera McKennan campus.