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New Ulm Medical Center

Answering the call to a healthier lifestyle

LOSE IT to WIN IT will offer phone coaching to eligible participants

Learn more about the community health weight loss challenge at Heart of New Ulm Project.

Jennifer Beaudette, health educator.

Health Educator Jennifer Beaudette will provide the majority of the phone coaching for those eligible through the LOSE IT to WIN IT Community Health Challenge.

Your path to a trimmer, healthier you may be just a phone call away with a new phone coaching option being offered as part of Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project’s (HONU) upcoming “LOSE IT to WIN IT” Community Health Challenge.

The free phone coaching option will be offered to people who meet certain criteria when they register for LOSE IT to WIN IT, which is starting to accept registrations in June. The 12-month challenge will offer all community members opportunities throughout the year to work on losing or maintaining their weight by making healthful lifestyle choices (see related story on the LOSE IT to WIN IT challenge in this issue of Health Edition).

How it works

For participants who are eligible and choose to participate in the phone coaching program, a weight loss professional will call them to help them make changes toward a healthier lifestyle. The ultimate goal is for people to be more physically active, eat healthier and improve their heart health.

"A health coach will call eligible individuals and work with them to set goals and offer personalized advice based on their unique circumstances and needs," said Gretchen Benson, a registered dietitian who serves as the HONU health care project manager. "The coach can provide advice on a broad spectrum of topics related to weight management – from nutrition and physical activity, to relapse prevention. The health coach will work with the individual to help them develop a plan to lose weight."

Calls will typically occur once a month, but that can be increased or decreased based on what each participant prefers, said Benson. "The coaching is really tailored to the unique needs of the individual participants." Plus, participants can use HONU’s website, www.heartsbeatback.org, as a resource to help them on their weight loss journey. The website is packed with educational information ranging from healthy recipes to a calendar of community events like 5K walk/run races and more.

Eligibility requirements

The phone coaching program is just one optional component of the LOSE IT to WIN IT challenge. To be eligible to participate in the phone coaching program, you must meet certain criteria. When you register for the overall LOSE IT to WIN IT challenge, you'll answer some survey questions (your privacy is protected), which will include questions about your weight, height and activity levels. If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher and are at least 18 years old, you may receive a call asking you if you want to enroll in the phone coaching program offered as part of LOSE IT to WIN IT. People can also choose to opt out of the chance to participate in the phone coaching option when they receive the initial call from the health coach.

Why join the challenge?

Obesity and heart disease are two major health risks that hit home in New Ulm. "New Ulm has a higher than national average percentage of people who meet the criteria for overweight and obesity. Seventy-six percent of adults in New Ulm are overweight or obese. Thirty-six percent of adults here have metabolic syndrome," said Benson. Metabolic syndrome is a condition characterized by having multiple risk factors that increase the risk for heart disease.

"Weight loss is important in helping reduce those risk factors," said Benson, "and the phone coaching program can help provide extra support and encouragement to people who are at higher risk."

Many people struggle with making the changes necessary to get healthier, but the entire LOSE IT to WIN IT challenge offers a supportive approach that can help participants feel like they're part of a team – and help them enjoy getting fit.

"It's fun to get out and be part of the community and engage in something that's really going to benefit the community in the long run," said Benson.


Source: New Ulm Medical Center - Health Edition
Reviewed by: Jennifer Beaudette, health educator, at Heart of New Ulm Project.
First Published: 05/01/2013
Last Reviewed: 05/01/2013