Army uses holistic approach to weight loss
August 27, 2014
FORT HOOD, Texas (Aug. 27, 2014) -- In today's culture of miracle remedies for weight loss, it may seem a bit overwhelming for a person struggling to lose a few extra pounds to navigate through the multitude of possible solutions, this is where the staff of the Soldier Family Fit Facility here comes into play.
The staff provides guidance for Soldiers and family members, seeking to not only help them lose weight but also helping identify the underlying issues associated with obesity.
"We firmly believe that there isn't one-size-fits-all approach for weight loss," said Maj. Ronald Cole, the officer in charge of the Soldier Family Fit Facility. "Often people think that diet alone is enough, but research has proven that not to be so."
Cole said the staff utilizes a multi-tiered approach that begins with a health assessment review to help people reach weight loss goals.
"We want to get a brief health history of the individual," said Allyson Pritchard, the director of the Army Wellness Center. "We try to identify contributing factors causing their weight issues, that goes beyond just counting calories."
Pritchard said, often these underlying issues are at the root of a person's inability to lose and keep excess weight off.
"When we look at the impact of weight management, it's not just about calorie counting but other influences," said Pritchard. "We also look at things such as stress and other aspects from a behavioral standpoint."
Pritchard said the staff wants to help make lifestyle changes to ensure continued success in meeting the individual's goals.
"Based on the initial consultation, the staff will then make recommendations to help them accomplish these goals," said Pritchard.
Pritchard said, concerning the nutrition aspect of weight loss, they try to use evidence-based programs to help their clientele.
Cole said, along with the nutrition programs his staff stresses the importance of healthy life choices.
"There's no diet that's being pushed on this campus," said Cole. "We're more interested in promoting healthy eating and healthy life choices."
Cole states others factors of weight management such as sleep, activity and nutrition are also addressed at the campus.
"All these things count when it comes to someone trying to gain or lose weight," said Cole.
Echoing Cole, Pritchard emphasized a person who is under a lot of stress functions differently than a person who isn't.
"There are certain chemical reactions taking place in their bodies and, although they're doing all the right things, the amount of stress they're dealing with can certainly affect their ability to manage weight," said Pritchard.
After determining the individual's goals and obstacles to reaching those goals, the campus offers programs to help them take their health to the next level.
"One of the programs we offer is the Army Well Program," said Cole. "You're partnered with someone as you go along your journey, so we become married in this goal of achieving what you're trying to do."
By using programs such as this, Cole states the success rate tends to go up because of the accountability aspect of the programs.
"Our goal is to take them from one level of success to another by providing them with the tools and the people around them to be successful," said Cole.
For more information on how the Soldier Family Fit Facility can help accomplish a healthy lifestyle, you can contact the campus at (254) 247-4850.