Weight Loss Help Using Lifestyle as Medicine: The 5 Key Features of CARE
Making a Therapeutic Lifestyle Doable
The 5 Key Features of CARE
On our page, “Weight Loss Programs: Make Sure Yours Fits Like a Glove”, five key features of weight loss programs are introduced to guide you through how to evaluate the next type of weight loss help you try.
These key features include Program Goals, Structure, Voice, Tools, and Level of Guidance.
Your level of success is dependant on how well you match your needs and priorities to the priorities of your next weight loss program.
Here are the priorities of CARE defined within these five key program features.
1. CARE GOALS and LEARNING OBJECTIVES
What goal is the weight loss program designed to help you reach, and what does it teach?
- Member-driven goal setting: Effectiveness is measured by progress towards each individual member’s own health goals; member-driven goal setting results in a greater sense of control over choices versus having to adhere to externally dictated program expectations.
- Use lifestyle as medicine: CARE emphasizes increasing produce consumption (fruits and vegetables) and using a whole foods-based eating pattern (foods that are minimally processed). Macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) are balanced to guide portion sizes and control blood sugar response to meals. Mindfulness, physical activity, and stress management are integrated into the program.
- Make a healthy lifestyle doable and enjoyable: CARE is a flexible approach to using lifestyle as medicine that allows you to individualize the presented methods so they work best for you. CARE encourages gradual, slower rates of weight loss (1-2lbs per week).
- Sustain long-term results: CARE provides mentoring for how to sustain long-term weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes using research-based methodologies ending the cycle of either being “on a diet” or “off a diet”. The focus is on maintenance from the time of enrollment.
- Make trusted guidance affordable: Flexible online and in-person support options were developed for longer-term support allowing you to practice your new choices in the various situations life will deal you throughout the year– daily stress and bustle, travel, holidays, seasonal changes to schedules, etc.; for long-term change, you will need realistic guidance options as you encounter fluctuations and triggers throughout the year.
CARE Learning Objectives
CARE places a strong emphasis on teaching and skills-building. CARE will teach you:
- What is meant by ‘therapeutic lifestyle’ and what it means to use lifestyle as medicine
- How to master the new skills needed to, consistently, have a therapeutic lifestyle (Focus of CARE Step 1-9)
- How to retrain your brain’s control center and habit and rewards systems to maintain weight loss and new healthy lifestyle changes (Focus in CARE Steps 10-12; as one member said “this is where the rubber meets the road on the journey to health”)
2. STRUCTURE of CARE
How does the program guide you to reach goals; is it the right structure of weight loss help for you?
CARE consists of 12 core nutrition and lifestyle steps, one introduced each week. Changes are introduced gradually to give you time to practice the current step, within your current lifestyle.
- Each step includes specific goals and actions to take (along with essential guidance on how to customize these goals for what is right for you), an explanation of why these actions contribute to a therapeutic lifestyle, and supporting tools like charts, lists, or other resources needed to help you apply (not just read) the information.
- For caloric reduction, CARE uses a proprietary balanced plate method that integrates a “target servings” system for balancing the macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
- The CARE Balanced Plate™ provides a simple, visual tool for learning:
- Proper portion sizes for the three macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins, and fats
- Purpose of each of the three macronutrients in cellular functioning
- How to balance the macronutrients to ensure nutritional adequacy, caloric reduction, and blood sugar control
- How to increase nutrient-richness and apply culinary medicine techniques simply by creating your CARE Balanced Plate™
- CARE provides comprehensive weight loss help that integrates:
- whole foods-based nutrition
- culinary skills training
- holistic fitness
- and, stress management
3. VOICE of CARE Author, Teri Rose, MS, LN
What voice and perspective are woven throughout the program content; does it resonate with you?
- CARE prioritizes the concept that food and lifestyle choices are as powerful as medicine – when used correctly and consistently.
- CARE is written and developed by Teri Rose, MS, LN; Teri integrates her experiences in clinical nutrition, research, culinary medicine, and psychology to offer comprehensive, evidence-supported, tried-in-the-real-world food and lifestyle solutions.
Teri is a specialist in weight management and lifestyle modification. In addition to her graduate work and research, she completes monthly professional continuing education centered around the latest research using food and lifestyle as medicine and for how to make these lifestyle changes sustainable.
Teri mentors and provides weight loss help from the conviction that:
“…if we give individuals tangible tools and guidance on how to practice a new lifestyle, tools and guidance that match their learning style and where they are today, they will demonstrate remarkable dedication and accountability to using them, adapting these tools to include their own innate wisdom, and (finally) experiencing a new relationship with health.” Teri Rose, MS, LN, in “How to Lose Weight (again) and Keep it Off (really)”
4. TOOLS Provided by CARE
What tools are provided by the program; does this match what you want to use?
CARE simplifies all the aspects of a therapeutic lifestyle and the psychological tools needed to sustain new changes into an easy-to-organize mantra: “Food, Fitness, Fun – That’s how we’ll get it done!”. Let’s look at each of these individually.
CARE does not use program-required supplements or meal replacements, just food.
As mentioned, CARE teaches you how to reduce calorie intake by integrating a balanced plate method with a proprietary “target servings” method which was developed from the research behind the diabetic exchange system.
This propriety method, the CARE Balanced Plate™, was developed by CARE Nutritionist and program creator, Teri Rose, MS, LN, a leading Minneapolis-based practitioner.
- The CARE Balanced Plate™ reduces caloric intake through teaching proper portion sizes. With the emphasis on produce, the volume of each meal often increases – finally allowing you to feel full and comfortable in-between meals.
- CARE offers you the flexibility to make your own personal decisions about which macronutrient sources you want to select. The nutrition principles of CARE can be applied whether you are an omnivore (includes meat), vegetarian, or vegan – you pick.
- Three methods of learning serving sizes are gradually introduced to match your learning style; which method is effective for you is the one you can comfortably use long-term – you pick.
- CARE Step 1 introduces the “visual method only” (no math, grams, or counting needed)
- CARE Step 3 progresses to “general target servings” where grams are introduced
- CARE Step 5 provides the most details with “individual target servings” (optional level of detail with individualized macronutrient gram targets)
Though the program focuses on whole foods and produce, instruction is given on how to masterfully cut through the information provided on nutrition labels to determine how and where any product fits on your CARE Balanced Plate™. This guidance begins right away in CARE Step 2 with Label Reading Part 1: Sugar and Fiber.
CARE also prioritizes teaching you how to use your current favorite foods rather than insisting you use a pre-determined food list; your first goals in CARE Step 1 are to practice balancing your current meals for the first two weeks.
Meal plans, balanced recipes, and shopping list are provided as learning tools with each food-related step. The CARE online forum also contains a valuable library of additional food and culinary posts to assist you in the kitchen.
- Your first focus will simply be on increasing total daily step counts.
- The focus of a therapeutic lifestyle is uncovering ways to move more naturally during the day rather than forcing a demanding gym routine into your already tight schedule.
- As you progress through CARE, you will be guided through defining your CARE Holistic Fitness Routine; a routine which includes health-enhancing activity (activity which elevates your heart rate) and modest resistance activities (to protect lean muscle and bone health); a routine that fits comfortably and consistently into your lifestyle.
Bad habits thrive under stress. Stress convinces your brain to temporarily forget all about long-term goals and seek out instant gratification instead (more coffee, more food, more alcohol, more distractions).
- The mindfulness approach you will practice in CARE is to understand how to prioritize recovery from stress rather than unrealistically trying to eliminate stress.
- This comes down to learning how to manage the pacing of your day and identifying needed health-enhancing rewards.
- The CARE stress sequence of steps covers physical activity, caffeine and alcohol intake, sleep hygiene, and social connection.
5. LEVEL and DURATION OF GUIDANCE
LEVEL of SUPPORT
Three options are available to best match the level of support you need:
All CARE members (online and in-person) have access to the private (advertising-free), member-only online areas where you can ask questions directly to Teri; this is another essential piece to personalize the solutions to fit your unique lifestyle.
The online areas are there for you to use in the way most valuable to you; there is no required participation. You engage in the way and frequency that matches your comfort and group support preferences.
There is no required time that you must stay enrolled, start when you want, end when you want. You can change your membership at any time directly through your online account settings or by emailing us.
Though CARE integrates a vast number of concepts and tools, remember that the role of the program will always be to synthesize all this knowledge down to just one next step for you to take.
CARE finally provides you relief from having to jump from post to post trying to decipher for yourself what one step to take today.