Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Lose weight: On the Phone

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I have been counseling people for 12 years on how to improve their diet, lose weight, and perform the best you can. I mostly do face to face counseling, but with the technology age that we are in and have been in for a while, it is tempting to counsel on the internet or over the phone. But is it as effective?

A recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that telephone counseling appears to be just as effective as face to face counseling for weight loss management. Amazing! The trial consisted of following 234 obese women in a 6 month weight loss program. Some of the participants got face to face and some got telephone counseling twice a week for 26 weeks. The women lost an average of 22 pounds, and there was no difference between the groups.

Internet counseling was not studied in this project, but I have to believe that it would have similar results. Using the telephone or internet to follow up with clients may be the wave of the future in some aspects of healthcare. Doctors may need patients to come in for a visit, but many other health professionals may indeed be able to be just as effective on the phone. This will save money and time for the client and the clinician. Now...if we could get insurance to reimburse for a phone call instead of an in-person visit. Wouldn't that be grand?
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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