Support Groups for Adults
The benefits of individual counseling combined with the dynamics of support groups.
Nowadays in Greece almost 2/3 of adult population and 40% of the children has weight issues. More0ver, a large percentage of adults have an unhealthy relationship with food. The “obesogenic” environment: increased processed food availability, is considered to be the main cause. The traditional approaches that focus on strict dietetic regimens have failed.
Those who wish to lose weight and maintain it but also develop eating competence and a healthy relationship with food, need knowledge, skills and an organised support network.
The groups provide the necessary context and the requisite counseling in order to help the participants to form a new way of thinking, make a positive mind-shift regarding their nutrition and substantially change their habits.
The support groups are usually consisted of 4 to 6 people that work alongside with 1 or 2 facilitators. The groups are highly interactive. The facilitators offer knowledge and every member of the team has the opportunity to discuss any weight, nutrition or food related issue in order to receive the necessary support by the other members and be helped in order to discover useful ideas and feasible solutions.
The core approach of our support groups is based on the Satter Eating Competence Model. The groups’ facilitators are extensively trained to the above models and have also participated in the Weight Matters European Program Weight Management Circles.
The program is offered only to socially vulnerable groups.
In a supporting environment, liberated from stereotypes and discriminations these support groups encourage each participant to alter their old long-standing food relationship that will lead to a healthier weight status but most importantly they will become competent eaters. A combination of coaching, peer support and active learning help the participants improve their relationship to food and increase their knowledge and skills in weight management, meal planning and food selection.
People who demonstrate a healthier relationship to food by improving their eating competence have also:
- better medical health
- lower and stable weight
- higher nutritional quality
- better relationships and emotional health
This is a really important methology, but the real asset is the materials and support offered during the training which is the key success factor of this team!
I realized that the issues people face are very similar and, it goes without saying, that support is key factor in order to succeed.
It’s the first time in my life that I feel self-conscious regarding self-love and taking good care of me.
Every group member has achieved positive changes in their lives!
I was given the necessary “push” and support towards weight loss.
Having done numerous diets, I have now understood that a “one-and-only-diet” approach will not help you manage your weight. For the first time I feel I can make it!
Understanding the philosophy of mindful eating and with the help of the tools that I was offered – like nutritional label reading for example – helped me completely change my daily eating habits!
I only received the support, genuine acceptance and familiarity by both the members and the coordinators. For me, this has never happened so fast before!
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Implementation of contemporary tools of nutritional education & support