11 April 2013

A positive step towards weight loss

Positive Step, North Somerset's psychological therapies service, is piloting an innovative new weight management service.

A positive step towards weight lossThey are offering courses to anyone in North Somerset with a body mass index (BMI) of between 25 and 40 and who would like to lose weight and improve their health for the long term.

Recognising the difficulty of changing habits, and addressing this fundamental barrier to weight loss, is at the heart of the one year pilot, developed by Positive Step in partnership with Weston General Hospital's dietetics service and the local commissioner's obesity lead.

Five group courses will be held during the next year, each running for six weeks. With a focus on readiness to change, the aim is to help people motivate themselves to overcome obstacles to weight loss and to make long term lifestyle changes.

The courses, which are being jointly led by a dietitian and a member of the Positive Step psychology team, explore topics including:

  • thinking about change
  • mental blocks, thinking patterns and emotions
  • dealing with cravings
  • healthy, balanced eating.

Alex Stephens, health psychologist with Positive Step, is leading the pilot. She explained, "We are helping people to get themselves ready to make significant, positive changes to manage their weight and improve their health for the long term. We have 15 people on each course: some are referred by Weston General's dietetics service and some are referred by their GPs, but the vast majority in our first group have come to us directly."

Sarah Branton, who heads up Positive Step, said, "We held our first session in the first week of April and were completely overwhelmed by the response. It went really well and we are very much looking forward to seeing how the group progresses and becomes more motivated over the six weeks, and to working with four more groups over the year."

For more information visit the 'physical health' section of Positive Step's new website at www.positivestep.org.uk and to apply for a place on the course fill out the online contact form or phone the team on 01934 523766.

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