School of Medicine’s Wellness and Weight Management Clinic offers tips for summer weight loss

University employees may use their state insurance wellness coverage to enroll

7/18/2012 - By: Anne McMillin
Wellness The School of Medicine’s wellness and weight management clinic staff can assist patients with a variety of health care choices regarding weight loss and cardiac health. From left: Karmella Thomas, Tyisha Martinez, Doina Kulick, Cindy Rainsdon, Aimee Brock, Mary Sanders, Stacey Frattinger and Maureen Bradford.

Trying to drop a few pounds this summer? University of Nevada, Reno employees may use their state insurance wellness coverage to enroll in the School of Medicine's Wellness and Weight Management Clinic through its internal medicine department.

"Losing weight may be easier in the summer. Many people make that New Year resolution to lose weight, and we do see a surge of new patients coming to our clinic in January and February each year," said faculty member Doina Kulick, M.D., director of the Wellness and Weight Management Clinic. "What many people may not know is that summer appears to be the best time of the year to lose weight. This is because people have a better chance of success."

There are several explanations for this. First, during summer, a chemical known to decrease appetite called serotonin, goes up in the brain. This seasonal increase in the brain's serotonin levels is due to more light exposure during the longer, sunnier days of summer.

Increased levels of serotonin may reduce "emotional eating", and the cravings for comfort foods. In addition, the abundance of tastier and fresher fruits and vegetables during the summer makes losing weight much faster. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, but low calories. They are at the foundation of any successful, healthy, weight loss diet plan.

Last, but not least, summer increases the opportunity to stay outdoors longer and engage in physical activity. The relatively cool, breezy mornings and evenings of Reno are ideal for walking and other outdoor activities.

Weight management requires effort and active involvement on behalf of the patient. So make the task easier: "Lose weight in the summer and keep it off in the winter," said Kulick, who is also board certified in internal medicine and nutrition.

The Wellness and Weight Management clinic is an on-campus resource that offers a wide variety of nutritional services. When it comes to health and weight management, one size doesn't necessarily fit all. With this is mind, this specialty clinic offers a wide variety of program options to best meet the individual needs of its clients, whether it be a one-time nutrition assessment, weekly individual follow-ups or group weight-loss classes.

The interdisciplinary medical team available to see patients includes physician experts in nutrition, registered dietitians and a registered clinical exercise physiologist.

The clinic's goal is to provide preventive services to help lower risk factors for chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer by focusing on lifestyle behavior changes including diet and exercise.

New patients will be directed to the program that best meets their needs. Nutritional counseling, weight-loss therapy and cardiac wellness services are just a few of the options available. They offer several weight-loss programs that include individual or group sessions, all containing personalized weight loss prescriptions based on body composition analysis, resting metabolic rate and food intake analysis.

The School of Medicine's Wellness and Weight Management clinic is also the only facility in Nevada to offer Health Management Resources® (HMR®), a meal replacement weight loss program.  HMR® is a leading provider of medically-based weight management programs in clinics, hospitals and major medical centers throughout the country.

In addition, through funding provided by the National Institutes of Health to the Nevada IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence project, the clinic has created dietary counseling resources that are based on the latest clinical research data about cholesterol and diet. This evidence-based diet counseling is offered along with physical fitness assessment and an advanced lipid panel through the clinic's Cardiac Wellness Program.

Many different insurance plans are accepted as are self-pay patients.

To make an appointment with the Wellness and Weight Management Clinic, located in the Nell J. Redfield Building on the University campus, please call (775) 784-4474 and mention code: "summerUNR" to receive a free body composition analysis.


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