Health and Diet Plan FAQ

In the past when I've lost weight, I always regained it. Why should I try the Beaumont Weight Control Program?

The Beaumont health and diet plans are lifestyle changes, not quick-fix diets. It is understandable that you may feel discouraged about past weight-loss efforts. However, your history is not your destiny. The psychology staff will help you to identify:

  • triggers for overeating
  • ways to overcome challenges
  • how to manage stress more effectively
  • how to cope with cravings and increase your accountability

We will support you and give you confidence in your new skills. The exercise physiologist will help you to develop a healthy exercise program you can continue for the rest of your life. Nutrition education is provided and the dietitians will guide you on lifelong healthy eating habits. When you have completed nutrition education and reached your healthy weight, you will be encouraged to participate in maintenance support groups. The maintenance support groups are set up to help you keep the weight off long term. We will support you in learning how to continue effectively managing your weight.

I can follow any health and diet plan for a certain period of time and then I "fall off the wagon." How is the Beaumont program any different?

Beaumont health and diet plans are designed to help you lose weight and keep it off. Psychologists help you focus on your barriers to success and what to do to overcome them. Regular group attendance, health improvement goals, individual sessions with a psychologist, inspiration from other group members, and focusing on quality of life improvement will help you maintain motivation and commitment. Mental strategies are continually reinforced to help you have a successful weight management experience.

What types of diets are available in the Weight Control Program?

Our diet plans range from a complete healthy meal replacement plan to all healthy food. We recommend that patients eat at least five meals and snacks throughout the day, which give patients the flexibility to choose a diet of five meal replacements per day, four meal replacements plus one meal, etc. You can choose the diet that best suits your lifestyle.

What meal replacements are available in the Beaumont Weight Control Program?

We recommend several types of meal replacements. We have a selection of high-protein shakes, puddings, bars, soups, hot chocolate, fruit drinks, hot and cold cereals and meal entrees. All meal replacements are available in portion-controlled packages.

Why are meal replacements helpful for weight loss?

Many medical studies have shown the value of meal replacements in weight-loss programs. According to an article in the Journal of Obesity Research, people following a health and diet plan that used meal replacements had greater weight loss, greater decrease in body fat and significantly lower cholesterol levels compared to people following similar low-calorie diets without meal replacements. This shows that accurate portion control is an important factor in weight loss success. Using meal replacements (such as those used in the Beaumont programs) is an effective tool for a well-rounded, nutritious, low-calorie diet, which makes weight loss and overall cardiovascular health easier to achieve.

What kinds of sweeteners are used in the shakes?

The sweeteners include saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, fructose or sucrose. We offer several shakes, so the type of sweetener will depend on which one you choose. If you are concerned about the sweetener, work with your physician to choose a product that is right for you.

What is the difference between Beaumont shakes and the shakes sold at grocery stores?

The shakes sold in grocery stores are usually higher in calories (from sugar) and lower in protein. Additionally, those used in the Beaumont health and diet plan have undergone clinical studies that demonstrated their effectiveness in weight loss.

Can't I just drink the shakes and follow my own health and diet plan?

The shakes are just one of the tools in your weight management toolbox. Many other tools are provided in the Beaumont Weight Control Program, including as support, education and behavior modification, which are necessary for long-term success.

Is this meal replacement diet just another fad?

This is not a fad diet. The Beaumont Weight Control Program’s multidisciplinary team and your support group help you make a change in your lifestyle and the way you view food and exercise. Once you have achieved your weight-loss goals, you will still have the knowledge you need to keep the weight off and continue making healthy food choices.

How will this program help me with food urges?

Food urges do not go away just because you are on a diet. The Beaumont Weight Control Program’s psychologists educate you on food urges and habits as well as what to do to properly handle them.

How can I prevent weight gain?

Our comprehensive weight management program is designed to support you at every point in your weight loss process, including weight maintenance. The Beaumont Weight Control Program offers nutrition education classes to teach healthful eating, individual appointments with a dietitian to incorporate food back into your diet, education on lifestyle change by licensed psychologists who specialize in weight management, access to the gym and an exercise physiologist, as well as a free, long-term maintenance support group.

Is it possible to lose weight in just one area of the body?

While you can control whether or not you lose weight, no one has control over where the weight is lost. Some exercise programs and equipment are marketed with the fallacy of spot reducing (the belief that exercising a particular area of the body will promote fat loss in that area). Aerobic exercise, like walking and cycling, is a valuable tool for weight control. Strength training is also encouraged. While specific muscle groups can be targeted with exercise, it cannot be used to target specific areas for fat loss.

How can the registered dietitians at the Weight Control Center help me to succeed in my weight loss?

The registered dietitians are available to see patients for one-on-one counseling sessions to provide health and diet instruction, answer individual questions, review food records, and give food and recipe ideas. They also teach one-hour nutrition classes on topics such as portion control, nutrition basics and eating out. Lastly, they teach a monthly cooking class where they cook four to five recipes in the demonstration kitchen and afterward the recipes may be taste-tested.

How much does it cost to see a dietitian?

The cost is $25 for 15 minutes. Most visits average 15 to 30 minutes. You can let the dietitian know in advance how long you would like your appointment to be. Most insurance plans do not cover this service. Please check with your plan to be sure.

How do I see a dietitian?

It is best to make an appointment. You can make your appointment with the front desk staff at the Beaumont Weight Control Center by calling 248-655-5900. Please be sure to specify why you want to see the dietitian. It is best to bring at least three days of food records to your visit with the dietitian so they can have a good idea of your eating habits.

What is the difference between the nutrition class and the cooking class? 

Nutrition education classes increase your knowledge of basic nutrition concepts. They are offered several times per week, in the morning and in the evening. The topic changes on a weekly basis. The cooking class is offered once per month. The goal of this class is to show people how easy it is to cook more healthfully. Participants may also taste the recipes.

What kinds of vitamins should I take?

A general multivitamin is fine, but the best source of vitamins and minerals is food. Eat a varied diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. If you are on a low-calorie diet, you may need to take a multivitamin, extra calcium, iron or folic acid. Meet with your physician or dietitian to determine if you should take supplements.

I know what I "should" be doing, therefore I don't need your group education. I don't have psychological problems; I just like to eat. How are group meetings going to help me?

Knowing what you "should" be doing and what you are doing are two different things. Psychologists provide new insight and information that can move you toward positive behavior change. Our psychologists focus on thinking and behavior change in the present. You are right: having a weight problem does not mean you have psychological problems. We work on identifying and overcoming obstacles to change your health and diet choices.

When in groups, patients report it is very helpful to learn from others who have "been there and done that." The focus of the groups is on positive change and inspires one to make forward movement on individual goals. The group experience provides a way of being mindful of current health and diet behavior. In recent testimonials from successful patients, they report that group attendance, along with exercise, is a key to their success.

Additionally, clinical trials, including a Beaumont Weight Control Program trial, reveal that those in group have better success compared with those not involved in group support.