Eat Smart, Move More; Weigh Less column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Last week, I provided a brief overview of the Eat Smart Move More; Weigh Less program. This week, I will explain what ESMMWL is, outline how the program works, its tools, and how to get started.
Eat Smart, Move More; Weigh Less is a program that will:
Explore behaviors that will help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Identify strategies to help you Eat Smart, Move More and Weigh Less.
Help you learn how living mindfully can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Help you create new lifelong habits of eating smart and moving more to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Eat Smart, Move More; Weigh Less is NOT:
A prescriptive weight loss diet.
A diet with special foods.
A physical activity prescription.
Something you will ever finish.
ESMMWL uses three basic techniques that have been proven to help with weight loss and weight maintenance: planning, tracking and living mindfully
The combination of the techniques and the strategies listed above add up to perfect equation to help you reach your healthy weight goals.
Participants plan meals, shopping, physical activity, snacks. They also plan for difficult situations.
Participants track what they eat, their physical activity and their weight.
Living mindfully means to pay attention to the events, activities and thoughts that make up your life.
Living mindfully means doing things purposefully, eating with awareness, eating without distractions ó no cell phone, television, work, computer or newspaper.
It means not eating while driving or working at your desk.
It means eating slowly and enjoying every bite, and sitting down while eating, eating slowly and enjoying every bite, with each meal lasting at least 20 minutes.
Living mindfully means being aware of how you move and getting enough sleep, at least seven hours per night. That helps create a lifestyle that supports a healthy weight.
Program Tools
There are many tools that are available for you to use as you begin this process. The ESMMWL program has designed great tools to assist you in every stage of weight loss.
In stage 1, getting ready for weight loss, there is a readiness quiz to help you determine if you are ready to lose weight.
In stage 2, you gather materials, including a meal planner that shows you how to plan meals for the week, a shopping planner that makes cooking meals easy. You will also prepare a daily journal that allows you to track food, activity, as well as feelings.
You will also use a weekly report card, which is a tracking form for weekly weight change.
There is also an activity planner that allows for planning activities and a ěbe active your wayî fact sheet that helps you plan for activities.
Once you have taken the readiness quiz and reviewed materials, the final step is to take a few measurements. ESMMWL is designed to be a program were you partner up with someone so you can encourage and keep each other on track. If you and a friend decide to partner up for the next 14 weeks, the first thing you will need to do is measure each other.
The beginning measurements are a great way to measure success at the end of the program as you can compare the beginning and ending measurements. The suggest measurements are: height, weight, waist circumference, body mass index (height and weight), and blood pressure. You will record weekly measurements on the report card.
Week one assignment: during the next week, you are to track what you eat, how much you eat, and how you were feeling when you ate the food. To get a better understanding of what a portion is visit My at: You will also want to begin including more physical activity into your day and getting enough sleep at night. Next week, we will set our weight loss goal. Have a good week!
Access materials at:
Measurements and readiness quiz at:
Planning ó meal and shopping planner at:
Move More ó move more planner and walking equivalents are at http://
Tracking ó daily journal and weekly report are at
For more information about the program, contact Toi N. Degree, family and consumer education agent, at 704-216-8970 or by e-mail at