Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center
is now part of Presence Health
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) font size
Bookmark and Share

spacer graphic


 Print this page     

Lose Weight the Right Way

As seen in the New Lenox Patriot on Jan, 6, 2010 by Laura Michaels

Lose Weight the Right Way - Local Physician Shares Tips to Shed Pounds Without Harming your Health

The excitement of New Year's Eve has come and gone. And in addition to the leftover champagne bottles, many people are left with the feeling that maybe they ate just a bit too much during the past month. Then comes the barrage of fad diets and promises of fast, easy weight loss.

But as you prepare to tackle your resolution to shed a few pounds, Dr. Joan Covault would like people to keep one thing in mind: It's still simple math. "Calories in equal calories out," said Covault, a physician with Provena Medical Group in New Lenox. "No matter how you look at it, the bottom line is still simple math." One pound of body fat equals about 3,500 calories, so to take off one pound per week a person would need to eliminate 500 calories per day. But rather than attempting to do so just through exercise or solely by skipping meals, Covault said the key is balance. "It's a lifestyle change, this is not a diet," Covault said.

"People need to get past that idea of a diet if they want to maintain the weight loss. Fad diets don't work." Diets that severely cut calories or restrict certain foods make people feel deprived, Covault said, and they don't succeed in the long-run because they're not sustainable. "An important thing to remember is not to skip your meals," she said. "You wind up paying for it later because you're hungrier and you eat more than you normally would."

Combining exercise with a lower caloric intake is a better approach, Covault said. And when it comes to exercise, finding something you enjoy doing is of utmost importance. "It has to be something you enjoy doing or you won't do it," she said. For those who don't like running, Covault suggested swimming or getting involved in a park district activity like volleyball. The aquatic centers at Lincoln-Way Central and Lincoln-Way West high schools in New Lenox are open to the public, as are their indoor tracks, for example. When it comes to meal preparation, Covault said portion control is a proven method for cutting back how much you eat. "People don't have a good perception of serving sizes," she said. "Try using smaller plates, smaller bowls. It's a perception thing." Planning meals ahead of time and sticking to your list when grocery shopping are also key components to successful weight loss. She also suggested keeping a journal of what you eat. "It's a real eye-opener," Covault said. "If you actually take the time to journal what you eat you'll think twice about the extra creamer in your coffee or the cookie you have from the break room."

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is also a great way to curb hunger. "A lot of the time people confuse hunger with thirst," the doctor said. "Try drinking a tall glass of water before you eat and you'll feel a lot less hungry."

Provena is partnering with the New Lenox Park District for a "Losing Weight and Keeping It Off" program on Monday, Jan. 25, from 1-2 p.m. at the Senior Housing Complex, 1090 S. Cedar Road, New Lenox. Dr. John Pollastrini will present a program about healthy eating lifestyle changes, exercise, fad diets, yo-yo dieting, the immune system and more. This program is free and the registration deadline is Monday, Jan. 18. Call (815) 485-1737 for more information.


Healing Arts Pavilion
Imaging Centers
Immediate Care New Lenox
Immediate Care Plainfield
Plainfield Healing Arts Pavilion
Physical Therapy Services
Senior Health Pavilion Romeoville
Sleep Disorder Center
Wound Care Center

Medical Services

Alliance Health
Balloon Sinuplasty
Behavioral Health
Presence Cancer Care
Cardiovascular and Heart Care
Children's Emergency Department
Clinical Research Trials at PSJMC
Diabetes and Nutrition Education
EICU - enhanced ICU
Emergency Services
Family Birthing Suites
Gastrointestinal Services
Healing Arts Pavilion
Presence Home Care and Hospice
Imaging Services
Interventional Radiology
Long Term Care
Neuroscience Institute
Orthopedic Services
Pediatric Services
Pulmonary Services
Rehabilitation - Inpatient
Rehabilitation - Outpatient
Senior Spirit
Presence Sleep Care
Support Groups
Weight Loss Surgery
Women and Children Services
Wound Care Center

Patient & Visitor Information

Accepted Insurance Providers
Advance Directives
Area Information
Cafeteria Menu/Hours
Contact Information
Financial Assistance
Financial Assistance and Clearance
Gift Shop
Language Assistance
Maps & Directions
Medical and Vital Records
Medical Library
MRSA Prevention
Nurse Staffing Information for Patients
Parking Information
Patient Email
Patient Family Advisory Committee
Patient Health Portals
Patient Privacy Overview
Patient Questions & Concerns
Patient Stories
Room Service Dining
Spiritual Care
Visiting Hours
Will County Emergency Cooling & Warming Centers

About Us

Map of 1st Floor
Board of Directors
Commitment to our Communities
Community Outreach
Community Partners
Contact Information
Conference Center Facilities
Flu Information
Hospital Report Card Act
Mission Vision and Values
Patient Stories
Physicians Only
Virtual Tours