Gaining from a Dietitian

Two heads may be better than one when it comes to dieting. Maryann Blackhurst needed to lose weight, tried many times to lose weight, but it was always a losing battle.

“I was very overweight in fact, that really motivated me. When I saw the doctor I realized this is serious,” says Blackhurst.

To reverse course, Blackhurst teamed up with Heidi Miller, a dietitian with the Lee Physician Group United Way House. Together they crafted a winning plan.

“We just start out by doing an initial assessment asking them different questions about their past, what they’ve been doing, what they’ve tried before, what their goals are,” says Miller.

“I try to eat healthy and eat clean. The heavily processed foods have more calories in them, so I go to the store and make out a list of course. And I just pick out food that is lower in calories,” says Blackhurst.

A dietitian is part educator, part counselor and part cheerleader. Teaching clients proper nutrition, helping them make an individual action plan, then giving support and motivation.

“There’s a lot of the fad diets and a lot of those are not based on sound nutrition information,” says Miller.

Some tips from the dietitian: start small, work on one or two changes at a time. Maybe it’s eating more vegetables and taking a walk every night. Don’t consider a stumble a failure, plan your meals in advance and keep a food journal.

“Most my clients keep a food journal so they can at least start being aware, even if they’re not making a lot changes all at once. Just being mindful of what you’re eating really makes a big difference,” says Miller.

In a matter of months, Blackhurst dropped more than 60 pounds, something she never managed on her own.

“I can tell the secret now, Heidi said it was ok. I count calories and I actually eat breakfast I was never a breakfast person,” says Blackhurst.

Blackhurst is not alone, more people than ever are gaining from working with a dietitian.

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Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.


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