Avera Medical Minute: Ideal Living program helps patients with healthy lifestyle change

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - With the new year, many people may have a goal to lose weight or just live a healthier lifestyle. Avera has a program to help people do just that called Ideal Living.

Sharita Knobloch has been working with a health coach with Avera's Ideal Living program since September of 2017.

"Our main job is to walk with patients through their weight loss journey to help them reach the goal they want to accomplish," Kandace Brands said, who is a health educator for the program.

She meets with Knobloch weekly. They go over weight, measurements, and talk through how the week went.

"I knew that I could share my victories both on and off the scale and also the things I was struggling with," she said. "And also come to her with questions about what this looks like or what adjustments do we need to make."

Brands said Knobloch was ready for a change. That's what she wants from people looking to get into the Ideal Living program.

"It's not just a diet. It's learning a new way of living. It's a lifestyle change," Brands said.

The weekly coaching is just one component. Patients also use something called ideal protein for one snack per day and one meal for breakfast and one for lunch.

"It really took the guess work about what exactly am I supposed to be eating now, and the coolest part is it actually tastes really good," Knobloch said. "I was really, really surprised."

"We want people to be able to learn how to eat real, whole food for the rest of their life," Brands said.

It made meal planning very easy.

"I was like, I get to eat pancakes on this diet. Awesome," Knobloch said.

The goal of ideal protein is to help people reach their goal weight and develop new habits when it comes to food.

"We want to continue working with people for a whole year post their weight loss," the health educator said. "We want to help people learn not just how to lose weight but how to maintain their new weight too."

Knobloch is grateful for Ideal Living. She reached weight loss goals she's never seen in her life. But it's not all about the number on the scale.

"I just see the change emotionally in me and my level of joy. Now I'm training and running in a body I appreciate, that I can celebrate, and watch it do really cool things," she said.

She'll keep watching it with her family by her side, feeling empowered to make the healthy choice.

Avera will have a free event to learn more about Ideal Living and how to live a healthy lifestyle in 2019 on Wednesday, January 9th. It starts at 5:30 PM and will be at the Avera Cancer Institute, which is located at 1000 East 23rd Street in Sioux Falls. You can register for the event here.