"It's more of a support group. You do better when you've got a support group," said one TOPS participant.
They start their weekly program on Wednesdays by weighing in at 12:15 p.m. Then at their meeting at 12:30 p.m. each member reports to the group how they did.
They don't report how much weight was shed or gained, simply if they gained or lost weight at all. It provides healthy peer pressure to stick to the diet.
This program focuses on modest improvement, not giant leaps. Traditional diets can be very effective temporarily, but many people don't have the stamina to keep up with them long-term.
Almost all are losing weight consistently.
Each week of the month they do something different. One week is new exercise techniques. The following week is a fun activity.
One week out of the month they review articles on weight loss in health magazines and comment on them.
On the fifth week, they hear from nutritionists.
Here are some tips from the TOPS meetings.
- Eat superfoods such as beans, nuts, salmon, and oranges just to name a few. These foods are healthy and provide a lot of nutrients.
- Drink plenty of water. Eat breakfast everyday. Eat different color vegetables everyday.
- Eat fruit, not fruit juice. They also recommend keeping a food diary and never skip meals.
-They talked about watching for sugar in fat free items. If you eat carbohydrates that turn to sugar it can deduct fiber from carbohydrates.
- You eat 33 percent less if you take your plate and divide it in quarters using a 9-inch round plate.
- Expect setbacks and forgive yourself. Aim for a slow, modest weight loss.
The program is still in its infancy at the Autumn Glow Senior Center. It officially began on July 1.
It's only $25 a year and with a $1.50 monthly fee.