The usual round of resolutions to drop weight and live healthier gets under way as the New Year begins. Peter McKnight and Tamara Swett of Norwalk Hospital's nationally accredited Weight Loss Surgery Center say research confirms what we all know: The key to losing weight is diet and exercise.
“The National Weight Loss Registry has followed people who have lost weight and kept it off for long periods of time, five years or more. And there are a couple of things that stand out about what they've done. One is they eat a balanced lower calorie diet, and the other is they exercise; they exercise a good hour a day,” said McKnight. He is the administrative manager of clinical nutrition services. Swett is the assistant bariatric coordinator. The duo came to Norwalk Hospital together from Stamford, where Swett interned and then worked under McKnight.
McKnight became interested in nutrition in high school, through books and study. Personal experience piqued Swett's interest. “I suffered from eczema. And I changed my diet, and I've never had it since. I then realized the power of nutrition,” said Swett. Diet and exercise made her feel better and subsequently put her on the nutritionist's path. As the bariatric service coordinators, McKnight and Swett organize seminars for those having trouble making diet and exercise work and considering weight loss surgery. Potential patients contemplating one of the three primary types of weight loss surgeries offered at Norwalk Hospital must attend at least one seminar and show that they've tried other options."The insurance companies usually want to see that you've tried some sort of weight-loss program,” said Swett. Part of her job involves helping patients develop diets appropriate to a post-surgery life with a reduced stomach capacity. Without diet and behavioral changes, a patient can sabotage himself or herself and regain the weight. When a patient loses weight and wonders how to keep it from returning, Swett has one piece of advice. Leaning back in her chair she said she tells them, “Keep doing what you're doing.”
For more information about weight loss options and surgeries available at Norwalk Hospital contact McKnight at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-852-3100.