Center for Weight and Wellness Patient Support

Group Meetings

center for weight and wellnessThrough group meetings and collaborative problem-solving, Center for Weight and Wellness patients learn strategies to overcome unhealthy behaviors and to foster habits related to a healthy lifestyle. These strategies can increase confidence about managing weight.

Group meetings teach skills related to maintaining weight loss and how to make them a permanent part of your lifestyle. Maintaining your weight loss is also addressed during our Masters Program.

During the group meetings, registered dietitians teach participants how to develop a healthy and balanced eating plan. They provide specific guidance on food choices that minimize hunger and cravings, on dealing with challenging dining situations, and on flexibility in menu planning. Our exercise physiologist provides instruction in cardiovascular exercise and resistance training adapted to patients’ varying levels of ability.

Meeting Locations

Most groups meet at the following locations:
  • West River Center, 146 West River Street, Suite 11A, Providence, RI 
  • 1377 South County Trail, East Greenwich, RI

Weight Management Groups

Diabetic Issues

People who have diabetes have special dietary considerations when managing their weight. This support group includes education on nutrition, medical management, and cognitive / behavioral strategies that are tailored to people with diabetes. Patients work with a nurse, dietitian, exercise physiologist, and behavioral health professional to guide them to a weight loss of 20 or more pounds.

Our group for patients with diabetes meets for 20 weeks. Patients can choose to extend their attendance one month at a time by paying a monthly fee.

Emotional Eating

Eating that is driven by emotions is a stumbling block for people who are striving to lose weight and keep it off. This support group helps patients learn to cope with their emotions without reaching for food.

To help you achieve your weight-loss goal, you will learn strategies such as mindfulness, value-driven behavior, cognitive flexibility, and emotional regulation. You will work with a behavioral health professional, dietitian, and exercise physiologist.

Patients complete a detailed survey to determine their level of emotional eating. 

Our group for patients affected by emotional eating meets for 28 weeks (12 weeks for transfer patients). Patients can choose to extend their attendance one month at a time by paying a monthly fee. An attendance rate of 75 percent, and 90 percent homework completion, must be met in order to extend.

Binge Eating

Binge eating is the most common eating disorder in the United States. It is a severe, life-threatening and treatable disorder that spurs feelings of shame, guilt, and resentment. The National Eating Disorders Association says it is characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food (often very quickly and to the point of discomfort) and a feeling of a loss of control. People who have binge-eating disorder don’t habitually rely on measures such as purging to compensate for their behavior.

According to the association:
  • Binge-eating disorder often begins in the late teens or early 20s, although it has been reported in both young children and older adults.
  • Approximately 40 percent of those who have binge-eating disorder are male.
  • Three of 10 individuals looking for weight-loss treatments show signs of binge-eating disorder.

A treatment group offered weekly by the Center for Weight and Wellness at the West River Center in Providence gives people who have a binge-eating disorder help in controlling this dangerous behavior. The group focuses not only on strategies to curb binge eating, but on interpersonal relationship difficulties that may be triggers for the disorder. 

Keep on Track

A new program to the center is Keep on Track, which offers more intensive intervention for patients who are struggling in their current group or who are returning to treatment and need a more structured intervention. This group helps patients refocus on the goal to stick with healthful eating and exercise habits as well as other lifestyle changes, and to learn strategies to enhance motivation and confidence.

Participants must enroll in advance. Patients already participating in the Masters Program must consult with their medical provider before registering. Patients new to weight management must complete the regular orientation before enrolling. The cost is $120 for four weeks (with an eight-week minimum commitment). A 10-percent quick-pay discount is given to those who pay in full for eight weeks or more.

Patients can choose to extend their attendance one month at a time by paying a monthly fee. An attendance rate of 75 percent, and 90 percent homework completion, must be met in order to extend. Talk to your medical provider for more information.

Meetings are held at:

Masters Program for Weight Maintenance

Losing weight and keeping it off are two different things, so we offer a weight-maintenance program after patients complete a weight-loss program. Our Masters Program focuses on developing additional skills to keep weight off. It’s designed for those who are within 10 percent of their goal weight or who have lost 25 percent of their body weight since beginning their weight-loss program.

Patients who attend their group sessions regularly during both the weight-loss and weight-maintenance programs, exercise regularly, and develop a healthy eating plan are better able to manage their weight. Our Masters Program offers weekly meetings that focus on behavioral strategies, diet, and exercise. Participants also have access to nutrition and exercise counseling and instruction. Research indicates that those who have a long-term weight management support system have the most success in maintaining a weight loss. We want to do all we can to support you in your efforts to maintain your desired weight. The program is free for up to one year for those who have completed a weight-loss program.

Individual Services for Patients

Dietary Counseling
Registered dietitians are available to meet individually to help with menu transitions, healthy eating plans, and accommodation of special dietary needs. This dietary counseling has no additional fee and is available to participants as frequently as needed.

Tailored Exercise Programs
Our exercise physiologist develops exercise programs tailored to each individual’s ability level. Exercise helps increase weight loss and is one of the best predictors of being able to keep the weight off. Our facility has an onsite exercise instruction area where you can get exposure to various exercise options—and perhaps get in a work-out!

Behavioral Medicine Counseling
Many participants find that they are facing challenges associated with being overweight such as binge eating, problems sticking to medical treatments for other medical conditions (e.g., diabetes), difficulties with sleep, chronic pain, or headaches, or difficulty changing other unhealthy behaviors (e.g., quit smoking). Lifespan’s Behavioral Medicine Clinical Services are available in the same suite of offices as our center’s Providence location. Services are provided by licensed clinical psychologists. Lifespan’s Behavioral Medicine Clinical Services accepts most major health insurance. Please check with your insurance company as health insurance plans vary on their coverage of these services and applicable deductibles or co-pays.