Lifestyle Management

The PCN is committed to meeting patients where they are at in their health journey and supporting them to develop a healthier, happier lifestyle.

We provide support by offering various group classes in different areas of health. Classes focus on making realistic, long term, and sustainable changes. Talk to your doctor about a referral if you’re interested in any of the groups below.

Introduction to Mindful Eating Active Living

This is a two hour group class that is a pre-requisite to a longer eight week program. If you’ve struggled with being on diets in the past, have frequent food cravings or often feel uncomfortable in your body, this class could be for you. The introductory class offers you a different non-diet approach so that you may better understand why you eat the way you do.

You’ll be given tools to help increase a feeling of control over food and satisfaction with eating. The class is designed to give you a different perspective on weight loss with an overall goal of helping you feel at peace with your body. At the end of the two hour class, you’ll have an opportunity to book into the longer eight week program.

Mindful Eating Active Living

This is an eight week program that helps you cultivate a healthy and satisfying relationship with food, your body, and physical activity. This program challenges popular diet rules that are short-term and unsustainable and instead teaches you the skill of focusing on your body’s hunger and fullness cues to guide eating. Instead of someone else telling you what to eat, how much weight to lose or how much exercise you need, this program will guide you to tune into your body’s wisdom. This means that you’ll learn how to:

  • Check in with your body to recognize hunger cues
  • Stop eating when you feel satisfied and comfortably full
  • Understand food cravings and learn what your body truly needs if you’re not physically hungry
  • Regain trust with your body and learn to increase physical activity by moving your body in a satisfying way

This program will encourage you to make satisfying food choices, develop a positive body image, and connect with your body’s need for daily movement.

Research supports that adopting mindful eating practices can help with improvements in eating habits, nutrition, body image, body satisfaction, and self-esteem. Even without changes in body weight, health outcomes such as blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar control can improve.

Here are some comments from participants who have attended the Mindful Eating Active Living Program:

  • “When I’m mindlessly eating, I have no control. By pausing and eating slowly, that gives me control.”
  • “I had some chocolate left over from Valentine’s Day – 3 pieces of really good chocolate. So one night with my coffee I pulled them out, and instead of just chewing & eating them like I normally would, I had the first piece and ate it slowly, letting it melt in my mouth. And I found I was satisfied with that one piece! I still have 2 left!”
  • “Over the week, I brought the package of cookies home and 95% of the cookies are still there. There was once when I thought I had a craving for them, but when I sat with the sensations, I realized that it was really stress. Instead of eating, I did something to deal with the stressful situation.”

Why Nutrition Matters?

This two hour group class gives you information about how the body’s digestive system works so that you’ll learn how to space out your meals and include the best balance of nutrients to help you feel full and energized until the next meal time.

This class covers many popular nutrition and food myths; if you have questions about what to eat or how much to eat, this class could be for you. You’ll leave the class with a better understanding of how to fuel your body to meet your nutrient needs.

Label Reading

With hundreds of food products available to choose in any grocery aisle, it can be daunting to read the food label to make a healthier choice. This two hour group class is designed to help make label reading as simple and as easy as possible for you. This is a hands-on class where you will:

  • Understand how to interpret food labels
  • Practice categorizing foods on a spectrum from “choose most often” to “choose least often”
  • Learn to determine if a food is high or low in specific nutrients
  • Compare similar food products and make the healthiest choice

Meal Planning

Benefits to meal planning include improved nutrition, decreased food waste, saving money and saving time. This two hour group class will offer you tools and resources to make meal planning as simple and as easy as possible. In this class, you will be able to:

  • Problem solve around common meal planning barriers
  • Learn a stepwise approach to meal planning
  • Learn time-saving strategies in the purchasing, preparing, and packing stages of meal planning
  • Take home tools and resources to help with meal planning

Heart Healthy

Making lifestyle changes may help reduce the risk of developing heart problems by up to 30%. This two hour group class will help you understand what risk factors may lead to increased risk of heart problems. You’ll learn answers to common myths surrounding nutrition, physical activity, and medications in relation to heart health. For example, can I still eat bacon and eggs if I have high cholesterol? Or what types of physical activity leads to the biggest gains for reducing blood pressure? You’ll learn about lifestyle changes that you can start to make for a healthier heart.

This service is offered at Northgate Centre

Services at Northgate Centre require a referral from your family doctor, who is a member of the PCN.