Dietician   
Corporate Registered Dietician
Donna Dodge, R.D., L.D.N.

Donna Dodge, R.D., L.D.N. has been the Corporate Registered Dietician for Beverly Hills Weight Loss & Wellness since 1999. In that time, she has played an integral part in the development of new Beverly Hills' Programs, including our diabetic, vegetarian, nursing mom, and children's programs.

Donna's background includes community nutrition education and private counseling. She has traveled throughout the U.S. speaking on the benefits of healthy dietary practices and active lifestyles. Her clinical experience includes weight loss, diabetes, AIDS, eating disorders, kidney & liver disease, cardiology, and oncology. She is the author of nutrition articles and related marketing materials and has conducted nutrition seminars at national conferences.

She has 10+ years experience in the research and development of wellness products including vitamins, minerals, herbs, weight loss formulas, and food products. She works closely with vitamin/mineral experts to formulate our exclusive line of high-quality supplements.

Throughout the year, she conducts nutrition and product training seminars at various locations within the U.S. to ensure that every Beverly Hills counselor and clinic are kept up to date on the latest programs, products, and research applicable to nutrition and weight loss.

Email your question to:
Donna@BeverlyHillsWeightLoss.com


Program Questions

What can I expect from the Beverly Hills Weight Loss & Wellness® program?
How do I qualify for the Beverly Hills Weight Loss & Wellness® program?
How long will it take me to lose weight?
Do I have to exercise in order to lose weight on the program?
Do you have group meetings I must attend?
What can I expect from the staff?
Is there a limit as to how many times I can meet with a counselor?
How can I find a Beverly Hills Weight Loss & Wellness® location near me?
Is this program for adult women only?
Do I have to buy prepackaged foods?
Can I lose 5-10 pounds a week on the BHWL&W program?
Can I have caffeinated beverages on the BHWL&W program?
What kind of carbohydrates does the BHWL&W Program include?
Can I eat pasta on the BHWL&W diet?
Can I use the BHWL&W program if I recently had surgery, or have high blood pressure or any other medical condition?
I have been overweight all of my life. Do I have to stay this way?

What can I expect from the Beverly Hills Weight Loss & Wellness® program?
This program is not a diet. It is a healthy lifestyle change. The program is broken down into a three-phase process created by weight loss and nutrition experts that emphasizes safe weight loss coupled with life-long weight maintenance. It is based on your lifestyle, personal schedule, and eating habits. You will eat real foods and even fast foods while losing weight. You can eat in restaurants or at home with your family, enjoying all the aspects of a fun-filled social lifestyle. Then you will move into the second phase called stabilization. Working one-on-one with a counselor through the entire process, you will learn to stabilize at the proper weight without a strict diet. Finally, you will begin to live what you learned about maintaining your ideal weight for a lifetime in our third phase, maintenance.


How do I qualify for the Beverly Hills Weight Loss & Wellness® program?
You must be at least 10 pounds above the minimum weight for your height and age according to our standardized height and weight charts. If you are under 18 years of age, please be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

How long will it take me to lose weight?
As people vary, so does their weight loss. It is hard to predict how long it will take you to lose your weight, but we can give you some idea. The program is designed to promote weight loss in a healthy and consistent manner. With our program, you will see weight loss your very first week! You certainly will determine your own rate of weight loss by how carefully you follow our program and guidelines.

Do I have to exercise in order to lose weight on the program?
No. But, we do recommend it for best results.

Do you have group meetings I must attend?
No. You will meet one-on-one with a counselor who will be able to offer solutions to your weight loss issues, food plans and more. We respect your privacy at all times. One-on-one counseling is what differentiates us from other weight loss programs and it is essential to your success on this program.

What can I expect from the staff?
All of our counselors have learned how to lose weight and maintain their goal weight on our program. Before becoming counselors, they must complete a training program to ensure their understanding of the Beverly Hills Weight Loss & Wellness® program and to learn their responsibilities to you, the client. They are required to attend on-going training programs throughout their career.

Is there a limit as to how many times I can meet with a counselor?
Not at all. Generally, our clients meet with a counselor two or three times a week. Because the centers have extensive hours, you may drop in at any time with no appointment. 

How can I find a Beverly Hills Weight Loss & Wellness® location near me?
It’s simple, Just click here or on "Locations" on the menu above to find the closest location available to you. Once you find your destination, call the phone number listed to schedule a consultation. Your initial consultation lasts approximately 45 minutes and is FREE of charge.

Is this program for adult women only?
No, Beverly Hills Weight Loss & Wellness® is a concept oriented to provide real solutions to the entire family. We are tailored to children, teenagers, adult men and women. We are genuinely committed to good health. Hence, we encourage the visits of children and teenagers of both genders so that our future society may enjoy the gift of good health and a happy life.

Do I have to buy prepackaged foods?
No. One of our goals while you are participating in our weight loss program is to allow you to enjoy a "normal" life. You will not need to buy prepackaged foods, but instead can eat grocery store foods, dine in popular restaurants, and enjoy almost any food you wish.

Q:  Can I lose 5-10 pounds a week on the BHWL&W program?
A:  This goal is unrealistic and unhealthy. If you set a goal like this, you will set yourself up for failure. A far more realistic goal is losing 1 to 2 lbs per week. At this rate, body fat is being lost, while muscle is spared. Losing more than 2 pounds per week signals the loss of more than body fat, and points to the loss of both muscle and water weight.

Q: Can I have caffeinated beverages on the BHWL&W program? 
A: Yes. If you are a heavy coffee, soda or tea drinker, you may want to consider cutting back - especially if it interferes with your water intake. If you choose to decrease your caffeine intake, do so gradually - cutting your intake in half each week, to avoid caffeine-withdrawal related symptoms.

Q: What kind of carbohydrates does the BHWL&W Program include? 
A: The BH program includes all foods in moderation. Nothing is entirely eliminated. Our meal plans emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein choices - all of which can be eaten daily on your BH weight loss plan.

Q: Can I eat pasta on the BHWL&W diet? 
A: Yes. The BH Program teaches you to balance your food choices and use moderation. You can customize your menus to include pasta, potato and other carbs, In other words, you can continue to enjoy your own personal eating style while staying within our guidelines for weight loss.

Q: Can I use the BHWL&W program if I recently had surgery, or have high blood pressure or any other medical condition?

A: We help many people with many different diagnoses lose weight. Some of the more common medical histories we encounter are heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and hypothyroidism. You should consult your Doctor before using our program (or any other!) or trying to do any adjustments to your diet or exercise. In fact, if you have any medical questions, you should direct them to your Doctor. We encourage you to show them our web site at www.beverlyhillsweightloss.com.

Q: I have been overweight all of my life. Do I have to stay this way?

A: Of course not. Weight gain or loss is simply a matter of calories “in” equally calories “out”. If you eat at 500 fewer calories than you burn every day, you will lose a pound a week. In a year that will add up to 52 pounds! BHWL&W can guide you through your weight loss journey. We give you all the tools to make all the right decisions so you can take control of your life and lose weight your own way.

Diet and Wellness Questions

I am currently enrolled in a weight loss program and I'm doing great. My problem is social situations with friends and family. I don't want to become a hermit for fear of the temptations that await me at these times. How do I socialize while trying to lose weight? Mary P., Hampton
My job is sedentary. I sit at my desk for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. How can I get exercise in with a schedule like this? Joan C., Jensen Beach
I'm on a weight loss diet. How do I prepare a meal for me and my family if neither my kids nor my husband need to lose weight? Kay C., Kernersville
I chew gum to curb my appetite. Is this a good strategy? John P., Baldwin
I never seem to have time for breakfast. Can I just skip it? Lynn G., Va Beach
I noticed that our many weight loss programs encourage the use of proteins such as eggs, cheese and beef. Won't eating these high-cholesterol foods make my cholesterol level go up? Betty R., Wilmington
What causes high insulin levels? Brenda D., Kingston
I've lost 20 pounds and I feel great. My problem is family and friends, some of whom are not very encouraging or supportive of me. How do I deal with unsupportive people in my life? Carol P., Ann Arbor
My mother-in-law seems to take my efforts in weight loss lightly. She constantly offers me desserts and other goodies knowing full well that I will not turn her down because I don't want to hurt her feelings. How can I handle this? Bob C., Rochester
My friends say that I'm no fun anymore now that I'm on a diet. I value my friendships very much and I'm seriously considering going off my diet just to please them. Help! Alexis S., Jackson
What is a quick way to estimate my healthy weight? Megan C., Elk Grove

Q: I am currently enrolled in a weight loss program and I'm doing great. My problem is social situations with friends and family. I don't want to become a hermit for fear of the temptations that await me at these times. How do I socialize while trying to lose weight? Mary P., Hampton
A: Mary, getting together at social gatherings that involve food and drinks can be particularly challenging to the dieter. Some tips to help you get through these get-togethers. Avoid arriving hungry. Eat a light, healthy snack before you go to the party. Limit or avoid alcohol. Drink a calorie-free beverage instead. Seltzer water with a lemon or lime wedge allows you to join your friends in a social drink. Avoid the chips, dip and other high fat fare available. Opt for the veggies, fruit and cheese. Stand away from the snack table if you are having challenges with will power that evening.

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Q: My job is sedentary. I sit at my desk for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. How can I get exercise in with a schedule like this? Joan C., Jensen Beach
A: Working at a job that offers very little opportunity for activity is difficult but not impossible. Some tips to increase calorie burning throughout the day: Avoid intercom systems or email. If you need to speak with someone in your company, take a walk to his or her office. Take the long way to the lunch room, the restroom or the meeting room. Those extra steps taken on a regular basis can really help. Use the stairs, not the elevators. During long phone calls, use the speaker phone function and pace or walk in place as you conference in on the call. If you have an hour lunch, use 30 minutes to walk either outside or around the building hallways and stairways if the weather is bad. Also, park as far away from the front door as possible.

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Q: I'm on a weight loss diet. How do I prepare a meal for me and my family if neither my kids nor my husband need to lose weight? Kay C., Kernersville
A: There's no need to change what you prepare for meals, but you will need to be aware of the size of your portions. Chances are that whatever you have prepared for them will be suitable for your program, too, just smaller portions. Begin by knowing exactly how much you need to eat. Second, add more vegetables to your plate, while skipping over the starches, fat and other higher calorie items. Always eat a small snack mid afternoon to keep your appetite from going into overdrive by dinner time.

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Q: I chew gum to curb my appetite. Is this a good strategy? John P., Baldwin
A: Chewing stimulates salivary glands to produce ptyalin, a digestive enzyme that activates hunger. Although a piece of regular gum contains only half teaspoon of sugar, it is not uncommon for people to chew several sticks a day. Sugarless gums might be the answer to this, although the problem mentioned above still applies.

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Q. I never seem to have time for breakfast. Can I just skip it? Lynn G., Va Beach
A. Not to sound too cliché, but breakfast is "the most important meal of the day," especially when it comes to weight loss and overall health. Rates of obesity and insulin resistance are 50 percent lower among people who eat breakfast compared with those who frequently skip it. Breakfast eaters burn more calories during the day, and are less apt to overeat at lunch and dinner leaving them trimmer than non-breakfast eaters.

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Q: I noticed that our many weight loss programs encourage the use of proteins such as eggs, cheese and beef. Won't eating these high-cholesterol foods make my cholesterol level go up? Betty R., Wilmington
A: Approximately 85% of the cholesterol in our body is produced by our liver. Dietary cholesterol (the kind that comes from food) contributes very little to high cholesterol levels in the blood. The liver produces cholesterol in response to certain hormones. One hormone in particular is insulin. This hormone gives the liver the signal to ramp up cholesterol production. Bottom line: eating cholesterol-rich foods usually doesn't affect cholesterol levels significantly.

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Q: What causes high insulin levels? Brenda D., Kingston
A: High insulin levels are caused by eating too many carbohydrates, particularly starchy carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, potato and rice. Excess insulin signals the liver to make more cholesterol. As a result, people following a high-carbohydrate diet will have difficulty decreasing their cholesterol levels, despite cutting back cholesterol.

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Q: I've lost 20 pounds and I feel great. My problem is family and friends, some of whom are not very encouraging or supportive of me. How do I deal with unsupportive people in my life? Carol P., Ann Arbor
A: Don't be overly concerned with hurting the feelings of anybody who is trying to sabotage your weight loss progress. Speak up for yourself and let individuals know how much their encouragement means to you and how hurtful it is to not have their full support during this challenging time.

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Q: My mother-in-law seems to take my efforts in weight loss lightly. She constantly offers me desserts and other goodies knowing full well that I will not turn her down because I don't want to hurt her feelings. How can I handle this? Bob C., Rochester
A: It's okay to say "no thank you," and to decline food offers when you are not hungry. Give your mother-in-law a kind about how delicious a food looks, but state clearly and firmly that you are truly committed to your weight loss goals and must pass at this time. The first few times will be difficult, but she will see that you are serious and will back off on asking.

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Q: My friends say that I'm no fun anymore now that I'm on a diet. I value my friendships very much and I'm seriously considering going off my diet just to please them. Help! Alexis S., Jackson
A: Your friends may be telling you that they don't want you to change. Or maybe they are secretly jealous of your success and commitment to your goals. Be firm and honest. Let them know that you care about their feelings, but you have no intention of abandoning your weight loss program. If a friend still insists you are "no fun," you may have to avoid seeing her for a while. True friends will realize that your goals are important to you and will be truly happy and supportive as you progress to your goal.

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Q. What is a quick way to estimate my healthy weight? Megan C., Elk Grove
A. Healthy weight for women: Allow 105 pounds for 5 feet. If you are taller, add an extra 5 pounds per inch. If you are shorter, subtract 5 pounds per inch. The healthy weight range will be about 10 per cent either side of the final figure. For example: If you are 5 feet 2 inches, allow yourself 105 pounds plus 2 x 5 pounds. This totals 115 pounds. The healthy weight range for you would be 103-127 pounds.

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