BODYSENSE: Top Tips for Running Group Sessions

Learn how one dietitian has successfully incorporated BODYSENSE into her practice

BODYSENSE is a life skills program to help people understand and meet their own needs for food, activity, relaxation and peace of mind. Unlike dieting, BODYSENSE focuses on the whole person. And unlike dieting, it is aimed at making people feel better rather than deprived.

The workbook includes 12 modules to practice new skills, such as regular eating, stress management and establishing an exercise routine.

In this article, we catch up with Sharron O’Brien, RD, who has used the BODYSENSE workbook as the basis for group sessions.

How many sessions do you usually run for your groups? How long are your sessions?

 Sharron O’Brien (S.O)

  • I suggest 12 sessions over three months, so that people can miss a session without worry, and have time to make and talk about many changes.
  • I advise them that this is a self-determined work book, that they should go through many times, first with the dietitian.
  • Each session is one hour. About half of the time is used to share how the last week went, and half to talk about the “homework” for the coming week.
  • I think it’s really important to have the Entry Phase [workbook section] as one class and the Regular Eating [module] as a separate class.
  • I also break the Action Against Overeating and the Hunger Exercise into two sessions since they are both so great. (Note: these two exercises are in one module, but Sharron is suggesting they are worth separating.)
  • I offer one-on-one counselling at no extra charge and allow people to repeat BODYSENSE at no extra charge within the same 12 months.
  • I send an email to those who give me their contact info after each class. I include e-copies of handouts and updates on the class, as a reminder, and especially for anyone who missed the class.

How many people do you find is ideal for a group session?


  • The ideal group size is about 12 to 15 people. It’s always good to register more to start with to account for any attrition.
  • We only charge for the class after the first night, since the no-shows still demand a refund if you try to charge them ahead of time.
  • People who repeat the class found it really helped.
  • Once we offered evening classes, the most popular time was 5:30 to 6:30

Interested in teaching BODYSENSE? Check out BODYSENSE: Advice and Words of Wisdom, where we learn about the benefits to clients and dietetic practice by using this resource. Contact a nutrition educator at nutrition@bcdairy.ca to learn more.

About BC Dairy

BC Dairy is a not-for-profit organization representing BC’s dairy farmers.