Do you wish you could shed your winter weight-gain as easily as you shed your winter coat? Do you need to lose at least one size to fit comfortably into your summer wardrobe? The average person gains about seven and a half pounds, equal to almost one full clothing size, during the cold weather months.

Slim for Life can help you get in shape for summer.The spring session begins the week of March 27 in many locations. This popular program, sponsored for many years by the American Heart Association, Utah Affiliate, produces average weight losses of 15 pounds or more during the ten week course.

Susan Ward, a registered dietitian and director of Slim for Life, stresses that both dieting and exercise are necessary for quality weight loss. "Eating less fat is the easiest way to lose weight," she notes.

"The most important benefits of a regular exercise program are motivation to lose weight and maintenance of the weight loss," continues the dietitian. "Most Slim for Life participants have a timed walking program that is easy and enjoyable."

Each one hour session of Slim for Life addresses a different topic including behavior modification techniques and social strategies.

The cost for the course is $50, which will be reduced to $40 if you preregister. A refund of $10 is given for losing 15 pounds or reaching your ideal weight, and another $10 is rebated for attending nine out of the ten classes.

Registration may be accompished by sending a check to American Heart Association, 645 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84102. Or you may register over the phone by calling 322-5601 or 1-800-523-7472 and using a VISA or Mastercard. Registration will begin March 15.

Maintenance cards are available to those who have reached their ideal weight.

Classes will be held at the First United Methodist Church, YWCA, South Salt Lake Government Building, Foothill Instacare, Sprague Library, East Millcreek Library, Holladay Library, Murray High School, Pioneer Valley Hospital, West Valley Library, Whitmore Library, Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center, Alta Canyon Sport Center, Peterson Library, West Jordan Library, South Jordan Library, Woodcross High School, Bountiful High School, Davis High School, Layton High School, St. Benedict's Hospital in Ogden, and North Ogden Junior High School. Classes are also held in Morgan, Tooele, Dugway, Logan and Price.