Losing weight is on the minds of people across the country, but the process of losing weight leaves many people feeling left in the dark. Fad diets, meal plans, and even advice from others who might be struggling to lose that stubborn last five pounds or more to reach their goal abound, but the useful information can be invaluable.
One of the main problems with weight loss is the person, because even though there are certain rules for calorie consumption and what foods should be used to compensate for these calories, no program will give the same results in a wide range. of those who use this program.
Fad diets are especially negatively on the radar with most medical professionals. Nutritionist Gillian Downs said: “Fad diets aren’t all they’re made out to be. There are several reasons why I would encourage people to avoid these fad diets.
One of the reasons Downs gives for not subscribing to the fad diet approach is that they tend to target certain food groups or eliminate nutrients not for health benefits, but to produce rapid weight loss that can give these diets a false semblance of credibility.
“A lot of these fad diets focus on depriving them of specific nutrients or whole food groups,” she said. “But each food group benefits our body in a different way and provides our body with different vitamins, minerals and macronutrients that are essential. Eliminating them completely can lead to other health issues such as deficiencies, dehydration, fatigue, etc.
Another issue is that not all weight loss is created equal and the person needs to be aware of the type of weight they are losing. “These diets may show quick results, but it may not be the specific body composition weight you’re aiming to lose. You may be trying to reduce body fat as an overall goal, but this fad diet can target loss of lean muscle, water, or fiber,” Downs said.
They can also lead to other problems that are hard to predict at first, she said.
“These diets can also lead to bouts of weight loss and weight regain over time, aka ‘yo-yo dieting’ or ‘weight cycling.’ So these fad diets can work for a few weeks or a few months, but they are not sustainable in the long term and can have negative effects on our long-term health.
However, Downs offered encouragement to those with the need or desire to lose unwanted weight.
“The best approach is to make healthy lifestyle changes that you can sustain for the long term. The community should focus on the ‘big picture’ i.e. overall health, not the quick, short-term weight loss,” Downs said.
Overall health can be improved through nutrition, she said, offering some simple guidelines to get started.
“Start by eating at least three meals a day,” Downs said. “Our bodies want a constant source of fuel. Aim for three small meals and one to two snacks as needed daily. She also warned those trying to improve and establish a healthy lifestyle to avoid the temptation to skip weights. meals to enhance weight loss.
“It’s important not to skip meals when striving for a healthy lifestyle. Missed meals mean you may not be getting enough nutrients or calories throughout the day. »
Managing what you eat is also a key part of achieving a healthy lifestyle, Downs said.
“Make half your plate fruit and veg,” she said to start. “When it comes to that portion on our plate, the more color the better. The variety of our fruits and vegetables allows us to consume different vitamins and minerals. Fruits and vegetables are also an excellent source of fiber in our diet. People can increase their intake of fresh, canned, or frozen fruits and vegetables.
Another important thing to remember is to add protein, she says.
“Include protein in every meal/snack. Protein takes longer to be digested by the stomach, allowing us to feel full or satisfied for longer. The body also has to spend more energy digesting protein than it does fat or carbs,” Downs said.
Another benefit of protein is that it helps stabilize blood sugar, which makes the spikes/drops less intense. “Some healthy protein sources include skinless chicken, lean beef, lean pork, fish, nut butters, beans, nuts, low-fat cheese, eggs, tofu, shrimp, etc. .”, she said.
Weight loss and a healthy lifestyle should also be planned for when grocery shopping, Downs said.
“When shopping, try to make at least half of your grains whole. The term “whole grain” means that it contains all three parts of the grain or seed of wheat. This includes the fiber-rich bran, nutrient-rich germ, and endosperm.
The health benefits of using whole grains in the shopping aisle are very significant, Downs said.
“Whole grains support digestive health as well as heart health by helping to lower cholesterol levels. Some sources of whole grains include brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and barley. One way to identify whole grain foods is to make sure the ingredient list includes whole grains or the label says 100% whole grains.
Another topic Downs tackled was the much-maligned fat. She said there are some fats the body needs, so don’t avoid them completely. “Choose healthier fats,” she said. “Incorporating healthy fats into our diets has been shown to increase our good cholesterol or HDL levels and decrease our bad cholesterol or LDL levels…making them ideal. These fats are monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.”
“Sources of these healthy fats are pure oils (canola, olive, peanut, safflower, sunflower, corn), nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts), seeds (flaxseeds, chia seeds), olives, avocados and cold-water fish (salmon, herring, halibut, mackerel). My favorite is canola oil because it’s cheap, easy to find, and so versatile for cooking and baking.”
Downs said that in addition to a healthier diet, a person wishing to adopt a healthier lifestyle and leave excess weight behind should always consult an expert for advice.
“Finally, and I cannot stress this enough, for personalized nutritional advice, consult an expert! Registered Dietitians (RD) / Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) are the experts in nutrition and medical nutrition therapy…when seeking advice, look for RD or RDN referrals.
“I’m fortunate to work in a job that allows me to give back to the community through my passion for nutrition,” said Downs. “I enjoy helping my patients achieve their long-term goals and adopt healthy lifestyle habits to maintain them. The Center for Healthy Living through King’s Daughters offers a clinical weight management/non-surgical weight loss program. Here, patients can receive personalized nutritional counseling (such as calorie ranges, protein goals, etc.), education, and work with a dietician monthly for accountability.
“For some patients, medication may also be an option. If you would like to know more about this program, our office number is (606) 408-1542. Information can also be found on our website at yourhealthylife.org. We also have a Facebook page which is King’s Daughters Weight Loss Center.