New year, new you?
Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Genesis Primary Care
It’s that time of year when we recently made resolutions to lose or maintain weight. Is a New Year’s resolution the best way to manage weight? Megan Miller, D.O., Genesis Primary Care, gives us an answer and provides tips to help us achieve our weight goals.
New Year’s resolutions
New Year’s resolutions are a great way to encourage change but making a resolution to lose weight isn’t always a good idea. Focusing on weight can result in giving up on the resolution easily when results aren’t seen. I encourage patients to refocus their goals towards daily attainable feats. Ideas include eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water (instead of sugary drinks), or being more active.
Fad diets and more
Extreme fad diets are rarely sustainable over the long term. I encourage patients to make changes to their eating habits that they can maintain forever. Even subtle changes will result in gradual weight loss over time. I encourage the concepts of intermittent fasting and low carbohydrate diets. A simple form of intermittent fasting would be to limit the hours of the day when you eat. For the best results, make it earlier in the day. For example, eat between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. or even 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Then fast the rest of the day.
For low carbohydrate diets, focus meals around lean meats like chicken, fish or lean beef and choose fresh vegetables. Avoid pastas, breads and potatoes. Shifting your food choice at meals will help you make small changes that can result in weight loss over the long run.
A balanced nutritional plan is important when trying to lose weight. Pay attention to portion size. Portions smaller than the size of your palm for meat servings and smaller than the size of your fist for most other foods are best. You also want to eat whole foods rich in natural vitamins and antioxidants, which are important for maintaining a healthy body.
Daily exercise is important to be healthy and aids in weight loss when you are also following a healthy diet. I recommend 30 minutes of exercise every day. Cardio-type exercise is preferred. For those who are just starting out on an exercise program, a brisk 30-minute walk is the easiest way to get started. After some time, as you become more in shape, increasing your pace (even jogging) will help increase cardio intensity. Incorporating yoga, Pilates or some simple stretching in between workouts helps reduce stress and increase flexibility. These are important for overall health.
Keeping the weight off
If you want to maintain your current weight, be consistent. Try to get the same amount of sleep and drink plenty of water daily. Carve out your 30 minutes of exercise and focus on making good food choices. Try to eat early in the day. Also take time to relax and reduce stress each day.
Consult your physician
If you are considering drastically changing your eating habits or starting an exercise routine, I recommend consulting your physician first.