Spring is here and with it comes the temptation to try yet another fad diet to help you quickly lose some extra winter and/or pandemic pounds. Diets that restrict certain food groups or require special foods, like shakes and powders, may help you lose weight on the scale. But, what is it you’re actually losing?
“When we starve ourselves, the body turns to valuable lean muscle/protein as fuel, which slows our metabolism, making it even easier to gain weight when we stop dieting,” says Certified Diabetes Educator Mary Friesz. “This is why 80 percent of people who lose weight fast, gain it back even quicker. The only way to succeed with long-term weight loss is to make healthy lifestyle changes.”
So, instead of focusing on the scale, focus on changing the unhealthy habits that are keeping you from attaining your weight goals. Examples of some of these “do not” habits include:
- Skipping meals - Doing this may cause you to be ravenous at the next meal, which can lead to eating much more than you need to. If you’re full, it means that you ate too much.
- Eating too fast - When you eat fast, it’s easier to eat more because you may not actually be tasting what you’re eating. By chewing your food thoroughly, you won’t feel the need to eat such large portions.
- Eating while multitasking - Eating while working on the computer, watching TV, or reading a book preoccupies your mind. If you’re short on time, consider eating only part of your meal and finish when you have more time to pay attention to what you are putting into your body.
- Ignoring nutrition labels - People tend to ignore labels, typically serving sizes. Take time to read the label to be sure you are eating the recommended serving size.
- Overlooking the content of condiments - Whether healthy or not, overindulging can add too many calories. For example, one tablespoon of fat (the size of a coffee creamer) adds 100 calories to the food you’re already eating.
Let’s face it—anything that’s worth achieving takes time and effort, and reaching a healthy weight is no different. “Instead of looking for quick fixes, take small, meaningful steps,” says Friesz. “If you’re looking to take a more personalized approach, consider meeting with a registered dietitian who can work with you to develop a plan for a healthier you.”
Summit Health’s Nutrition Services team can help you develop a nutritional plan that is tailored to your health needs. By partnering with Summit Health cardiologists, endocrinologists, obstetricians, and other expert staff, we can ensure you receive thoughtful, comprehensive care. Meet our team.