Dieting: The Basics
Every year, millions of Americans start looking for new ways to lose weight. The majority of these dieters have already tried losing weight in the past. Some were successful at first but eventually re-gained weight after returning to their previous habits; others barely saw the scale budge at all.
Most people who look at medical weight loss programs have first-hand experience with the weight loss process. They know the frustration of yo-yo dieting and the challenge of cutting calories on a highly restricted diet. There are plenty of fad diets that get a lot of popularity, but that doesn’t mean they work.
What is a diet?
Dieting has become synonymous with weight loss. To go on a diet means to stop eating a collection of foods for an indefinite period of time in an effort to lose weight.
There are a few features many diets share. They often are low in calories, and encourage people to cut out things like:
There are diets that will completely restrict what you eat to just a handful of items. These are known as deprivation diets, and while they can sometimes deliver fast results, they are not healthy or practical to stay on for any long duration. Examples of this type of dieting are the cabbage soup or cookie diet. These weight loss plans contribute to the well-known problem of yo-yo dieting and almost always result in weight re-gain.
A diet should be more than a temporary fix to help you lose weight. Instead of focusing on what you are taking out of your diet, start looking at the nutrients you can put in it.
Your diet is the body’s primary source of nourishment; it is what provides you with sustenance and energy to live a healthy lifestyle. When you make the decision to go on a diet for weight loss, it can’t be a temporary thing. As you embark on your weight loss journey, your diet may need a full overhaul.
You need a diet that isn’t just a quick fix, but is something that you can realistically follow and adjust to as a means of improving your overall health.
Changing your Diet through Healthy Habits
The greatest problem with deprivation diets is that they do not set you up for long-term success. Cutting calories from your diet can help you lose weight. To maintain that weight loss you’ll need to continue making healthy food choices long after your initial diet comes to an end. Adopting a healthy diet is a lifestyle change. By learning about the different nutrients in your diet and developing healthy habits, you can turn your diet to lose weight into a long-term diet for a healthier way of life.
Healthy dietary habits include:
- Eating nutrient rich foods, especially foods that are high in protein
- Setting a dining schedule and eating at regular intervals throughout the day to avoid spikes and drops in energy levels
- Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Avoiding foods that are high in sugar, fat and calories
- Only eating when your body physically requires sustenance
To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in. This is why low-calorie diets are so highly recommended for weight loss. However, simply cutting calories isn’t enough. As you make changes to your diet in an effort to lose weight, consider the ways you are benefiting from eating healthier foods. Focusing on the positive aspects of dieting and less on the deprivation associated with food restrictions might help motivate you to keep moving forward.
When we eat, it isn’t always because we’re hungry. Sometimes when we feel emotions like stress, anger, sadness or boredom, we turn to food for comfort, hoping that it will soothe some of the complex emotions we’re dealing with. Unfortunately, this often leaves us feeling worse.
Emotional eating happens when we eat because of emotions instead of hunger, and it’s a frequent cause of overeating. Everyone experiences emotional eating to some degree, but by learning how to anticipate and overcome it, you can help yourself achieve better health and lasting weight loss.
Eliminating Dieter’s Mentality
Many different diets can lead us to form rigid rules about what we should and should not eat. When we get stuck in a dieter’s mentality, we may deeply scrutinize our choices and feel angry or guilty when we eat something we believe to be bad.
Unfortunately, when we make eating choices based on inflexible rules and depriving ourselves of certain foods, it can make our desire to eat “bad” foods even stronger.
Carbohydrates and Weight Loss
Because carbohydrates can be used as a primary energy source by our bodies, they have an important role in our diets. However, many people eat carbs in excess, and this often contributes to weight gain. During your weight loss program, you’ll be reducing your carb intake, which will help you avoid the fat buildup caused by high carbohydrate consumption and take advantage of your body’s ability to burn fat.
Dining Out during Medical Weight Loss
Because preparing your own food at home will keep you in complete control of your diet, it’s the best way to ensure a healthy meal. You should try to keep eating out to a minimum during your medical weight loss program, which you can do by:
- Eating breakfast at home or bringing your own breakfast to work
- Bringing your lunch from home every day
- Cooking dinner at home at least five nights per week, and every night if possible
Reading Food Labels
This question has so many potential answers that it can be overwhelming to find the right one. Fortunately, there’s a tool that can help us make more informed eating decisions: the nutrition label.
Nutrition labels can tell us exactly what’s in our food before we eat it. If you know how to read nutrition labels, they can help you stick with a nutritious diet during your weight loss program and beyond.
Low Calorie Diets
While some weight loss diets focus on eliminating one food group or reducing the amount of food eaten at certain times of the day, a medically monitored low calorie diet is one of the most effective methods for achieving long-term weight loss.
Calories and Weight Loss
A calorie is a unit of energy. Each of us uses a certain amount of calories daily to perform tasks, like sleeping, walking and talking.
Mindful Eating Strategies
During your medical weight loss program, it’s important to develop healthy eating habits. Mindful eating is a way of eating that involves complete awareness of your food and how you digest it. It can be a useful tool when it comes to digestion, portion control, losing weight and eliminating “mindless” eating. In fact, mindful eating can even enhance how enjoyable your meal is.
Dietary Fats and Medical Weight Loss in Scottsdale and Chandler
There are many types of fats, and most foods contain a variety of fats. Your body produces its own fat from excess calories while some fats are found in foods from plants and animals. These are known as dietary fats. Dietary fats, along with protein and carbohydrates, provide your body with energy. Although many people think of fat negatively, it is essential to your health because it supports a number of your body’s functions. Not all fats are bad. In fact, some even promote good health.
Glycemic Index and Weight Loss in Scottsdale and Chandler
The glycemic index (GI) is a measuring system that shows how foods containing carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels. GI uses a scale of 0 to 100, with pure glucose measured at a GI of 100. Foods with high GI are foods that are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low GI foods are slowly digested and absorbed; therefore they produce gradual rises in blood sugar levels and have proven health benefits and promote weight loss.
Healthy Eating for Weight Loss
The path to sustainable weight loss is paved with healthy eating habits that last a lifetime. This is especially true for anyone in a medical weight loss program. Developing healthy eating habits can help you lose weight and keep it off without feeling hungry.
Share a Meal
Avoid eating alone. Sharing healthy meals with others provides many social and emotional benefits – good company makes food taste better. Eating with others also provides subconscious clues about healthy choices, portion sizes, and a cue to stop eating. Dining alone, especially in front of the television or computer, leads to mindless overeating and habitual snacking.