Gyms are uncomfortably packed, there are conversations about healthy eating and weight loss goals, and new blazing fast weight loss miracle diets…it’s that time of the year again! Know anyone that went on a calorie restricting diet, lost a good amount of weight, only to put it back on again? Known as yo-yo dieting, it can actually result in people putting on more weight than when they started!
The painful thing to know about calorie restricting diet is that they…kind of work…and kind of don’t. In the short term, they definitely work. On a long term basis, not so much. The body adjusts to a lower total daily calorie needs and it’s tough sticking to these sort of diets. Also, these diets often exclude or demonize a specific nutrients or food groups (carbohydrates, fats, grains, legumes, etc.). This can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food… But why do that to yourself?! Let’s be honest, food tastes great! There are just some things that just happen to be bad for our bodies in high quantities. No whole food is inherently bad, remember, everything in moderation.
The British Dietetic Association released a statement suggesting that weight loss should be a slower sustained process, suggesting that losing up to two pound per week makes it more likely that you will then keep it off in the long term. This is a pretty common rule of thumb for sustainable weight loss. A pound of fat is roughly equivalent to 3,500 calories (this isn’t a hard and fast rule but it gets you in the ballpark). Cutting too many calories out too suddenly may not be an easy thing to do or even healthy!
Here are some tips that can help you maintain a healthy relationship with food and lose weight:
- Meal prep! – plan and prepare foods in advance. You’ll be more likely to make healthy food choices and not overeat.
- Drink some water! – the body’s mechanism for thirst can also signal hunger pangs when it’s not actually hungry.
- Track your food/food purchases! – It holds you accountable and may even make you feel guilty or proud. The Shopwell app can assist you in make smart and healthy food purchases when you are at the grocery store. A pantry full of good-for-you foods makes it that much easier to follow your diet.
Good luck with your 2016 health goals!
Wayne is a Silicon Valley local. He holds a B.S in Clinical Nutrition from U.C. Davis and M.S in Sports Nutrition from Marywood University and is a current dietetic intern at Fresno State. He spends most of his time weightlifting and running which is probably unbalanced by his major weakness for desserts.