Pitfalls to Hitting Healthy Weight Loss Goals

Looking for magic.

The quick fix du jour. While far too numerous to list, if you look back at the media over the past 50 years you will see there has always been a 'quick fix' promising magic. If quick fixes worked, we could all choose to be thin today... but deep down in side we know this is hype.

A ship with out a rudder.

Weight loss success within the first 30 days of a lifestyle plan is a strong predictor of long term weight loss success. Decide on your overall game plan. Develop your day-in, day-out startegies to eat, move and sleep well. Identify your strengths and pitfalls.

Doing it alone.

Weight loss is easier, more sustainable, and fun with group support. The success of common programs such as Weight Watchers and the Ornish diet is in part due to the community aspect of the program.

Infrequent meals.

Establishing a meal pattern that works for your day is imperative for success. Some diets call for 5 mini meals throughout the day. Other diets restrict snacking and rely on 3 healthy meals. You will be more successful in the long-term by choosing and sticking to a meal pattern. It isn't good to go hungry, but it is easier to approach eating with intention when boundaries are set.

Extremely low calorie diets.

Extremely low calorie diets from 800-1000 calories can result in quick weight loss, but they are rarely sustainable and do not provide energy to be physically active and excel in other areas of life.

High fat, high protein, low complex carbohydrate diets.

The heavy amount of saturated fat inherent in many high-fat, high-protein diet is of questionable safety for the heart and kidneys. Plus, by limiting the healthy complex carbohydrates (fruits, veggies, whole grains) they reduce the body's fuel stores - glucose and muscle glycogen- needed for physical activity. These kinds of diets should only be attempted with medical supervision.

Calorie dense and processed food meals that provide a small volume of food and can be quickly eaten.

The body has a lot of cross-talk between the differnt organs. Eating a plant based diet with a large volume of food sets off a series of stomach to brain signals that you are full. If you do find yourself getting hungry between meals it is time to revisit 1) your hydration plan, 2) your food selections during meal times, and 3) the speed at which you eat your food. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, so water throughout the day and with meals is important. Low fiber meals (low in fruits, veggies and whole grains) and processed foods break down quickly, empty from the stomach into the intestine, leaving you with an empty stomach. Also while eating, it takes about 20 minutes for the 'full stomach' signal to reach the brain. Fast eaters may over-eat before the brain receives this important 'stop' message.

Processed foods: the black box.

Processed foods are okay in moderation, but the best foods for long-term success is minimally processed and balanced in nutrients. Processed foods are often high in added sugar, salt, and fat and devoid of fiber. If you cannot give up a processed snack, be sure to stick to the recommended portion size of about 100 calories per snack.

 

Author:

Jay N. Yepuri, MD, MS, Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Yepuri is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology and a Member of the Board of Directors of Digestive Health Associates of Texas (DHAT). He also holds several senior leadership positions in organized medicine, healthcare accreditation organizations, hospitals and other healthcare industry organizations.

Dr. Yepuri could be contacted via info@riduzone.com