This article was written by Dr. Moshe Lewis, The Pain Coach
Creating a weight loss lifestyle in 2012 doesn’t have to seem like an insurmountable goal. Break down your goals into smaller, more attainable pieces that will have you creating healthy eating habits, rather than shedding pounds using crash dieting methods that won’t last.
Weight loss is an excellent resolution to have in spite of how difficult it may seem. Although there are many diets and fads that come and go, even a 10-pound weight loss can improve your health and your risk for diseases associated with obesity, like type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
Here are ten easy steps to jumpstart your weight management program
- Accept that weight management is an achievable goal
If you approach weight management with the frame of mind that small steps will make a big difference over time, then the idea of losing weight will not seem so complex.
- Make a plan to succeed
Identify 10 food items that you currently purchase that you know are bad for you and that you can live without. Make a consistent plan to start eliminating two of these items each week from your grocery list.
- Contact a nutritionist and make an appointment
Every individual should have a customized plan tailored to their age, weight, height, metabolism and activity level. This plan is best created with a professional who will dedicate time to working with you one on one.
- Schedule regular exercise
Make it a goal to double the distance that you walk each day until you are walking at least 30 minutes each day.
- Set realistic goals
Rapid weight loss that can’t be sustained only results in frustration. The goal should be to lose approximately 1-2 pounds every week. Depending on how much you choose to lose, over the course of a year this would result in a substantial amount of weight loss.
- Develop a support system
It is important to join a support group and to develop a network of individuals who are committed to your success. Some of the most accessible groups exist at Weight Watchers, Ediets.com and faith-based organizations. Check your health plan for resources that also may be able to help you maintain your goals.It is important to check your weight regularly. Every week you should check your weight in the morning before you get dressed, on the same scale.
- Positive reinforcement
Feel good about the success that you are making and provide a small reward for yourself each week that is not food related. Some excellent suggestions include a manicure, a massage, taking a scenic walk, purchasing a new CD or new clothing item.
- Congratulate yourself
Weight loss is similar to a marathon that is not always won by leaps and bounds. The goal is to stay focused on your goal even if there are small setbacks from time to time.
- Love yourself
While absolute weight loss is a goal, it is important to love yourself no matter what your size may be.
A new and controversial study reported in the Journal of General Internal Medicine and presented by the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference indicates that diet soda drinks — such as beverages that contain aspartame or sucralose — can increase the risk of cardiovascular events by 61%. However, many dietary experts and scientists warn not to take this study at face value because it does not prove cause and effect.
The study involved 2,563 individuals in New York with the average age of 69. The individuals participating in the study were asked about their consumption of soda over nine years. The study factored out age, sex, smoking, physical activity, alcohol and calorie consumption, and pre-existing syndromes and diseases before publishing the results. 212 of the participants had strokes, 149 had heart attacks, and 338 of them died from vascular disease, indicating diet sodas nay be linked to adverse health effects. At first glance, this study seems to show that diet sodas are not an optimal substitute beverage for regular soda but there are many critics of this study that make important counter-arguments.
There have been conflicting reports on the safety of diet sodas. Some studies found that those who consume diet sodas have larger waist lines on average while others found it the opposite to be true. Aspartame and related sweeteners are also believed to be the cause of many conditions. More specifically, diet soft drinks don’t have any nutritional value and there is evidence that it actually makes you gain weight and boosts blood-sugar levels, which cab lead to diabetes. This is reinforced by a study executed by the University of Texas Health Science Center in which 70% of the participants experienced weight gain. Their hypothesis was that the fake sugar triggered their appetite by inhibiting the brain cells that tell you that you are full. Artificial sweeteners have also been linked to headaches, mood swings, seizures, depression, and “fuzzy” thinking.
Many experts believe that population-based studies are merely “food for thought” but should not form the basis for lifestyles, laws, or litigation. Part of the reason for this is that population studies tend to attract and be composed of a certain type of person such as those who are healthier and more concerned about their health. The study wasn’t designed to prove cause and effect, but it still could be indicative of the participant’s lifestyle. It’s important to look at what people eat in totality before jumping to conclusions. For example, people who consume soda, diet or not, tend to have a greater sweet tooth which could lead to unhealthier lifestyles.
The scientific communities believes this survey does not prove diet sodas are unhealthy. As more studies like these are done, we will get a better picture of how diet sodas effect the body. Our experts at Southern California Movement Disorder Specialists will keep a close eye on this study. Read in-depth article on this study at ABC News, Web MD, and Yahoo! Health. For further in depth reading visit the Huffington Post’s article The Deadly Neurotoxin Nearly Everyone Uses Daily and NYposts Diet soda in ‘fat’ shocker.
A new diet, recommended by the American Diabetes Association, called “Consistent Carbohydrates Diet” or “CCD” focuses on reducing the carbohydrates one consumes in hopes that it will help control their diabetes. The experts now believe that carbohydrates are directly related to blood glucose levels. Monitoring the carbohydrates you consume can give you better glycemic control.
How a Physician Orders the Diet
Consistent-carbohydrate meal plan: The meal plan incorporates consistent carbohydrate intake (+15g of carbohydrate per meal or snack), fat intake modifications, and consistent timing of meals and snacks, not specific energy levels. The plan provides four carbohydrate selections (60 grams) at breakfast and five carbohydrate selections (75 grams) at lunch and dinner with the remaining selections from vegetables, lean meats, and appropriate fats. This diet is the standard hospital meal plan for people with diabetes and does not include in-between or evening snacks. The meal plan provides 1,500 to 1,800 kcal/day, with approximately 50% of the energy from carbohydrate, 20% from protein, and 30% from fat (<7% saturated and trans fat combined) (2-4).