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Trying to Lose Weight?

Woman weighing herself on scale

Woman weighing herself on scale

For most people, their new year’s resolution is to lose a few pounds or a lot of weight. I respect people’s desires and goals, but I’m sick of the quick fix, “Fad Diets”. In case you have not noticed, Americans are dieting more than ever, yet we are getting fatter and fatter with more chronic diseases and more medications. Let’s focus on the most popular fad diet out there: The Atkin’s Diet. This diet, which is becoming an epidemic, focuses on eating primarily protein and fat and low amounts of carbohydrates. There are many disadvantages to this way of eating, including:

  1. When eating high amounts of fat, while limiting carbohydrates, your blood lipid profile may increase to harmful levels. High levels are related to heart disease and certain kinds of cancer.
  2. With high protein diets, your body becomes depleted of Calcium, leading to Osteoporosis.
  3. This way of eating yields ketosis. When your body is not fueled with carbohydrates, it has to break down protein for energy. This leads to degradation of muscle and dehydration. For a prolonged period of time, dieters are susceptible to kidney problems and damaged metabolisms. All fad diets, including the Atkin’s Diet, may work temporarily, but once the diet is over, most people gain all the weight back and possibly more.

So, if you are sick of “dieting”, want to lose the weight forever, become healthy, get off medications, or gain more energy, remember there is NO quick fix; it takes lifelong changes and commitments. If you are truly motivated to conquer this year’s resolution, then lets get started on your lifestyle changes. Here are some basic tips that I use with my clients:

  1. Food and nutrition (don’t say the diet word) are only part of the equation. It is also very important to focus on proper exercise, stress management, adequate sleep, limiting toxic chemicals (nicotine, drugs, alcohol), and taking high-quality nutritional supplements.
  2. When you eat carbohydrates, make sure to balance it out with some protein, good fat, and veggies. This regulates your insulin levels, which leads to more energy and less cravings. Therefore, do not eat an apple by itself. Add some real nut butter (protein and fat) and some carrot sticks.
  3. Eat smaller more frequent meals to further control insulin levels throughout the day.
  4. Avoid extra sugar in the diet. Sugar is hidden in may foods (ex: yogurts, cereals). Read ingredient labels: if sugar, or a form of sugar, is one of the first 5 ingredients, do not eat it.
  5. This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you need more information, some motivation, or just some accountability, I recommend that you see a Registered Dietitian.
Betsy Markle R.D., C.P.T.Hello, my name is Betsy Stanshine-Markle. I am a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Personal Trainer with a wide range of experience. For the past few years, I have been at The Schwarzbein Institute working with Santa Barbara’s well known Endocrinologist, Diana Schwarzbein M.D. At the Institute, I have helped hundreds of people meet their wellness goals.
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