Losing weight is easier than you think!


With the rise in obesity in our society (and the world), weight loss has become a very hot topic. I am frequently asked by family and friends to give my opinion on which diet is most effective. My answer is usually the same: eat less and exercise more. The reasons we gain weight are multiple. While glandular issues and certain medications can result in weight gain, this is infrequently the cause. In most cases, excess weight is gained due to positive net energy. Think of food (calories) as energy. If you consume more energy than you expend (or “burn”), energy is stored. (You wouldn’t fill your gas tank with more fuel than it can hold. Think of your body in the same way.) This storage of energy is in the form of fat. While we all must retain a percentage of fat as energy reserve for periods of decreased food intake and for temperature regulation, excess fat is termed overweight, obesity, or morbid obesity depending on the body fat percentage and/or weight over ideal body weight. On the contrary, when we expend (“burn”) more energy/calories than we consume, the result is a negative net energy: this results in weight loss.

Equally important is what we consume. Carbohydrates are quick energy sources which do not provide long term satiety (feeling satisfied or no longer hungry). Examples of carbohydrates are bread, rice, sweets, fruits. Examples of “good carbs” are whole wheat, grains, “healthy” cereals, fruits, beans. Examples of “bad carbs” are white bread and rice, most sweets (chocolate, candy, cake. donuts), and soft drinks. Fats and proteins are more difficult to digest and provide a longer lasting satiety. They result in a slower and more prolonged rise in blood sugar to be used by the body for metabolism (resting body functions) and activity (walking, standing, bathing, dressing, exercise, etc.). Examples of proteins are beef, chicken, seafood, nuts, soy products. Examples of fats are butter, oil, and margarine. Most foods contain carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The key is to eat foods and meals which consist of low fat, modest protein and carbohydrates. Beware of low fat and no fat foods: they still have calories. Hi fat foods (fast food), sweets, soft drinks should only be consumed occasionally: definitely not daily!

Losing weight is more simple than advertisers and diet plans would have you believe. Eat less. Eat smarter. Exercise more. Plan your meals accordingly and keep healthy snacks such as nuts and whole grain crackers and bread so you don’t get hungry on the run and succumb to the pressures of the ever so available fast food. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine and try to avoid doing things the easy way.

Remember these tips and you’ll be well on your way to sustained weight loss and a healthier life. You can do it!