On the surface, weight loss appears to be a very simple concept. Many assume that they will lose weight if they eat fewer calories than they burn. The growing rate of overweight people (approximately two-thirds of all Americans) is indicative of just how complicated it can be to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
Our nutritional staff focuses on addressing the root causes of weight management problems. Our view is that the weight loss industry is littered with short-term, quick fix approaches that are generally ineffective. We believe that there are three main underlying factors that contribute to weight challenges, including poor dietary habits (often based in an insufficient understanding of nutrition), an imbalanced lifestyle and poor body image.
Our staff takes a comprehensive approach to helping you achieve the following:
- Understand your body’s unique nutritional needs, including use of saliva testing when needed to assess for hormone imbalances that may contribute to weight challenges
- Develop a daily diet that optimizes your body’s metabolic efficiency so that your body is able to effectively use the nutrients it’s storing (when metabolic efficiency is attained through a balanced diet, blood sugar and insulin levels are properly managed and your body can burn fat)
- Reduce incidents of emotional eating
- Make lifestyle modifications that support optimal health, including exercising and learning stress management skills
- Develop a positive attitude about your body and your relationship with food
Through these steps, weight loss goals and maintaining your desired weight become much more attainable.
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by Christine Doolittle, RD
Weight Loss seems to have become an obsession. We want instant results such as losing 10 pounds in 2 days, and many people wind up on the weight loss roller coaster of losing and regaining. There is no magic pill that produces weight loss. In fact, losing weight is hard work that requires serious habit changes meant to be life long. There is a lot of weight loss information out there that promises quick results, often only leading to the discovery that the results do not last. This information includes the proliferation of weight loss myths that in the end only add more confusion as to what the magic formula might be that so many people are seeking. Let’s put 3 of these myths to rest.
Myth #1: Skipping breakfast or other meals helps me to save my calories that I can then eat later. While this seems logical that fewer calories will help lose weight, the issue that needs to be taken into account is what this is doing to my metabolism if I skip meals. We do know through extensive research that those who eat breakfast daily are able to maintain a comfortable body weight and keep weight off long term. They also tend to eat less during the day. When we skip meals it causes several things to happen. First, it allows for our metabolism to lower and burn less calories because your body is perceiving it is in starvation mode so it conserves energy. In addition, skipping meals can drive up cortisol levels causing more fat storage in the long run. Finally, when you skips meals, you tend to be excessively hungry at the next meal leading to overloading on more calories than if you decided to eat the meal you skipped. This drives up insulin response in your body from excess calories resulting in more fat storage long term.
Myth#2: Carbohydrates will make me gain weight. Anything we eat in excess is extra calories and can cause weight gain long term. Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap over the years. This is the first fuel source our body needs to function. We store carbohydrates in our muscles for exercise and energy throughout the day. We also need a very specific amount of carbohydrates daily for our brain to function. Low carbohydrate intake equals poor brain function. The types of carbohydrates beneficial to weight loss are those that are high in fiber and whole grain. These help with insulin surges, blood sugar control, and satiety. All of which are important for weight loss. In addition, the best way to eat carbohydrates is coupled with protein sources.
Myth #3: Fat is fattening. Fat is an important nutrient for our cells, hormones, and brain function. Not all fat is equal. Saturated fats will cause more harm in our body and promote more heart disease and clogged arteries. Unsaturated fats provide many benefits including weight loss. One study reported that those who supplemented with omega 3 fatty acids gained lean tissue mass and lost 3.5 times more fat than placebo. Healthy fats enhance the activity of insulin receptors so the body does not have to produce excess amounts of this fat storage hormone. Examples of healthy fats include nuts such as walnuts and almonds, flax, fish and fish oil supplements.