So . . . how’s your New Year’s resolution coming?
Sadly, it’s usually late February when all our best intentions to fulfill those resolutions seem to go out the window—and one of the most common resolutions is to lose weight. Those wonderful plans to exercise every day and forego desserts often vanish in the face of hectic schedules.
If you want to stick to your resolution of leading a healthier lifestyle and losing weight, establishing a nutritional plan is crucial to your success. So often, diets concentrate on telling you what you can’t eat. But a nutritional plan focuses on what you can eat, with an emphasis on vegetables, lean meats and fruits.
How can a nutritional plan help you?
There are several ways a nutritional plan enables you to live a more healthy lifestyle.
1. A NUTRITIONAL PLAN TELLS YOU WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN YOUR EATING PLAN
A healthy eating plan includes:
- Fat-free or low-fat milk products
- Lean meats such as poultry and fish
- Food that is low in trans fats or saturated fats
A nutritional plan also gives you ideas about how to turn your favorite traditional dishes into a heart-healthy meal. For example, use a broth base instead of a cream base for your favorite soups.
2. A NUTRITIONAL PLAN TEACHES YOU HOW TO READ FOOD LABELS.
If you want to lose weight, it’s important to pay attention to food labels and learn how to interpret them effectively. In short, here are a few items you’ll want to pay particular attention to:
At first glance, the calorie count may seem like it’s right within your plan, but take a careful look at the serving size. American restaurants and fast food chains are notorious for “portion distortion”, and therefore, it’s easy to forget what a single serving actually looks like. Often, a can may contain two-or-three servings, and one serving may be only half a cup.
- Certain “red flag” words
Saturated fat and trans fat should always be on your radar; you want to limit your intake of these. However, there are some other terms you need to watch for, including sodium (salt). Another one to keep an eye on is the ingredients list, particularly terms such as “partially hydrogenated oil” and “high fructose corn syrup.”
3. A NUTRITIONAL PLAN HELPS YOU MAKE WISE CHOICES WHEN EATING OUT.
There’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, as long as it remains occasional and doesn’t sneak into your everyday menu.
Losing weight doesn’t mean you have to give up going out to your favorite restaurant, but a solid nutritional plan helps you realize that few minor changes can make a huge difference. For example:
- Opt for a baked potato instead of fries.
- Remember portion distortion. Set aside half of your food for a take home box to eat later.
- Plan ahead before you go—most restaurants have their menus online.
- Opt for broiled or grilled options instead of fried.
How to lose weight
While a nutritional plan is an important piece of the solution, it’s still just one piece. Successful weight loss depends upon a number of factors, such as establishing and keeping a regular exercise routine and working closely with your physicians. We’ve helped thousands of patients in the Triangle area start the journey to a healthier life. Contact us to see how we can help you.
For more than 40 years, Raleigh Medical Group has served as Raleigh, Cary, and Durham’s premier internal medicine providers comprised of three distinct practices: Raleigh Medical Group, Raleigh Adult Medicine, and Cary Medical Group. We tailor our treatments to provide you with the finest personalized health care available for each stage of your adult life. Contact us to schedule an appointment.