Eat Healthy and Lose Weight: New Year’s Resolution
Thank you to everyone who submitted their New Year’s resolution for the Health Goals 2018 Project. New Year’s Resolution #3 was submitted by Nina of Ocala. Nina wants to “lose belly fat and eat healthy!”
Dr. Eric Svestka, a SIMED Gainesville primary care physician who loves healthy eating, provided advice on how to achieve weight loss and a healthy food lifestyle.
How to Lose Weight
The one way to lose weight and belly fat is through dietary restrictions. Evidence has shown that you can’t exercise off weight because exercise only burns a minimal amount of calories when compared to your much larger basal metabolic rate. Exercise is still a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle and reduces your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, and similar issues.
There are two ways to approach weight loss through dieting. The first way could be called nuclear change. On day one, the individual would change everything about their entire diet. The second, more effective way, is to make gradual changes.
Making Gradual Changes
Making gradual changes is more likely to stick in the long term. To do this, you would pick a small victory or adjustment to make to your diet each week. For example, you could add a vegetable to every meal or try not to get calories from liquids (aside from milk). Only tackle one change at time. When you have successfully made that change for a period of time, approach an additional change, like eating fruit for dessert instead of a cupcake.
Your goal is to limit and remove as much processed food as possible and substitute it for unprocessed natural foods. You should also be limiting how much you actually consume.
How to Make Healthy Eating Affordable
1. Drink water. – Water is free. If you increase your water intake, you’ll feel fuller. Drinking 16 ounces of water before a meal will make the meal feel more fulfilling to you. Studies have shown that drinking water right before a meal can lead you to lose up to four pounds.
2. Buy healthy food in bulk. – Plan ahead and make batches of snacks. Package your lunches for the week in advance to make sure you don’t end up calling a fast food place at lunch time. When you wake up, just grab your prepackaged lunches and go.
3. If you’re planning to indulge, make the food at home. – Instead of buying brownies or cookies, make them yourself. There’s less sugar, fat, and salt in homemade baked desserts. While eating desserts isn’t going to help you lose weight, homemade is a better alternative to store-bought.
The Difference Between Healthy Eating and Eating to Lose Weight
Losing weight only pertains to calories. Healthy eating means giving your body high quality fuel, ideally in the form of unprocessed foods. In an ideal situation, you would combine the two.
Monitor Your Liquids
Liquids are one of the biggest problems for both unhealthy and overweight eaters. Liquids don’t make you feel as full but still give you calories. Drinking milk and black coffee is okay, but everything else should be avoided or considered with discretion.
Smoothies are a really good opportunity to work healthy fruit and vegetables into your diet. Try to add in vegetables like kale and spinach and proteins like almond butter and peanut butter to diversify and add more nutrition to your smoothie. Be cautious of how many calories you’re putting in as you can quickly reach and top 500 calories with only 3 or 4 ingredients.
If you would like additional advice on weight loss and healthy eating, you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Svestka in Gainesville. You can reach him at (352) 377-1874 or by requesting an appointment online.
To see another SIMED primary care doctor in Gainesville, Ocala, Chiefland, Lady Lake, or McIntosh, call (352) 224-2225 or schedule an appointment online.
Thank you Nina for submitting your resolution. We can’t wait to see you achieve it.