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Weight Loss

Diets
Weight loss is one of the most popular health topics in the media today. America continues to be extremely overweight, despite the volumes of material written on the subject. You have likely heard many opinions on how to lose weight.

Here are just a few of the fads:

  • a NO Carb diet to lose weight
  • a fat-free diet
  • a high protein diet
  • exercise is the only solution
  • exercise doesn't help at all
  • eat right for your metabolic type
  • glycemic index eating
  • calorie counting

... and the list goes on.

You will quickly notice that diets tend to be extreme, and are therefore hard to follow. Also, by being extreme, they exclude all other approaches. I am here to tell you that there is an element of truth in most popular diets, but the key is taking the best information from each one and making it work for you. If you start an extreme diet tomorrow, studies have shown that you are not likely to be on the same diet several months down the road. The reason is that you must approach your diet as a lifestyle, rather than a quick fix to your weight problem.

The only way you will keep those pounds off is if you adopt new lifestyle habits that will become part of your normal life. This is the only long-term solution, and it requires careful planning to help you find modifications that work for you.

Let me also clarify some major points about diet and weight loss.

Exercise does help! Whenever you exercise, you are going to burn calories. Your actual weight might not change drastically, but you should really be monitoring your body composition. Please remember that unless you have your blood sugar regulation under control, losing weight through exercise will be much slower.

Let me then discuss this issue of blood sugar regulation, since it is likely the most important aspect of any weight management program. When you eat a high glycemic meal (a load of carbs and sugars), your body reacts by releasing a ton of insulin. This insulin tells your body to store the massive amounts of sugar that is now in your bloodstream.

If you are not exercising, then the storage places in your liver and muscles are probably already full. So, where do you think the sugar will be stored? That's right, it is going to be bundled up into little fat cells. Now contrast that with eating a meal with the proper balance of carbohydrates, protein, and unsaturated fats. This balanced meal will result in much less insulin release and at a slower pace, allowing your body time to use the glucose.

As you can see from this short explanation, a balanced diet that optimizes ratios and includes exercise is your best approach to long-term weight loss. I hope you will also notice how this incorporates several aspects of the major diet trends in the media.

Losing weight will effectively decrease your chances of developing many chronic and degenerative diseases.

If you would like advice on controlling your weight, please don't hesitate to contact our Boise office at (208) 629-5374.