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Monday, February 09, 2009

Losing Weight


Obesity contributes greatly to heart disease. When people don't exercise and carry too much weight, they put themselves at risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol.

I tell a lot of people to lose weight in order to reduce their risk. Here are some weight loss tips that I've seen work:

- Use a nutritionist. That's someone who can tell you exactly how many calories your body needs and what foods you should and should not be eating with any particular medical problem.

- Write down everything you eat and the approximate number of calories. Share that diet diary with someone, such as a nutritionist, your doctor, or a personal trainer. It keeps you accountable. If you have to write down that handful of M&M's that you're thinking of eating, are you really going to eat them?

- Weigh yourself daily. That way you see trends of weight gain before your weight gets out of control.

- Follow a vegan diet, or at the very least, cut back on the quantity of animal products that you consume. Vegan diets have been shown to aid in weight loss, help control blood sugar in diabetics, and lower cholesterol.

- Do some form of exercise most days of the week. Long-term registries of people who have lost weight and kept it off for several years show that the vast majority of successful "losers" excercise almost every day.

- Remember that weight loss and weight maintenance is about lifestyle change. These are not changes that you are to make for a couple of weeks and then revert to previous poor habits.

7 comments:

Lily Girl said...

I think this is the first time I've commented on your blog. Thank you for sharing your experiences, they are very motivating!
I just wanted to leave a tip relating to your second tip. sparkpeople.com is a great, free website where you can track what you eat and it will tell you how many calories your consuming as well as the macro and micro nutrients. I don't use it as consistently as I should, but it is a really good, easy to use tool. Studies have shown that most people vastly underestimate the number of calories they consume; so if people have a choice I think using a program that tells them exactly what they are eating will be much more useful practice in the long run.

Victoria said...

This is helpful advice, but what helps me more is your own honest, personal story about what is working for oyu, right now.

The posts that really inspire me are the ones where you take pics of what you ate for dinner, or write about some chicken substitute you found at Whole Foods (which, by the way, my local WF doesn't seem to have -- is Follow Your Heart available online?), or report, "I've been working hard on my diet and exercise and it's really paid off. I've lost two pounds this week."

In writing, the concrete and specific ("I stir-fried a bag of frozen vegetables with some Annie's stir fry sauce and tempeh and it was great last night and only took about 90 seconds to prepare") is almost always more powerful than the general and abstract ("Follow a plant-bsed diet and include vegetable sources of protein in every meal.")

I don't know why this is. I suspect it may be a quirk that is peculiar to writing in English.

Obviously, as a physician, you have to know the general principles, but, as a writer, you can make them more compelling and exciting with specific examples.

But I am not complaining! I love your blog and it does inspire me to make positive changes.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to hearing about the personal record you broke!

Weight Loss Program said...

Hello VeganHeartDoc,

i enjoyed reading your post and totally agree that weight loss and weight maintenance is about lifestyle change.

Weight Loss Program said...

Hello some great tips there i agree with writing down what we put into our mouths, this helps us become more concious and aware of what we are consuming daily

Auto 1 said...

excellent tips there, i am all for exercise most days of the week let's face it our bodies were designed to move

Nissan 4x4 said...

I like your blog.. good content i like your opening paragraph obesity contributing greatly to heart disease, i think it's a strong message and should be written on every mc donalds burger wraper, chips cup etc...