Thursday, March 17, 2016

Common Weight Loss Issues

Being a dietitian, I get a ton of clients who are trying to lose weight. I would say 90% of them have tried some sort of diet before (most being a short-term crash diet type) and about 80% ended up gaining back the weight they lost (plus some). Losing weight and changing your eating habits is not easy. Anyone who says that it is is either lying to you or trying to sell you a supplement (and also lying to you)! It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to change your diet and really stick with it.

Most people that approach me about weight loss are facing the same questions: what should I do, how should I do it, and how long will it take! For starters, DO eat more fiber (fruits, veggies, whole grains). One of the first things I ask any client or potential client is, "What do you eat during a typical day?" Almost none of them are eating enough fruits and vegetables. I would say the average is 1-2 fruits and 0-1 veggies per day. Fruits and veggies are packed with fiber and nutrients. Add fresh fruit to your cereal, add a side salad to dinner or pack some hummus and veggies. There are tons of ways to add in the fruits and veggies, it just takes a little planning and effort.

Limited water intake is another huge issue I see with clients trying to lose weight. Most Americans are just not drinking enough water. It's usually high calorie beverages or little to no fluid at all! For those of you who hate the taste of water, try seltzer water or adding fresh fruit to plain water. I love the combos lime, mint, and cucumber or strawberry basil.

Healthy food tastes bland. Ever heard that statement before? I get it all the time! "I can't eat healthy because healthy food just doesn't taste good." Another favorite of mine is, "I hate fruits" or "I hate vegetables." First off, make the healthy food taste better! Most people think you need to steam vegetables and not add anything else. Think again! Add some lemon, herbs, spices, etc. Roast your veggies! Make a fruit smoothie! Try a new recipe! Healthy food only tastes bland if you make it that way. Get creative in the kitchen and don't be afraid of trying new things. Side note here, don't think that you need to cook everything from scratch or use only fresh options for a meal to be healthy. I love using frozen veggies instead of fresh because they are way more convenient to use and I don't have to worry about them going bad quickly.

Try not to fool yourself when you are trying to lose weight. I don't know how many clients say to me they are so frustrated with their lack of weight loss and they just want to give up. Had it not been for me (or someone else pushing them along) they may have just walked away from it all. Again, honest moment to yourself, are you really trying that hard? Did you go overboard with the weekend festivities? Are you sleeping enough? Drinking the right kinds of stuff? Eating the right foods? You get where I am going here. I would say 99% of the time, there is ALWAYS something more you can do if you feel like your weight-loss just isn't going the way you planned. Take the time to assess what you are eating and drinking and what your activity looks like. Also, when you start to change your eating habits, don't expect to see the pounds melting off of your body in 1 day or even 1 week! I always say to my clients, "You didn't get to this point overnight." A good weight-loss goal is 1-2 pounds per week. Any more than that and I question whether or not your eating enough and if it is another one of those "fad diets."

So to sum this all up, be honest with yourself and take the time to really change those habits for the long-haul and finally get off the weight-loss, weigh gain wagon!

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