BY WENDY M. HENRICHS
Board Certified Chiropractic Pediatrician and Nutrition Counselor
A common question from my patients is “what is the best diet for me to lose weight?” There is no quick fix for long-term weight management. I think that the word diet is often looked at as something negative. Your diet is what you eat every day. It is how you nourish your body and your performance fuel. If you want a high performing body, you must nourish it with high performance fuel. It sounds simple, but with all the different “diets” out there – Atkins, Mediterranean, Paleo, Low-fat, Keto – it is a challenge to know what to do. If your goal is to get to comfortable weight that you can maintain throughout your life, here are some tips to reboot your diet.
1. Eat more fat. Yes, you read it correctly. We need fat for our body to function properly. Our brain and nervous system is over 60 percent fat. Every single cell membrane in your body is composed of fatty acids. Eating an abundance of good fats daily supports your memory, brain and nervous system function; aids in the production of hormones; aids in the prevention and reduction of inflammation in your cell membranes, acts as carriers for fat soluble vitamins and aids in the absorption of calcium and other minerals. Adding good fat sources such as olive oil, organic grass-fed butter, organic coconut oil, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, wild caught salmon and other cold water fish, organic grass-fed and free range meats and poultry, and organic free range eggs will get you on your way.
Good fats will help manage your blood sugar, and help you feel full and satisfied. Both are very important in long-term weight management. Include good fats in every meal and snack.
2. Eat more vegetables, especially green leafy ones. Vegetables, and fruit, have vitamins and phytonutrients along with fiber. The nutrients and fiber in vegetables and fruit aid in digestion, support healthy gut function, aid in cellular reactions, and slow down the aging process. Make sure that your plate is at least half-filled vegetables for more energy and long-term weight management.
3. Drink more water. This is one of the easiest and most effective tools in long-term weight management. If you think you have drank enough water, drink some more. You should be drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces every day. Drinking water will increase your metabolism, decrease hunger, give you more energy, improve your memory and concentration and improve your cellular function. If you are not drinking half your body weight in ounces every day, start by adding an additional four ounces of water per day until you hit your goal.
4. Decrease your intake of starches and processed foods. We tend to underestimate the amount of starch and processed food that we eat on a day-to-day basis. Foods such as cereals, granola, rice, bread, pasta and potatoes are often eaten in several times the normal serving size. Half a cup is a common serving size for most of these foods. Long-term weight management is much easier when we limit our intake of foods from boxes and packages. I also suggest you measure your starches, so you really know how much you are eating.
5. Reduce and eliminate added sugars. Sugar activates the pleasure centers in our brain at a higher level than heroin or cocaine. It is highly addictive. Sugar causes inflammation, is readily converted to fat, and will not make you feel satisfied. Processed and packaged foods are high in added sugar. An easy way to control added sugar is to follow the tips above. Controlling added sugar is essential for long-term weight management.
If your goal is long-term weight management, to have more energy, to feel great, and reduce your risk for things like diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease, then reboot your diet with the tips above.
Dr. Wendy Henrichs is a board certified chiropractor and nutrition counselor at Timber Land Chiropractic in Rhinelander. For a complimentary chiropractic, nutrition or lifestyle counseling consultation, visit TimberlandChiropractic.com, Facebook, or call 715-362-4852.