Making Good Food Choices

Making Good Food Choices

Losing weight is often a struggle for many Americans and it is difficult to keep the pounds down after dieting.  But with all the fad diets and trends, which one should you choose? Well ignore ALL of them. Stop counting calories, take a deep breath, and listen to what nature provides… REAL food.  Weight loss is not about dieting, but making good food choices, nourishing your body with what it truly craves.  People who cut back on added sugar, refined grains, and processed foods lose weight without worrying about calories or portion size.

From the New York Times: The Key to Weight Loss is Diet Quality, Not Quantity, a new study finds.  Through the Physician’s Choice Weight Loss program, Dr. Jeff Gilliam, PT, PhD, shares how JAMA’s recently published article follows the very things that we teach to our patients.  This research examined the effects of a healthy low carb diet versus a healthy low fat diet.  The hypothesis is that there are those that carry particular genes that would do better on one type of diet over the other.  However, the research lends strong support to the notion that diet quality, not quantity, is what helps people lose and manage their weight most easily in the long run.  It also suggests that health authorities should shift away from telling the public to obsess over calories and instead encourage Americans to avoid processed foods that are made with refined starches and/or added sugar, like bagels, white bread, refined flour and sugary snacks, and many beverages.

We emphasize the importance of choosing healthy foods, which Dr. Gilliam explains is the most important thing for health and weight loss, and shares why diets just do not work.  One reason is that to function normally, our bodies typically utilize the same food-weight each day; when food intake is minimized by dieting, the body is stressed to the point of indulging on late-night cravings, often consuming highly processed food products.  He adds if we simply choose high fiber, nutrient-rich foods over caloric, energy-dense sweets to satisfy our cravings, we will be less likely to gorge on chips after a day of hunger.

5 Lifestyle Changes for Good Food Choices:

  • Stop Drinking Soda!  Instead, stock up on carbonated waters like La Croix or San Pellegrino to satisfy a fizzy craving.  Try adding fresh berries to give it a natural sweetness. Or just drink more WATER!
  • Avoid Fast Food!  Instead, start meal prepping with nutritious foods and portion healthy snacks to prevent finding yourself at that drive-through window.  Sardines, almonds, leafy greens salad with fresh berries, and an apple is my “go-to” lunch. Add hot green tea to aide digestion and give the body an afternoon energy boost.
  • Buy REAL Food!  When grocery shopping, avoid processed foods and refined carbohydrates, such as doughnuts, chips, and cookies amongst the processed meals.  In addition, avoid “diet” anything! You’re not on a diet, but a lifestyle change, and “diet” foods are usually loaded with artificial sweeteners affecting your taste buds changing your perception of what sweet tastes like on real foods.  Instead, bring home carrots and/or sugar snap peas with hummus, all-natural popcorn, and sweet potatoes for snacks.
  • Avoid Dried Fruits!  Wait…but it’s fruit, right?  Well, not necessarily. Most dried fruits are loaded with added sugars and preservatives, let alone just contain far more calories per weight than its natural self.
  • Don’t Skip Breakfast! Several studies have found that people who maintain significant amounts of weight loss routinely eat breakfast.  Check out this article in Science Direct.

To conclude, if you follow these changes, chances are you will see weight loss results without stressing over counting calories or how much fat or carbohydrates are consumed.  You will most likely find yourself more energetic and alert, more confident, and overall happier by simply choosing healthy foods! It may seem like a lot at first, and there is always a speculation or stigma in which healthy eating costs more in time and money than refined food-like products, but in reality it only costs less for more calories and trans-fats.  Many nutrient-dense foods that are filling can be very budget friendly. Also, how long does it take to prepare an apple or banana? … Now we’re thinking!




Author: Corey McLeod, Strive Health and Rehabilitation