In my practice as a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist I have counseled many patients on weight loss. There are similarities that I recognize as causing long term success or failure. This article will share my conclusions to identify the reasons for success or failure.
It is my responsibility to help my patients “to get real” with themselves. What does that mean? Keeping a journal with time, portions of food, beverage and water consumed, in addition to keeping track of amounts of activity is the best first step to accept and recognize if they are helping or hurting themselves. This usually is met with mixed reactions. There are those patients that do not do their journaling and after many months return to my office with additional weight gains. They finally realize this accountability is necessary and both becomes self evident and necessary for positive changes to occur. Every patient is different in their metabolic needs and journaling enables me to fine tune their menus. It also simplifies their lives.
So let’s examine accountability. I have heard every excuse imaginable. It is my job to help my patients succeed and I need to unveil truths. In terms of food and beverage choices, I provide education on the importance of clean food. That does not mean, boring tasteless meals. Clean food is simple but tasty. The addition of herbs and marinades can enhance basic food groups. It does mean reading labels to know exactly what you are putting into your body. Who can substantiate using harmful ingredients? Knowing that ingredients are listed in the order of amounts in products can help determine good or poor choices. Knowing that the food industry is clever in disguising ingredients like sugar, salt and fat with so many different names can aid in not choosing to buy those products which not only will help with weight loss but also can send a clear message to manufacturers that the public is becoming a very knowledgeable consumer and they will have to be more compliant with their products. Using chemicals to provide extended shelf life or offering products to eat and drink are not real food not only creates intestinal issues but in many cases creates more cravings for sugar, salt and fat laden products.
Now let us look at activity. The busiest people in the world that are also successful have learned to budget their time and prioritize their activities. What does that exactly mean? Learning to dedicate one day each week to look at the week ahead and block out time for exercise has been proven to be an important health enhancing activity. Research and statistics cite blood pressure being lowered with regular exercise. In addition, stress is perceived and dealt with in more positive manners. Interpersonal relations can improve with one’s responsibility to take good care of themselves. I have noticed that when my patients take the time to plan their lives they also become more compassionate with others. The realization that achieving goals is very hard work gives them the ability to be more forgiving of their peers that “don’t get it yet”. Of course weight loss usually follows which improves self esteem and reinforces a more positive outlook which translates not only in business but also in relationships with family and friends.
I hope this article provided some positive thoughts and I would appreciate hearing from you with any questions or concerns. I am available for consultation and counseling and look forward to that opportunity. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone below.