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Do you have questions, concerns or doubts on a nutrition related topic?

Send Your Personal Dietitian your query in the comment space below, and know you will receive an answer from a qualified professional.

 

3 Comments

  1. Paulo Evora July 23, 2013 at 11:45 - Reply

    Ola!
    My name is Paulo. I’ve been a fan of the atkins since i can remember. It always works on me. I’m able to lose at lot of wheight and it´s easy to follow. My biggest problem is when i stop dieting. Once i start introducing carbs the pounds i lost start creeping back in. At the moment i’m on atkins but i can’t go on forever so i decided to try something different once i’m over. Any ideas? All my dieting has been on my own and i’ve never consulted a professional (maybe that’s the problem).
    Obrigado,
    Paulo

    • Your Personal Dietitian July 24, 2013 at 15:29 - Reply

      Hi Paulo, and thanks for your question. Many studies have shown us that the Atkins diet actually is a great way to drop weight rapidly. It is also a great way to experience large fluctuations in weight once a person becomes bored or worn out with its limitations. Many dieters find themselves exactly in your situation after a few months trial, and a large number find themselves at an even heavier weight once they resume their normal eating patterns.

      Basically, the same concept to achieve weight loss that we have harped for years “reduce dietary energy intake (calories) below the energy needs of the body” still applies. But studies have shown us some differences in the rate of weight loss obtained. We see that by the consumption of ad libitum low carbohydrate diet and reduced calorie diets both result in lower caloric intake. The low carbohydrate diets resulted in greater body weight loss and fat loss in the first six months, but this same comparison of studies also revealed that after one year these differences are no longer significant (1), This provides evidence that low carb dieting may be beneficial short term, perhaps mainly by motivation with the rapid weight loss results seen, but with all things considered (ketosis related side effects, may decrease ability to concentrate, low in healthy fruits, vegetables and fiber, difficult to maintain, etc.) there needs to be a better long-term diet answer.

      My recommendation for you is to begin looking at your goal to achieve and maintain your desired weight as a “lifestyle change” instead of a “diet”. It appears you have concluded you cannot sustain a diet with so little carbohydrates, and no one is faulting you for that. With low carbohydrate dieting you miss out on a lot of great and nutritious foods.

      You can start by looking at your current daily habits. I recently attended a conference on Adult Weight Management for health professionals. Professionals from all areas of health and research presented on a wide variety of topics related to body weight. Everybody wants to know the same thing, and yes, even we health professionals continue searching for this answer: What are the secrets to losing weight and keeping it off? To answer this, the best we can do is study those who have had success in weight loss and follow the latest research findings. Below I have highlighted some of the conference’s conclusions with my own added commentaries and sited research. You may use it as a guide in your quest for weight loss and maintenance.

      Get at least 8 hours of sleep. A 2010 study by the Annals of Internal Medicine found that amount of sleep contributes to the maintenance of fat-free body mass and lack of sufficient sleep may compromise the efficacy of typical dietary interventions for weight loss. (2) And to state the obvious, sleeping sufficiently provides you with more energy, a better chance to plan out your day with a clear mind to make healthier lifestyle decisions.

      Eat breakfast daily. Studies have shown that many people who are overweight tend to skip this meal. It also deems important in weight maintenance. In the National Weight Control Registry study, of the participants who have maintained 30 pounds or more of weight loss for a minimum of one year, 78 percent of them eat breakfast daily.(3)

      Exercise. You do not have to be a marathoner or gym warrior to retrieve the benefits of exercise. Just 30-60 minutes of walking (yes WALKING) in your day can make a difference. Try walking to more places rather than driving, such as the grocery store, work, post office, etc. Before getting into your car, ask yourself, is it possible to walk or bike to where you are going? You may split up your walk or workout times throughout the day. The best thing about walking (provided you have no physical limitations) is there is no equipment required and you can do it anywhere, so no excuses. Of course, the more you put forth to physical activity and higher calorie burning exercises, the better results you will see, but any change from the sedentary lifestyle is beneficial. Choose an exercise goal that is most achievable for you.

      Try writing down what you eat. A study published in 2008 in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that keeping a food journal can help to double a person’s weight loss results. It also helps to provide self-accountability when seeking a more balanced, lower calorie diet. The more days per week a diary is kept, the better the weight loss results. (4)

      Weigh yourself weekly at a minimum. A new study found significantly greater weight loss results in participants who weighed themselves daily when compared to other participants who did not. (5) There also are significant findings that weekly self-weighing helps persons maintain weight loss. (6)

      Find Support. Going down the path of change is never easy. It takes time to form new habits. The people we are around daily help influence these habits. Do you have a friend, family member or co-worker looking to make a lifestyle change as well? Partner up with others, share your goals with them and help each other stick to newer, healthier changes. Maybe you could find a walking partner and make plans to walk 5 days per week together.

      You may also find help through online support. Free programs such as myfitnesspal.com allow you to keep an online food record, track daily calories, and join forums. It also provides the option of having your friends join, they can see things like whether or not you have logged your food intake for the day, allowing you to keep tabs on each other.

      We live in a world where information is just a google search away from us. Unfortunately, this information is not always reliable, and it could lead us down the wrong path. If you’d like further support for your own personal goals and challenges as well as a diet plan completely tailored to you, I would be honored to assist, whether an online consult or in person.

      Never give up. Do not let the fear of past failure stop you from moving forward. Set small, achievable goals daily and relish in each accomplishment.

  2. Paulo July 30, 2013 at 20:22 - Reply

    Hello! Thank you for taking your time to help me on this issue. this is a lot of information. As soon as i reach my goal (i only need to drop 30 lbs. i was 279lbs when i started. at the moment i’m 195lbs) i’ll call you to schedule my first official nutrition counseling appointment….its about time! Once again, thank you for your advice. i’m looking forward to it. Paulo

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