A healthy pattern of eating as your New Year’s resolution
Happy 2019! Is your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight?
An important lifestyle change to manage your weight and improve your health is to follow a healthy eating pattern.
A healthy eating pattern means choosing foods from all four food groups plus about two to three tablespoons of healthy fats such as fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils each day.
The easiest way to do this is to think of a dinner plate. Imagine the plate divided into three sections.
Half of the plate should be vegetables and fruit, a quarter of the plate grain products, and the other quarter of the plate meats and alternatives. Following a healthy eating pattern will also help you get enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients and will help reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
What about fad diets? Fad diets are very restrictive which is why they often result in very quick weight loss (most of the weight loss is water).
However, you also lose some muscle which is never a good thing.
Once you stop following the restrictive diet you are likely to regain the weight back and then some.
Why do that to yourself ? Avoid fad or harmful diets; there is no such thing as a quick fix.
Warning signs of unsafe diets are diets that:
Promise fast weight loss (more than 2 lbs or 1 kg per week)
Promise a quick fix without having to change your lifestyle (falls under the “sounds too good to be true” list)
Sell you products or supplements (what’s really in those things anyway?)
Restrict or avoid whole food groups (i.e.. milk products, grain products)
Promote only one type of food (eg. cabbage soup or only raw food)
Promote detoxing, eating foods in certain combinations, or eating for your body type or blood type.
Promotes the latest magical weight loss secret
Are promoted by unqualified people.
In general, if it sounds too easy or too good to be true, it probably is.
There is no wonder-diet, magic herbs, or supplement that will give you long term weight loss. Weight management takes time and it is not easy.
While a short term “quick-fix” may be tempting, long term lifestyle changes that you can live with will provide the biggest impact in quality of life and health.
If you are interested in some additional support to improve your health and better manage your weight, Alberta Healthy Living Weight Management Program is a great place to start!
For more information or to register for the weight management series at Alberta Healthy Living Program call: Medicine Hat 403-529-8969, Brooks 403793-6659, Toll free: 1-800-795-9709, Lethbridge area 403-388-6654 or 1-866506-6654.
Pat MacIntosh is a Registered Dietitian with Alberta Health Services, Nutrition Services. She can be reached by e-mail, pat.macin[email protected]