Mar 23 , 2021
A Successful Weight Loss Plan
This time of year, many of us may be thinking about how to successfully lose weight – especially if we’ve experienced unintentional weight gain over this past year. People are usually more successful with weight loss when a diet plan is tailored to their own unique macro and micronutrient needs - an individualized approach is key.
What really works for long-term weight loss?
Most nutrition experts (Registered Dietitians, Nutritionists, and evidence-based health organizations) would agree on these 9 strategies for long-term healthy weight loss.
- An overall balanced diet with emphasis on whole grains, lean proteins,
healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables.
- PROTEIN/FIBER at each meal.
- Water Hydration.
- More whole foods – choose fresh over processed.
- Moderation: saturated fats, sodium, sugar, & alcohol.
- Include important nutrients.
- Moderation – but not over restriction of healthy carbohydrates.
- Lifestyle that promotes healthy food relationships, good sleep, stress
management, and body movement.
- Accountability plan: a health professional/ dietitian, supportive community,
or a tracking/ journaling system. Share your goals with someone.
What we choose to eat for a healthy weight goes beyond “calories in – calories out”. An effective diet covers all the bases by maximizing “your'' nutrient needs for better sleep, good mood brain chemicals, hormone and insulin support, and a body that can feel energized for movement. These will all indirectly affect achieving a healthy weight.
What about all the trendy diets?
There are hundreds of weight loss diets out there calling for our attention. And the reality is that most diets — the good and bad — will help you shed pounds in the short term. But the difference is in keeping it off with a doable plan that fits your lifestyle. Also, important to consider is a plan that protects your overall physical & mental health and your metabolism along the way.
How can you evaluate what’s right for you?
I won’t go into detail about all of the diets out there (and boy there are 100’s) but when choosing how to trim down without compromising your health, ask these questions:
– Can you get the nutrients you need while following this diet?
– Is there “wiggle” room to support you emotionally and socially?
– Does the diet encourage lifestyle recommendations that support sleep, stress
management, movement and behavior strategies for success?
– Does the plan protect your overall physical & mental health and your
metabolism along the way?
– Can you follow a trendy diet but “tweak” it some with a Registered Dietitian
to make sure your health needs are supported?
What can you do starting today?
Begin by assessing the balance of your diet. A good balance can leave your appetite satisfied so that your portions stay in check. A balanced diet not only helps your metabolism, hormones, and blood sugars but also gives you the energy you need for healthy movement later on.
You can assess your overall balance by looking at your plate and asking these questions:
- Is there a protein source? Meats, eggs, seafood, tofu, beans,
or nuts for example.
- Is there a fiber source? Fruits, vegetables, or whole grains.
- How are your carbohydrate portion sizes? Often the typical American diet is excessive in carbohydrate portions. Think of a tennis ball size as an average serving guide. Ideally carbohydrate type foods should provide 2-3 servings per meal. Even better would be if your carbohydrate choices include a good amount of fiber on the label.
- Choose healthy fats over saturated fats. Saturated fats are typically found in red meats, cheese, fried foods, treats made with butter, or soups, dressing, & sauces made with cream.
Regardless of whether you want to lose weight or if you just want to eat healthier, visit with a registered dietitian to make sure you are getting the nutrients that you need. At Fluid Health and Fitness, we help people navigate individualized plans for success. This includes personalized strategies and support needed for long term success.
Jen Sletten RDN, MA
Registered Dietitian / Nutritionist
Masters in Counseling Psychology