Maximize your health with emphasis placed on prevention and nutrition.
Obesity in Oklahoma is a growing problem. It is estimated that greater than 30% of Oklahomans are obese.
Obesity can lead to many health problems including:
- Coronary Artery Disease
Obesity is linked to several other health problems as well.
Understanding obesity can be complicated. At the very basic level it's caused by an imbalance of energy consumption versus energy expenditure. Today, most Americans consume 25% more sugar than just 25 years ago. The average size of our meals has increased as well. Compounding this problem is the lack of exercise.
Unfortunately, there is a misconception among the public about obesity. Most people think it is just a matter of willpower and that if a person just had enough will power, they would be able to lose weight. It is much more complicated than that.
Research has now identified several different mechanisms that make it difficult for some people to lose weight. We now have a greater understanding of the biochemical causes that increase appetite and energy consumption. In dealing with obesity, we have to realize that it is a disease much like diabetes or hypertension. It is not just a matter of willpower. Our genetics play an influential role in obesity. If both parents are obese, you have approximately an 80% chance of struggling with obesity. But, just because you are born with a loaded genetic gun, does not mean you have to pull the trigger. Your nutritional choices will make a major difference in the outcome.
Our Goal for You
Our goal is to help you lose weight in a way that is comprehensive and sustainable. Weight loss is never easy, but it is not complicated. If you have some basic knowledge and are motivated, you can lose weight in a healthy manner. If you can lose 10% of your body weight in 6 months you are a rock star!
As a culture, we consume too many sugars and high glycemic carbohydrates. In the carbohydrate world there are basically two types.
The Good Carbs
The good carbohydrates are called low glycemic index carbs. These are fruits and vegetables. (You will want to pick from these groups when choosing carbs.)
The Bad Carbs
The bad carbs are called high glycemic index carbs. This simply means that they turn to fat and sugar fast. These are the ones we like; breads, potatoes, pasta, rice and sugar. When you are trying to lose weight, you will want to greatly limit your consumption of these carbs.
Effects on Insulin: Carbs vs. Proteins
When you eat a carbohydrate it stimulates your insulin. When your insulin increases, it makes you feel hungry. When it declines, you feel even hungrier. So when you consume a carb, you start this insulin roller coaster ride. You eat and yet in just a little while you are hungry.
When you consume a protein, it tends to blunt the insulin response. We want you to consume lean meats for protein. This is usually fish and chicken, not fried. So, if you eat an apple for a snack (this is a low glycemic index carb) we want you to get some protein with it such as a little bit of peanut butter.
Sources of Proteins
Other practical sources of protein are nuts such as pecans or almonds. There are also good sources of protein found in protein bars and shakes. These tend to work well for meal replacements.
How Sleep Affects Weight Loss
Sleep becomes important for weight loss as well. If you are not routinely getting 7-8 hours of sleep, you will struggle with weight loss. Lack of sleep will increase your cortisol levels. This is a stress hormone that will slow your metabolism and increase the storage of adipose. Sleep is often overlooked and under valued. Strive to get at least 8 hours of sleep nightly.
Make Breakfast a Daily Staple
Breakfast is an extremely important meal for weight loss. With our fast paced and stress filled lifestyles, many skip breakfast. If you are skipping breakfast, it will make it harder to lose weight. Your body will go into “starvation” mode because it does not know when the next meal is coming. Your metabolism will slow down and your body will want to start storing fat. Skipping meals also tends to increase cortisol levels. Meal replacement shakes or bars are quick and easy for breakfast. Eggs are an excellent source of protein as well. Remember to pick lean proteins and unfortunately, bacon is not lean!
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is essential to our health and is essential for weight loss. You will need to drink at least 64 oz of water daily. Many times when you feel hungry, drinking a cold glass of water will take care of that hunger feeling. Drink plenty of water!
Exercise Plays a Part in Weight Loss
Exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. We want all of our patients to have some form of exercise. Exercise by itself is never enough for weight loss. Most of us can not exercise enough to overcome bad nutritional habits.
If you are just starting to exercise, start slow. Do not try to do too much at first. If you overdo it, your muscles will become sore and you will not want to keep exercising.
I would recommend that you focus on your core. I personally use a couple of programs in my routine. I like T-25 which is a great core work out in 25 minutes. I also like Les Mills Body Pump. These are DVD programs that can be purchased at reasonable costs and you do not need much equipment or room to use them.
The Weight Loss Equation
To lose one pound of body fat, we have to burn 3,500 calories.
The ideal rate of weight loss is about a pound a week. There are seven days in the week and so if you do the math, you have to account for 500 calories a day to lose one pound a week.
Calories: Input VS. Output
When the average person runs or walks a mile, they will burn about 100 calories. To lose one pound, you have to run 35 miles. God made our bodies extremely efficient at utilizing energy!
Most people trying to lose weight do not eat Double Fudge Oreo Cookies. These cookies have about 250 calories in each one of them (I have never eaten just one). It takes me about 10-15 seconds to get one of them down. It will take an average runner about 20-30 minutes to run off one of those cookies. So, 10 seconds for a bite and 25 minutes for the run. It is easy to see that at least from a time perspective, it is easier to control your weight by your input than by your output.
Most people tell me they do not “feel” like they eat that much. Your body will do the math. If you are overweight, you are consuming more calories than your body needs. It does not seem fair, but that is the simple truth. Weight loss is more about controlling your input than increasing your output. We want to work on both sides of the equation, but the money is on the input side.
Change in Diet
In general, for weight loss, you want to focus on a high protein and low carb diet. A Mediterranean diet that is somewhat modified to keep down the consumption of grains is a good general diet for weight loss.
Develop a Healthier Eating Schedule
So for breakfast, what do you eat? Many people will tell me they eat oatmeal and a banana for breakfast. Now there is nothing wrong with this for general health, but remember if your goal is to lose weight, you will want to have more protein to blunt the insulin response. Wake up and eat some form of protein for breakfast. Yes, eggs are ok. Drink a large glass of water as well.
About two hours later, consume more protein. Try a shake for meal replacement at lunch, and then again in a couple of hours get some protein in you. Remember to get more water through the day as well. Eat a “normal” meal for your evening meal but try not to have any bread, potato, rice, pasta, or sugar. Get a couple of servings of vegetables and one of fruit. Have lean meat but no more than 6-8 oz with your dinner.
If you feel like you need a snack, try a protein bar or some nuts or another protein shake. Avoid milk ─ that includes Starbucks drinks.
If you feel hungry, drink a glass of water first.
Many times we feel hungry and are really just thirsty. Stop drinking all sodas, including diet sodas. There really isn’t anything good that your body needs in those beverages.
Try to eat “clean” for 5-6 days of the week and relax your diet once a week or so. Maybe you will want to push hard for a two week cycle and then let up a little. Remember moderation is the key.
Make it Sustainable
Your “plan” needs to be sustainable. You will always need to pay attention to your diet. Stress makes it more difficult to control your weight. Life is too short not to celebrate on occasion. Eat a small piece of cake at the birthday party. You do not have to eat it all!
Do not let one mistake turn into another. We do this all of the time. You blow your diet at one meal and use that as an excuse to eat whatever you want the rest of the day telling yourself that you will get back on the diet tomorrow.
Have I mentioned drink more water?
When you start exercising, you may have to have a few more carbs. Carbs will provide you with quick energy for exercise. Be careful, do not overdo the carbs! If you are interested in a training plan, please discuss this with your health care provider. There are some basic principles that we can help you with to guide you to a successful training program.
If you will follow the “plan” as described above, you should enjoy your weight loss journey and be successful. Like I said, if you can lose 10% of your body weight in 6 months, you are a rock star. Your health and energy will improve. Never quit trying. Motion is lotion!
I strongly recommend Thorne Research for nutrition support. They offer high quality products at affordable prices. You can purchase some of their items in our office or online at Thorne.com to order directly from them. You will need to enter the code HCP 1050950 to be able to place an order. I personally use their protein replacement drinks, probiotics, fish oil, and multivitamins.
Enjoy your journey to an amazing life.