Diet is an important component of weight loss. There are many reasons to lose weight including wellness, decreasing risk for diabetes, decreasing risk of cardiovascular disease, relief from joint pain and the list goes on.
We have all heard that we need to eat a “healthy diet”, but what is a healthy diet? Here are some recommendations, however,this is not meant to replace your personal provider’s dietary recommendations for you. If you have specific health concerns or are being treated with medications speak with your provider before making changes. How many calories each person needs in a day is based on age, gender, height, activity, and weight.
- Aim to eat at least 5-6 servings of vegetables a day and 1-2 servings of fruit.
- A serving is one cup of raw vegetable or ½ cup cooked.
- Aim for non-starchy vegetables such as asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, leafy greens, mushrooms, salad greens, spinach, snap peas, tomatoes, zucchini etc.
- Limit Carbs, such as breads, pasta, noodles, tortillas, bagels, pretzels, crackers, muffins, granola, cereal & chips. Better carbohydrate choices are sweet potatoes, yams, squash, beans (pinto, black beans, lentils) and high fiber foods.
- Choose lean protein for example chicken, eggs, tofu, low fat cottage cheese, fish & lean beef.
- Healthier fats include olive oil (1-2 TBSP), fish oil (omega 3), avocado (4 TBSP), nuts (peanuts, almonds, pistachios), peanut butter or nut butter (1 TBSP). Limit to a few servings a day.
- Drink water before meals, when thirsty and aim for at least 8 cups a day.
- AVOID: soda, juice, sugary drinks and processed food (pre-made meals, hamburger helper, fast food, and store made baked goods, muffins, cakes, or cookies).
- Limit alcohol. For women 1 drink a day, which is 5 oz of wine, 12 oz of beer, or 1.5 oz of liquor and for men up to 2 drinks per day.
If you would like to discuss weight loss further or other options for weight loss in addition to diet and exercise please schedule an appointment.
Sarah Derrig ARNP