There is no single food, drink, or magic pill for achieving optimal health.
What is most important is a person’s overall lifestyle. Making health-conscious choices is crucial to maintaining good health and quality of life. A healthy lifestyle consists of regular physical activity and an eating pattern chosen to meet individual nutrient needs within calorie limits.
The ultimate objective of our Medical Weight Loss Program is to instill positive lifestyle changes within our patients. Not only do we want patients to lose weight while in the program, we want them to keep the weight off after completing the program.
Let’s face it—“crash dieting” does not work!
Whether you are trying to lose weight or maintain your current weight, it is equally important to healthy foods with adequate nutrition.
First and foremost, eliminate processed foods from your kitchen. This includes frozen T.V. dinners, imitation meats (e.g. chicken “nuggets”, corn dogs, etc.), and refined carbohydrates like chips and crackers. Many processed foods contain harmful additives, excess sugars, and are loaded with saturated and trans-fats. Instead, choose whole foods.
What are whole foods?
Whole foods are those which are unprocessed in nature, or very minimally processed. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes, for example, retain their fiber as well as the whole range of beneficial phytochemicals and nutrients that are often removed in processed foods.
Our bodies are most efficient when we consume food that is in its natural form. For example, when your body digests a potato chip, your blood sugar increases, resulting in the release of insulin shortly afterward. Since the potato chip is a considered a simple carbohydrate, a high amount of insulin will be released. Research has shown that high insulin levels over time lead to insulin sensitivity and consequently, obesity. This can cause chronic inflammation, and the inflammation puts stress on the body. Also, think of what your energy feels like after eating potato chips or some pizza. You probably feel tired, lethargic, and may even feel bloated.
If we lower the amount of stress we put on the body and its processes, it will make our lives easier.
But why do manufacturers process food, anyways?
There are many reasons for this—one of the main reasons being to increase the flavors in the food, making it more attractive to our taste buds so that we will keep buying the product. Processing foods helps to give products a longer shelf life and raise the convenience factor, particularly appealing to busy lifestyles. However, these foods are usually very high in calories, added fats and sugars, and sodium.
Additional health benefits of whole foods:
Consuming foods that are unprocessed, or very minimally processed, helps to retain the necessary vitamins, minerals, fiber and water that is often removed when foods are processed. You will also feel better when you eat whole foods, providing the natural energy you need for daily activities!
Artificial coloring, preservatives, and flavors are usually added to food during processing, all of which have negative impacts on your health. In addition, consumption of processed foods has been linked to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type II diabetes because of the loads of added sugars, salt, and trans-fats.
By now, you should know that “eating well” does not mean constant dieting. It is instead a lifestyle, a behavior, an eating attitude. We understand the difficulty in making these lifestyle changes, and this is why we are here to help. Call us today at 941-749-0741 to learn more information about our weight loss program!