Dieting in the New Year
A new year, a new you. As we close out the holidays and look to enter a new year, many of us take this opportunity to reflect on the challenges of the past and hopes for the future.
The past two years of pandemic have illustrated the devastating consequences of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Today, not only adults, but also 1 in 5 CHILDREN are obese and have high risk of developing the aforementioned illnesses. Even before the pandemic, scientific models were projecting that today’s children will live neither as long nor as well as their parents largely due to obesity and its consequences. It is no surprise then, that there has been a proliferation of new fad diets, especially over the internet.
Over the past year, many patients have come to me to talk about how diet and exercise can prevent or reverse these health issues. While the topic of diet and nutrition is vast and can be rather complicated, there are some simple tips I would like to share pertaining to this subject.
- Weight loss is 90% diet. It is a common misconception that if you want to lose weight, you should exercise more. While exercise is a very important part of being healthy and making your body strong, it will not cause practical weight loss. Running 1 mile will burn 100 calories, or roughly 1 Chips Ahoy cookie. That is a lot of work for a cookie. Much easier to not eat the cookie.
- Diets are a lifestyle adjustment: you can make this as easy or as hard as you would like.
- You can eat whatever you want.
- Diet changes need to be made within the context of a family or a community.
- Give yourself 24 cheat days a year, but keep in mind that you’re probably going to need most of them for Thanksgiving through December.
For those of you interested in serious weight loss, a personalized program of diet and exercise will likely work best for you. A registered dietician (R.D.) or a Certified Diabetes Educator (C.D.E) is a person who has received training in helping people achieve their nutritional goals. They specialize in creating a personalized dietary regimen for you that will maximize your ability to achieve your optimal weight. Sometimes this can take multiple visits, and they follow along with you through the course of your journey and can help you adjust your plan to any challenges that occur along the way.
Dr. Joshi is a resident physician who sees patients of all ages and provides obstetrical services at Lone Star Family Health Center, a non-profit 501(c)3 Federally Qualified Health Center operating facilities in Conroe, Spring, Willis, Grangerland, and Huntsville, and serving as home to a fully integrated Family Medicine Residency Program to increase the number of Family Medicine physicians for Texas and our community.