My 75-year-old client Gretchen put on ‘pandemic pounds’ like many of us did in 2020. Now she was eager to lose weight and lose it fast.
“I just want to feel better about myself and fit into my clothes again,” she told me. For that reason, she planned to try a new fad diet that promised almost immediate weight loss. However, over the years Gretchen had tried countless fad diets and supplements, from juice cleanses to the cabbage soup diet to raspberry ketones, and green tea extract. She usually lost a few pounds but inevitably gained it back…and then some.
People who don’t have long-term success with a diet – and that is about 90 percent of all dieters – often feel like failures, but there are powerful biological reasons that it’s difficult to lose weight and keep it off. Going to extremes, such as starving yourself, micromanaging every bite, and cutting out all ‘bad foods,’ is usually impossible to sustain. Instead, I encourage my clients to consult with a dietician or nutritionist who can help them set reasonable goals and create a healthy menu plan with allowances for the ‘sweet treats of life’ so that they can stick to it for the long run.
It’s also important to temper your expectations. It may have taken you years to put on 40 extra pounds. Losing it all in a month or two is unrealistic. Small, consistent changes in eating habits matter over time. Even a weight loss of 2 to 5 percent of your body weight can improve your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and energy level. The basics of healthier eating include the following:
- Eat a variety of foods.
- Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Stick to moderate portions.
- Drink plenty of fluids, mostly water.
- Plan your meals, including snacks.
- Enjoy meals with your loved ones.
Rather than dieting, look at how eating healthy foods can become a way of life. These changes should not be about winning or failing, but rather about feeling healthier and listening to what your body needs. Remember, it’s all about balance and moderation. Taking good care of yourself is a show of love, not a chore.
If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at (203) 258-2640 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to assist!