Welcome to Nutrition Corner!
Nutritional education and behavior modification is an integral part of a successful weight loss surgery program. As we emphasize in the Mount Sinai Program for Surgical Weight Loss, the surgery is “only a tool.” It must be used properly in conjunction with a proper dieting and exercise program in order to obtain the best possible result.
This section will be updated on a frequent basis. In this edition of Nutrition Corner, Mount Sinai nutritionist Mimi Harrison addresses the issue of getting into shape.
Weight Loss Plateaus (Nutrition Corner #1)
Current Topic: Getting in Shape
Many people put on weight over the winter season. Why is this?
1) The holiday season often tempts us into eating more calories – parties, holiday meals, and often extra food lying around the office.
2) It’s cold! It’s a lot harder to motivate yourself to get to the gym when the temperatures outside never make it above freezing.
3) We crave comfort foods – in the colder months, many people prefer heavier foods (carbs, fattier meats, etc.) rather than fresher, lighter foods (salads, lean protein choices, and fruits) they may choose in warmer weather.
April rolls around and we realize we have to get those pounds off in time to fit into those spring and summer clothes. What is the best way to get back on track?
1) Make a plan, and start TODAY, not tomorrow or “Monday morning.”
2) Look at your cabinets and inside your refrigerator. Remember, it’s hard to make smart food choices if the kitchen isn’t stocked with lots of fruit, veggies, and lean protein choices.
3) Set realistic goals. Remember, if you’ve gained a few extra pounds, you can take them off slowly and reasonably. It’s NOT the end of the world. Crash dieting or severe calorie restriction is NOT the answer. The American Dietetic Association recommends losing weight at a rate of ½ pound – 2 pounds per week, but not more than that!
4) Remember that 100% deprivation never works long term. Allow yourself a small treat on a regular basis. For instance, if you LOVE sweets (and you don’t suffer from dumping syndrome) allowing yourself a small taste of something sweet on occasion can help make the routine of healthy eating very enjoyable. Remember only to indulge in moderation though. If you find sweets to be “trigger foods,” consider keeping them out of the house, and only allowing them occasionally outside the house.
5) Treat yourself in non-food related ways. When you set reasonable goals, reward yourself for achieving them! Here are some ideas: a manicure, a massage, a new article of clothing, or even that weekend getaway you’ve been thinking of taking – reward yourself for maintaining a healthy lifestyle!
Remember, you can always reach out for help getting back on track.