Did You Get Doctor's Orders to Lose Weight?
These are the words almost everyone dreads hearing from the family doctor: "You need to lose some weight." Take heart; weight loss is within your reach. Even small steps, taken consistently, can help you get to your goal.
Take Baby Steps
You probably already know that losing weight can improve your appearance, the fit of your clothes and your health. What you might not know is that even a little weight loss makes a difference. Research has shown that when people who are obese lose even five percent of their body weight, healthy metabolic changes occur. Set a reasonable goal; once you've achieved it, you can look to a new goal.
Eating is a habit, and a necessary one. Unlike other potentially unhealthy habits — think smoking — you can't go cold turkey. Problem is, it's often a mindless habit. Put your focus on that habit by keeping a food diary for a while. You may be amazed at how often you reach for high-calorie, low-nutrition snacks. You will also be surprised at how just thinking about and tracking what you're eating makes you more likely to make different choices. Awareness helps foster change.
Although doctors spend years learning about the human body, very little of their training is on nutrition. A 2006 study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found the average doctor got less than 24 hours of nutrition training in four years of medical school. Unless your doctor is one of the few who acquired training in nutrition through extra courses or some other means, you'll need to find some other resources. One important key is to eat real food. A second is a good support system. Keep taking those small steps, and you can do just what the doctor ordered.
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