WEIGHT LOSS DIET

There are two nutritional goals to attain through a weight reduction diet. They are 1) achievement and maintenance of appropriate body weight, and 2) good nutrition.  Basic weight reduction diet principles are identical to the "good nutrition" concepts advertised to the American public at large. These are often referred to as Dietary Guidelines for Americans as published by the United States Department of Agriculture and include the following:


EAT A VARIETY OF FOODS

Eating a wide variety of foods will increase the probability of obtaining the proper balance of the 40 or more essential nutrients as well as reducing the exposure to excessive contaminants and questionable food additives found in any one food.

Food selection should include fresh fruits and vegetables; whole grain and enriched breads, cereals and grain products; nonfat and low fat milk products; lean meats, poultry, fish, and eggs; nuts and legumes (dried peas and beans).

 

It is important to include fresh foods as frequently as possible to avoid the salt, fat, sugar, food additives, and low fiber content of processed foods.

 

A safe weight loss of 1/2 to 2 pounds per week can best be achieved by a combination of a reduced calorie intake and increased exercise. Increasing your activity level by walking, swimming, or just taking the stairs rather than the elevator will enhance your weight loss efforts. However, remember that the primary way to achieve weight loss is by reducing calorie intake. It takes a lot of physical activity to burn off calories. Walking 3 MPH for 1 hour or playing golf for 1 hour only burns up 320 calories; running at 5.5 MPH for 1 hour only burns up 700 calories, or about 1/5 pound! Check with your physician before beginning a strenuous training program.


AVOID TOO MUCH FAT, SATURATED FAT, AND CHOLESTEROL

There is a strong correlation between total fat in the diet and the incidence of breast cancer, colon cancer, obesity, and heart disease. Dietary fat intake can be lowered by using the following guidelines. Choose fish and poultry instead of red meats and cheese. If you do choose a red meat, avoid ground meats, which are generally high in fat, and choose leaner cuts of meat. Use plant sources of protein such as legumes, lentils, dried beans, and split peas. Remove visible fat from meat and skin from poultry before cooking or eating it. Limit the use and amount of butter, margarine, salad dressings, and oils. Roast meat on a rack, bake it, broil it, or stew it rather than frying. Discard all fat droppings from meats. Be aware of hidden fats in foods such as French fries, chips, cheese, nuts, avocados, luncheon meats, whole milk, chocolate, ice cream, pastries and croissants.

 

Blood cholesterol levels may influence the amount of fat that deposits on the inner walls of arteries causing them to be inflexible and narrowed which in turn can obstruct the flow of blood (termed atherosclerosis). This may lead to a heart attack or stroke. Both saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet may lead to increased blood cholesterol levels.

 

Cholesterol is found only in animal products and is particularly high in eggs and organ meats. The fat in red meats, milk products, coconut and palm oils, hydrogenated vegetable shortenings and chocolate are primarily saturated.


EAT FOODS WITH ADEQUATE STARCH & FIBER

Complex carbohydrates (starches and fiber) are found in fresh vegetables, legumes (dried peas and beans), nuts, and whole grains (whole wheat, brown rice, barley, bulgar, oats, rye, millet, and cornmeal). Foods containing these complex carbohydrates are excellent sources of fiber as well as vitamins and minerals.


A long term low fiber intake may be a causative factor in cancer of the colon, constipation and other intestinal disorders.



AVOID TOO MUCH SUGAR

All people should limit their intake of sugar. The harmful effects of sugar are manifested in dental disease (rampant cavity formation in children and gum disease in adults), worsening diabetes, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and obesity. Nutrient deficiencies can occur when high sugar content foods which contain calories and few other nutrients are eaten in place of foods higher in nutritional value. Foods high in sugar include table sugar, honey, syrup, pies, cakes, cookies, pastries, and sugar coated breakfast cereals. There are 9 teaspoons of sugar in a can of soda pop!


Naturally occurring sugars are found in fruit and milk which are also high in many other nutrients.


AVOID TOO MUCH SODIUM (SALT)

Excessive sodium consumption may cause or aggravate high blood pressure. Even though sodium is an essential nutrient, more than adequate amounts can be obtained from fresh, unsalted foods.

 

The primary source of sodium in the American diet is table salt (sodium chloride); although it is also found in MSG, antacids, baking soda, baking powder, and some food additives. It is important to look for the word sodium on food labels.

 

To reduce sodium intake, it is necessary to decrease the salt added during cooking and at the table and to use sparingly highly salted foods such as cured, canned and processed meats; canned vegetables; canned and dried soups; condiments such as catsup, mustard, soy sauce and steak sauce; pickles; olives; and salty snacks.


IF YOU DRINK ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, DO SO IN MODERATION

Alcohol, like fat and sugar, is a dense source of calories. Excessive alcohol consumption may lower appetites for foods that contain essential nutrients. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies may occur because of poor food intake as well as alcohol's ability to alter the absorption and utilization of nutrients.

 

Heavy drinking by pregnant women has been linked to birth defects and mental retardation of children. A safe level of alcohol consumption for pregnant women has not yet been established, so total abstinence is the only completely safe decision a pregnant woman can make.

 

Cancers of the head and neck are much more common among people who drink and smoke than those who do not. Fewer than two drinks per day is considered moderate consumption.


HOW TO DEVELOP A WEIGHT REDUCTION DIET FROM THE EXCHANGE LIST

The accompanying Exchange Lists for Meal Planning groups foods into divisions based upon their nutritional content. The nutritional groups are starch/bread, meat/meat substitutes, vegetables, fruits, milk, and fat. Most of the foods you eat on a daily basis are listed in the book under one of these groups. Serving sizes of each of these food items, along with the calorie content of a single serving are also noted. You should take a few minutes to do a mental recall of everything you have eaten for the last three days, estimate the amount of each food item eaten, and look up its total calorie content. By adding up the calories, you can estimate what your calorie intake has been over this period of time. Dividing this by three gives you an average daily calorie intake for yourself.  A complete Exchange List for Meal Planning is available elsewhere on this web site.

 

A pound of body fat is the equivalent of 3500 calories, so if you cut your daily calorie intake by just 375 calories per day, all other things being equal, you will lose 3/4 pound of body weight per week.

 

Therefore, you should take your average daily calorie intake as calculated above and subtract from it 375 calories. This will establish a calorie intake that will allow you to lose 1/2 to 1 pound of body weight per week. Once you have estimated what this calorie intake should be, go back to the Exchange Lists for Meal Planning and work out for yourself how many servings per day of each of the nutritional food groups you may have given this new calorie restriction. There is a worksheet for this available elsewhere on this web site.  Then plan your meals according to this dietary prescription.

 

The most important principles to follow with this diet are 1) WEIGH and MEASURE EVERYTHING, and 2) do NOT deviate from the diet. A calorie restriction of only 375 calories per day is not very noticeable, but followed carefully over a 6 month period of time would allow you to lose almost 20 pounds! However, fall off the diet or eat an extra meal or dessert, and you can set yourself back by almost a week!

 

Once you start on your new diet, chart your weight on the Weight Response chart (see brloew). Notice that weight loss is listed on the left hand side of the chart. Time in weeks is listed along the bottom of the chart. You can plot your weight on the chart each week. If you fall above the ideal weight loss line, you should cut your calorie intake by 100 to 200 calories. If you fall below the ideal weight loss line, you can eat a few more calories per day. In this way, you will self-direct a weight reduction plan tailored to your individual needs.

 

Obviously, determination and consistency is the only way to accomplish the goals of this kind of diet. In truth, though, no matter WHAT kind of diet you follow, once you get your weight down to the desired level, you must use self-discipline and consistency to maintain your lower weight. Most diets fail in the end because people cannot maintain consistency in eating habits. This diet simply starts you off with these good habits. It is unlikely that you will be able to maintain your lower weight no matter what kind of diet you follow, if you do not develop consistency in your eating habits. On the other hand, if you follow the principles of this diet, there is no way to fool yourself. You will succeed with it.

 

Accomplishing your nutritional goals need not be miserable or difficult. Meal planning can be tailored to your individual nutritional needs and your specific food preference. I can help you establish a nutrition prescription and meal plan designed especially for you. If necessary, I can also refer you to a trained dietician for individual counselling and meal planning. Good eating habits based on moderation and variety will help you attain and maintain optimal health.

 

DIETARY PRESCRIPTION CHART

The following chart indicates how many servings of each of the 6 food groups you can have on a daily basis to achieve the caloric intake listed in the left hand column. Serving sizes are defined in the Exchange Lists for Meal Planning at the beginning of each food group section. Foods from the meat/meat substitute list are considered to be lean meats. Foods from the milk group are considered to be low fat.

 

Daily Calorie Allowance
Starch/Bread
Meat Substitutes
Vegetables
Fruit
Milk
Fat
2000
7
7
9
5
2.5
5
1900
7
7
5
5
2.5
5
1800
6
7
4.5
5
2.5
5
1700
5
6
6
5
2.5
5
1600
5
6
6
4
2.5
4
1500
5
6
4
4
2
3
1400
5
6
4
4
2
2
1300
5
5
4
4
2
1
1200
4
5
5
4
2
0
1100
3.5
5
5
3
2
0
900
2
5
4
3
1.5
0
800
2
5
2.5
2
1.5
0
700
1
4
4
2
1.5
0
600
1
4
5
4
4
0
500
1
4
4
1
1
0

 

 

WEIGHT REDUCTION CHART

The weight reduction curve that you should attain has been indicated on this chart. You should mark your own progress by weighing yourself once a week (at the same time and on the same scale) and putting a dot on the proper place. Thus you can compare your weight with the planned loss.

 

Exchange Lists for Meal Planning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revised 9/08


 


 

 

ŠTed A. Tobey, M.D., Inc. ~ All Rights Reserved