So Your Journey Begins . . .
Think of your liposuction procedure as the beginning of a trip. This is the part where you obtain your passport, purchase your tickets, and reserve your hotel; these are only preparatory steps, but they alone are not the journey. Now that you have had your liposuction or your SculptEase™, your journey has begun!
To keep your body healthy and maintain your great appearance, your journey is now a lifelong process of implementing and maintaining healthy habits. Significant parts of healthful behaviors include what you eat and how you choose to be physically active. It is important to remember that habits are developed over a lifetime, and changing these habits requires patience, dedication, and time.
First Evaluate Your Eating Habits?
A good starting place to making eating habit changes is to first know what it is that you eat. For two or three days, list all the foods and the amounts that you eat in the chart below. Identify by a check mark in the food group columns whether the item is a grain, vegetable, fruit, milk, meat/bean, or a discretionary food.
Once you have identified your eating pattern you can compare that information with patterns below:
|1400||5 oz equivalent||1 ½ cups||1 ½ cups||2 cups||4 oz equivalent||4 teaspoons||171|
|1800||6 oz equivalent||2 ½ cups||1 ½ cups||3 cups||5 oz equivalent||5 teaspoons||195|
|2000||6 oz equivalent||2 ½ cups||2 cups||3 cups||5 ½ oz equivalent||6 teaspoons||265|
Comparing your eating pattern with the information in the above chart will also give a rough estimate of the number of calories you consume each day. There are a variety of web sites and software programs that can also help you keep track of your total calories and the nutrients you consume but many do not provide a guideline in terms of the variety of foods that you should be consuming, this simple system gives you some guidelines with which to do so. A variety in your eating pattern helps to ensure that a good mixture of nutrients is consumed.
While many commercial nutrition programs advertise attractive diets, glycemic index, low carbohydrate, high protein, low fat, food for your blood type, and food mixing, to name a few, the common thread among them all is that they all control the total number of calories consumed. If you eat more calories than your body needs, and it does not matter whether it is in the form of carbohydrates, fat or protein, these nutrients will be ultimately stored as fat. Also, the number of meals consumed outside the home and the complexity of the foods available also add to the difficulty of figuring out how to develop good eating habits.
Our current environment provides us with large quantities of calorically dense foods. A recent client was quite surprised to find that a Chicken Panini sandwich at a restaurant that she frequented had 890 calories and 43 grams of fat, so it should not be surprising that an Italian sandwich at the same restaurant had 1110 calories and 56 grams of fat. Why was this startling? Well, averages for calorie intake range from 1500 to 2000 calories with 50 to 70 grams of fat, so this one sandwich would consume more than half the day’s calories and more than 80% of the day’s fat requirements.
While a great deal of time is spent focusing on calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat, a discussion on vitamins and minerals is important. Vitamins and minerals are the nutrients that are important in allowing carbohydrates, protein, and fat to do their jobs well. Many of our vitamins and minerals are found in fruits and vegetables. A good rule of thumb is to look at your plate, if it appears all white or brown; chances are it is low in vitamins and minerals. A plate that is high in vitamins and minerals has a lot of color. A question that is generally raised at this point of the discussion is should I take a multivitamin/mineral supplement? A general multivitamin/mineral supplement may be taken since the eating habits for many individuals are less than ideal. Supplementing with individual vitamins or minerals should be done under supervision since there is the potential for interactions.
It is possible to successfully lose weight on any program or on restricting any food or food group; the measure of success is rather, whether the weight loss is maintained. “Diets” imply a program that will be followed for only a while and then terminated, but “diets” are only as successful as the length of time that they are followed. It is the goal of Nutrition Therapy (or Medical Nutrition Therapy, if indicated) to not only provide nutrition education and guidance but also counseling to facilitate and maintain change. A Registered Dietitian and/or Licensed Nutritionist, as a part of your healthcare team, is able to assist you in establishing and meeting your long and short term goals for weight and health management.
Dr. Kaye-Ann Taylor, Ed.D., RD, LD/N, is a member of:
- American Dietetic Association
Practice Groups in - Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition; and Weight and Pediatric Nutrition Management
- Florida Dietetic Association
- East Central Dietetic Association
- East Orlando Chamber of Commerce
For more information on nutrition and exercise visit www.nutritionandexerciseworks.com