I've gained weight since starting WPI. What can I do to lose that weight?
Many people assume dieting is the answer to losing weight. By dieting I mean restricting calories or following ridged rules about food intake.
Here are the facts; dieting for weight loss is usually counter productive.
Restricting intake can make you want/crave and think about food more often and lead to unhealthy behaviors.
So, if dieting isn’t the answer what is?
- Make sure you are eating enough fruits and veggies. Are you eating 2 or more pieces of fruit (or cups of fruit) daily? Are you eating enough vegetables? Most people need about 3 cups of veggies daily (more if salad is your favorite veggie source). If you are not getting enough of these fiber and nutrient rich foods work on increasing your intake of these foods. Usually when you work on increasing these foods they start to take the place of less healthful foods like chips, cookies, muffins, etc.
- Are you getting 3 serving a day of dairy/dairy alternative foods? May people get more than 3 servings a day between milk, cream, yogurt, cheeses, ice cream, pudding, cottage cheese, etc. If you are currently getting more or less than the 3-a-day suggestion, work on getting to the 3 servings. Consuming took much or not enough of these foods will affect your metabolism.
- If you are eating all of the recommended amounts of fruits and veggies and getting 3 servings from the milk group daily and you are still gaining weight, you may be eating more protein and/or carbohydrates than your body needs. If this is the case it is recommended not to decrease intake by more than 200 calories every few weeks. If you cut of the carbs and the protein too fast, the way many fad diets suggest, your body will sense deprivation. Nothing good will come of a nutritionally deprived college student! Identify about 200 calories worth of food you will need or miss.
- Eating and weight is an emotional, medical and social issue. There is a lot of misinformation out there. If you want the facts and specific help with your situation, come and see me, Kelly Stellato, Registered Dietitian, WPI Health Services. I will help you identify ways to lose weight in a mindful and permanent way. Losing weight is not easy, be kind to yourself and make changes that you can sustain. Eating healthfully should feel good to your body and mind!
Kelly Stellato MS, RD, LDN is available in Health Services.
Nutrition visits are free of change!