Rethink your lifestyle: Focus more on the quality of your diet

In 2019, 44 percent of Americans made a resolution and many times that resolution included restriction diets.  Diets are great for short term weight management, but many times restriction dieting becomes an endless loop of frustration and the excess weight returns. 

Maintained weight loss followed by improved health comes in the form of lifestyle change. Many lifestyle situations are challenging to control such as stress and living situations, but one thing we can control is what we choose to eat. Exercise is a small part of weight maintenance and real results come from understanding your body’s chemistry and its fuel requirements. 

Part of this lifestyle change will require more than listening to the celebrity, quasi pundits pushing the latest fads, point systems, and prepackaged meals. Forget all the things you learned in 1980 about weight management and start reading how calories can be your best friend or worst enemy. Understand a calorie isn’t just a calorie which many fad diets ignore.

Make sure you are fueling your body with all the essential macronutrients required to function properly within your caloric requirements. These macronutrients include protein, fat, and carbohydrates.  

Too little or too much of one leads to undesirable body chemistry that causes weight gain.  There have been many advancements in medicine, but no one will ever be able to trick body chemistry, period.  

Understand, the combination in which we eat foods is an instant chemistry experiment and this matters as much as what we eat. Most people do not get enough protein and fat, and their diet is supplemented with excessive refined (fiber removed) carbohydrates being stored as fat.  

Long exhausting trips to the health club cannot change body chemistry any more than fasting and starving your body of the nutrients it was designed to utilize as fuel. If you want to feel and look great it can be done with everyday foods.  A race team would never put kerosene in a top fuel dragster and expect it to perform, the same goes for your body as random fuels create random results. 

So, in 2020 download the app “MyFitnessPal” to track what you’re eating and figure out what your body needs, set reasonable goals, and understand what works for Oprah may not work for you. Last, but most important, nothing alters body chemistry more negatively than added sugar! 

Suggested reading materials Fat Chance  by Robert H. Lustig, M.D. and Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.

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Eric Eby, DDS, MAGD is the owner of Eby Dental Care in Okemos. Reach him at 517.349.9860.

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