Be choosey about weight loss

First Posted: 1/6/2008

Have you noticed the number of commercials on television and radio for weight loss products?
This is the time of year when all types of diets and weight loss products surface, promising a quick and easy weight loss. “Just order by credit card,” “Call today for your successful diet plan”, or “Lose weight over night.” If this were all so true, then health professionals would not be facing an obesity wave for both children and adults.
Anyone who has chosen to pay attention to their eating habits and exercise routine will tell you that it does take some time and energy in changing old habits.
Picture in your mind a teeter totter that you would find in a community park. Losing weight can be thought of throwing the teeter totter off center. One end may be increasing daily exercise or reducing the number of calories consumed. Increasing either should lower the seat or result in weight loss.
Keeping a food diary for even just one part of the day (usually your most difficult time) can be a great way to increase awareness of the food you are consuming.
Also, increase the number of minutes that you are active (meaning moving) in one day. After maintaining that amount of time, increase it again in the second week until you have met your goal.
If you are considering a popular diet plan the American Dietetic Association suggests that you ask yourself these questions: Does the diet plan …
Promise a quick fix?
Encourage or require you to stop eating certain foods, food groups or products?
Rely on a single study as the basis for its recommendations?
Contradict recommendations of reputable health organizations?
Identify “good” and “bad” foods?
Just sound too good to be true?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, keep looking for a plan that is backed by solid science, lets you keep eating your favorite foods and allows for flexibility.
One such plan is the DASH Diet. “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” The research was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), with final results showing that the DASH “combination diet” lowered blood pressure.
The “combination diet” is rich in fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy foods, and low in saturated and total fat. It also is low in cholesterol, high in dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and moderately high in protein.
The DASH eating plan is based on 2,000 calories a day. Depending on your caloric needs, your number of daily servings in a food group may vary from those listed.
If you are interested in reviewing this diet, call our office at 602-0600 and request a copy or visit

Here is a recipe from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which uses vegetables and fat free milk, two main components of the DASH diet.
Number of Servings: 4

3 cups chopped broccoli (or 2 10-ounce packages frozen broccoli)
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 cups nonfat milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
Dash pepper
Dash ground thyme
1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese

Place vegetables and broth in saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook until vegetables are tender (about 8 minutes). Mix milk, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and thyme; add to cooked vegetables. Cook, stirring constantly, until soup is lightly thickened and mixture just begins to boil. Remove from heat. Add cheese and stir until melted.
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