We’re a few days into the new year … how are those weight-loss resolutions going? If you’re eating your third donut of the day while reading this, don’t panic! It’s not too late to turn things around. For some professional advice, we chatted with Wellness Director Catlin Rankin from PartnerMD, a concierge health practice in the Arboretum. Catlin helped us sort out fact from fiction about sensible ways to lose weight and keep it off.
Here are some popular weightloss “claims” and the true story:
• Claim: Skipping breakfast is an easy way to cut calories and drop weight
Verdict: FICTION. Catlin says eating breakfast can help you shed pounds. It’s essential to start your day with a nutritious meal because a healthy breakfast actually helps jump-start your metabolism. Breakfast will help fuel your body and help it burn more fat and keep your muscle. Another plus about starting your day off with breakfast: many studies have shown people who skip breakfast actually eat more calories during the day. So set that alarm 15 minutes earlier and take the time to start your day off right.
• Claim: Carbs are evil — you need to remove every carb from your diet to lose weight
Verdict: FICTION. Carbohydrates are essential to your health and are actually your body’s preferred fuel source, Catlin says. Carbs have gotten a bad reputation these days but they’re not unhealthy at all. The key thing to remember with carbs is to eat them in proper proportion with a healthy amount of fats and proteins. They all work together to help your body maintain its proper weight. Another key: focus on carbs like whole grains, vegetables and fruits rather than processed carbs like chips and pastries (time to put down that donut and pick up an apple).
• Claim: To trim fat, start exercising at least 30 minutes a day
Verdict: FACT. Exercise is essential to your health. It will not only help you burn extra fat, but it will also help you gain muscle and keep your cardiovascular system healthy. Catlin said she recommends aiming to do at least 30 minutes of exercise five days per week.
• Claim: It’s ok to have “cheat days” when following a healthy diet
Verdict: FACT. Catlin would prefer you to limit it to just a cheat meal, but one day of eating a little extra or having a special treat is not going to derail your health goals. It’s normal to eat one piece of cake at a party or enjoy a few appetizers while watching the big football game. The key is to not let one cheat day or cheat meal turn into a cheat week or cheat month, Catlin says. And make your “cheat” days enjoyable, don’t stuff yourself till you are miserable. Then get back into your healthy habit the very next day (or meal). Catlin’s tip when eating a “cheat” meal is to remember that this food is never off limits … just make sure to eat it and enjoy it in moderation.
• Claim: It’s harder for women to lose weight than men
Verdict: FACT and FICTION. This is a tough question because sometimes it’s easier for men to lose weight than women because men have different body types and muscle structures than women. BUT Catlin says that doesn’t mean that women should just give up. The key is to keep your lean muscle mass when trying to lose weight. This will keep up your metabolism speeding up and also help you look leaner/more toned. To do this, remember to do either weight training or body weight exercises, not just cardio. Building and keeping lean muscle will help you lose the weight just as fast as the guys.
• Claim: If I’m exercising regularly, I shouldn’t have to worry about my diet
Verdict: FICTION. This is something that would be wonderful, but it usually doesn’t work out. Catlin says exercising is a great way to burn extra calories and keep you healthy, but it should be considered supplemental to weight loss. Diet is really the key player in weight loss. Try to remember that 70 to 80 percent of losing weight is diet, the other 20 to 30 percent is exercise.
• Claim: My mom was curvy, so I should just accept that I’m going to be a bigger gal and not worry about diet/exercise
Verdict: FICTION. Catlin says genetics and family history do play a role in your body shape, but they don’t determine your health. Exercising and eating right is so much more than looking a certain way — they’re key to staying healthy and having good blood pressure, cholesterol, and so much more.
Want more info? Download PartnerMD’s free ebook “Eat, Sleep and Be Merry: Our How-to Guide for Healthy Living” by clicking here.
Find out more about PartnerMD’s executive health program by clicking here.
Read more about PartnerMD here.
8035 Providence Road, Suite 315 Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 816-2626…..[email protected]