2016-07-01 / OnCall

That “One Weird Trick” Is No Treat

Shane Newhouser, D.O.

Q: I’ve read a lot of articles about various foods that can help you lose weight, but is there actually any truth to these claims?

A: It’s fairly obvious that magic diets don’t exist, and the same can be said for diets that focus on eating or avoiding certain foods.

There are some foods that are fiber-dense or contain a lot of water, which can help you feel fuller so you eat less and ultimately lose weight. The best diet includes foods from all the food groups, especially fruits and vegetables, protein and dairy.

To lose one pound, you need to cut or burn off 3,500 calories. Most people find that if they eliminate 100 calories from their diet and do some type of activity that will burn 250 calories each day, they could lose one pound every 10 days. This weight loss is doable and realistic, whereas the claims to lose 10 pounds in 10 days are not.

Some healthy weight loss tips include:

  • Stay hydrated. Sometimes thirst can be confused with hunger. If you think you’re hungry, try drinking a glass of water first. If the hungry feeling persists, then eat something.
  • Spread your meals and snacks throughout the day, keeping snacks to about 100 calories and allotting snacks into your total calorie count. Starving yourself by skipping meals can backfire — when you finally eat, you may be so ravenous that you overeat.
  • Eat slowly, putting your fork down between bites. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full. Stop eating when you start to feel full or your food no longer tastes good.
  • And finally, move more. Take a walk or a bike ride. Build muscle through exercise; your body will be toned and muscle mass ultimately burns more calories.

Shane Newhouser, D.O.
Family Medicine
Geisinger Scenery Park

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