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The Secrets of Permanent Weight Loss

In both the Savoy and Bloomington locations Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center, we receive a lot of questions about how to lose weight and keep it off from patients who are concerned about their increasing weight and those who want to maintain their results after procedures such as liposuction or abdominoplasty.  What follows are the basics – that is, bringing a complex subject to a minimum denominator; knowledge and good lifestyle eating and exercise ethics are what it takes to loose weight and stay thin.

Though it can feel like one hardly eats anything but still gains weight,  the reality is quite different.  The very basic principle  of weight control is that you will gain weight if you consume more calories than you burn – period, no exceptions.

Have you ever heard people say that if  you exercise enough you will lose weight?  While that is true, the basic principle here is that you absolutely cannot depend on exercise alone to bring your weight down.  It has to be proportional with a decrease in the amount of food you eat, how that food is consumed and which foods you are consuming.

How To Loose Weight And Keep It Off Concepts:

1.     Water intake: The basic principle of a good lifestyle eating ethic is to consume water.  Here, you must read exactly what it says – water.  Water is not soda, or tea, or any other form of liquid.  Water is water.  Basic research shows that if you drink a minimum of one glass but better yet two glasses of water prior to your meal, you will consume less food and you will lose weight.  There are many reasons for this to happen, but suffice it to say that basic research has proven this without a doubt.  It is also important to drink water during the day.  In fact, often our bodies confuse hunger with dehydration.  If you have already eaten and are searching for a snack, replace that snack with a glass of water.  Wait 20 minutes.  You may find that your desire for a snack is gone.  Again, I must remark how important it is that it be water – not sweetened water, not flavored water, not anything else other than simple water.  Look around you and you will find that trim, thin, fit people drink only water.

2.     Reduce your portion sizes: Living in a nation where restaurants serve such large portions has been a big injustice to our health and over-all lifestyle.  Over the past few decades, we have begun to consume much larger portions than in the past.  As a result, we have become an obese nation with many weight related health problems. The more unhealthy food we consume, the more our bodies crave them. The truth is, the older we get, the less caloric intake our body requires.  Simply put, we must consume less calories in our 40’s than we did in our 30’s, and less in our 50”s than in our 40”s, and less in our 60”s than we consumed in our 50’s and so on.  I suggest beginning to decrease you portion sizes by eating until you are no longer hungry instead of eating until you are full. Decreasing portion sizes can be difficult when you are enjoying your meal, however if you consistently stick to this rule, you may find it much easier to accomplish.

3.     Restrict or avoid salt, sugar, fat and preservatives: Remember that there are enemies in food that you must restrict or avoid.  Those are salt, sugar, fat and preservatives.  All of the above are contained in most fast foods, prepared foods, canned foods (even canned vegetables), deli prepared foods, packaged foods, etc. While busy schedules may make it difficult for some people to prepare their own meals and go back to a primarily natural source of foods, you must maintain a high alert state for foods that are high in salt, sugar, fat and preservatives.  Remove those enemies from your diet.  One way to avoid these types of foods, even with a busy schedule, is to prepare foods in advance.  Prepare healthy meats and meals in advance, refrigerate or freeze them until needed.  Cook enough brown rice for a few days. Consider adding a fresh veggie, or cilantro, pepper, or a small amount of white raisins and almonds to your brown rice to vary the flavor.  Retrieve it from the refrigerator as needed.  Prepare large quantities of low-sodium soups with fresh veggies, adding fish or chicken protein if you choose.  Freeze it in portion size containers.  Not only will this method reduce the amount of food enemies in your diet, it will allow you to prepare healthy meals in no time.

4.     Avoid simple carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are not necessarily bad foods; however, simple carbohydrates create a high glycemic state; that is, they increase your blood sugar rapidly which is damaging to many tissues in your body.  It is important to avoid simple carbohydrates and that means sugar and refined grains (reduce the amount of bread and pasta to a minimum and make sure that when you eat these items they are prepared from whole grains).  Glycemic states not only create an easy avenue for your body to store fat, they are also highly damaging to tissues that contain a large number of blood vessels (for example, the retina).

5.     Vegetable proteins :  Increase the amount of vegetable proteins in your diet.  Vegetable proteins offer a great advantage as a food source. They burn slowly, which will keep you from becoming hungry.  You will go for longer periods of time with less hunger.  Vegetable proteins are contained in all legumes (foods that come from a pod) like any kind of bean, lentils, garbanzo (chick peas), etc.  Again you can easily prepare these vegetable proteins in advance and refrigerate or freeze them until needed.

6.     Exercise: Remember to maintain a program of exercise that fits your lifestyle.  That is, don’t create an exercise schedule that requires you to give more time than your schedule allows, it will set you up for failure. It should still allow for the normal routine of your life. That is; work, kids, food preparation, recreation, etc.  The amount of time spent exercising will vary from individual to individual, but it will require anywhere between 30-60 minutes three to five times per week.

7.     Honor the food that you eat: When you are ready to eat, do not eat on the go.  Break habits of eating while driving, eating while watching TV, eating while studying, etc.  When you are ready to eat, drink 1-2 glasses of water then sit down, preferably with family and friends and eat your food slowly.  If you are spending less than five minutes eating your food – you are definitely eating too fast.  When you eat food in small bites it takes you longer to consume your food and you will give time for your body to register that food has been added to your system.  The mechanism of satiation (the feeling of being satisfied or full) takes some time to develop after food has been added to your stomach.  To honor and value the food that you eat means making it an event of importance.  It is one that deserves your full attention.

Co- Author, G.D. Castillo M.D.

This blog entry was co-authored by G.D. Castillo, M.D. FACS  Director of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic and Roxanne Hammond, Skincare and Laser Specialist, Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic

Co – Author, Roxanne Hammond, Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic

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