The holidays can be great, but they can also throw your diet off, thanks to the abundance of decadent treats and parties. Get a fresh start in 2017 and create new habits that last all year long with these healthy eating tips from General Surgeon Stelios Rekkas, MD, FASC, and Family Physician Aaron Guthrie, MD.
Q: There are so many different diets out there. Which are best?
Fad diets promising quick weight-loss can deprive your body of essential nutrients and produce hard-to-maintain results. Gradual weight loss – about ½ to 2 pounds per week – can be achieved with a 500 -1000 calorie deficit daily and is healthier and more sustainable. A registered dietitian can help you devise a healthy, lifelong eating plan.
Q: Will skipping meals help me lose weight?
You may think this is good for your diet, but skipping meals can cause you to be extra hungry later and overeat. Studies have shown a link between skipping breakfast and being overweight. Keep healthy foods like low-fat yogurt and fruit on hand to help you stay on track. Also, try eating smaller meals containing protein throughout the day to keep blood sugar levels stable.
Q: How can I eat out and still be healthy?
One simple rule is to eat half of your meal and take the rest home, as restaurant portions can be excessive. Try to avoid menu items that are fried, sautéed or stuffed, opt for grilled instead. Be mindful that low-carb dishes can still have a lot of calories. Also, drink water, take your time and stop eating before you’re full. Remember that moderation is key. If you have a favorite menu item you can’t live without, share it with the rest of the table so you aren’t tempted to overindulge.
Q: What can I do to control my snacking?
This can be very personal. What triggers your eating? Is it a box of cookies in your snack cabinet, or passing a fast-food chain after work? Try to avoid these eating cues, and if you fall off track, start again the next day. Sometimes, just understanding why you eat, and being patient with yourself, can help.
Make an Appointment
Stelios Rekkas, MD, FASC, is a board-certified general surgeon with a focus on minimally invasive surgery and bariatric surgery at Manatee Surgical Alliance. To make an appointment, call 941-254-4957.
Aaron Guthrie, MD, is a board-certified family physician. He treats children two years of age and older, as well as adults at Lakewood Ranch Primary Care. To make an appointment, call 941-216-3939.