Dr. Mark Kestner: Reducing food on your plate starts weight-loss plan – Main Street Nashville
Partly cloudy skies early will give way to cloudy skies late. Low 46F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph..
Partly cloudy skies early will give way to cloudy skies late. Low 46F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
Updated: October 27, 2022 @ 3:49 pm
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A few years ago, I realized I had been gaining weight for several years. At the time I weighed around 260. I never intended to weight 260. I just didn’t really pay much attention to my weight as it slowly crept higher. Sound familiar?
A healthier weight for me would be around 195-200. About four years ago I began to pay more attention to my weight. I began a very sensible weight loss program that resulted in me losing about 50 pounds in less than a year. I intentionally proceeded slowly rather than doing any of the rapid weight loss plans.
As I have discussed in this column before, slow and steady weight loss has been shown to be more successful than any program that encourages rapid results.
The good news is that I have managed to successfully maintain the weight loss that I achieved, with my weight varying from 208 to 215 over the past couple of years.
One of the things that amused me during my initial weight loss plan was that as I lost weight, occasionally patients would ask my staff, “Is he OK? He’s lost weight.” They would assure the patient that I was intentionally losing weight and was definitely fine. One patient even told me I needed to gain some of the weight back because she thought I “looked too thin.”
Considering that I was still around 215 at the time, I was definitely not “too thin.” Also considering that it took me months to lose the weight, it was not a rapid loss. However, to someone that had not seen me in months, it appeared to be a substantial change. Whenever a person decides to intentionally lose weight, people around them will have opinions.
One key point I recommend to anyone wanting to lose weight is to plan the long game. People tend to focus on dramatic ways to lose 10, 20 or more pounds in a few weeks and are shocked when the weight returns quickly. In order to lose weight and maintain the loss it is essential to make a long-term plan that includes behavior changes that you will adhere to indefinitely. If you do not make changes, you will most certainly end up right back where you started.
Perhaps the simplest and most effective change I made involves how I begin every meal. When I began the weight loss effort, I took a hard look at the meals I would typically eat. As I looked at the amount of food on my plate, I realized that, like practically everyone else, I eat too much.
In fact, most adults I have observed have developed a habit of consuming much more food and drink than they need. In response to this, the body will excrete some of the excess and store some of the excess as body fat.
There are more complexities to weight loss than simply being a math problem, however. How the body decides how much to excrete vs how much to store as fat can get complex. Numerous hormones are involved, as well as other factors such as genetics, activity, illness, age, gender, environmental conditions and many other factors. That is why weight loss is not as simple for many people as just eating less food.
However, for most people, which is a very good first step and may be the only step necessary to successfully lose a significant amount of weight.
I tend to try to make things simple as often as possible. My first and most important step in reducing my body weight was to adjust the amount of food that I ate. I tried to do it in the most straightforward way possible. I just started cutting my meals in half.
What I mean is that I literally started dividing the portions in half before I began eating. I would divide the food on my plate and eat only half of it. I chose to tell myself that if I wanted to eat the other half after waiting about 15 minutes I would do so. What I discovered is that after eating half of my meal and waiting a few minutes, I no longer felt it necessary to continue eating. Interestingly, the body begins to become satisfied within about 15 minutes of beginning a meal. By eating slowly and intentionally it is possible to be very satisfied with less food.
I also discovered this is a handy way to end up with leftovers for the next day’s lunch.
I continue to eat less food than I did before beginning my weight loss plan. I have found that over time my habits changed and a smaller meal is very satisfying. This helps me keep the weight off.
But as mentioned. I intend to lose the remaining 12-15 pounds during the next two months. That means I need to make further changes to my eating habits.
Would you like to lose weight before the end of the year, too? You can be very successful and avoid the disastrous typical new Year’s diet fads that always fail. Next week I’ll share some solid tips that can be helpful for you.
Dr. Mark Kestner is a licensed chiropractic physician and acupuncturist with 30-plus years of experience focused primarily on treating complex and chronic spine, joint and neurological conditions in Murfreesboro. His office is at 1435 NW Broad St. Contact him at mkestner@DrKestner.com.
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