Ask the Nurse

What is the proper way to lose weight and cook regular meals for my busy family when I am the only one dieting in the family? I am currently overweight at 227 pounds and I am trying to lose at least 60 pounds in the next four months. How much should I diet to achieve my goal?

It is important to monitor your BMI with your goal being under 27. That being said, it’s best to start by making changes in your diet. Getting your family on board with your diet is going to make your efforts more sustainable and satisfying for you. First, you need to start by reducing your caloric intake. Use our Ideal Weight Calculator to calculate what your calorie intake should be to match your weight loss goals.

There are many advertised diets, but the diet that shows the most consistent weight loss is the Mediterranean diet, which is based on foods low in simple carbohydrates and high in lean proteins, fish, and healthy oils like olive oil. This diet shows the most consistent weight loss over time. You should rid your house of as many simple carbohydrate-rich and processed foods as possible, which means stay away from breads, white potatoes, and all flour and sugar. As a general rule of thumb, avoid the middle of the grocery store and stick to the periphery where there is plenty of fresh veggies, fruits and lean meats and add some low fat dairy for calcium. Many people find it easier to count carbs as opposed to calories and limit their carbs to 80 grams per day.

If you feel you cannot do this on your own, Weight Watchers holds support groups that are available in many locations and provides a sense of a community. It may be encouraging to be with other individuals working towards the same goal of losing weight and achieving optimal health.

Remember, physical activity is also important, and you want to incorporate a mixture of cardiovascular and weight bearing activity most days of the week, with your goal being an hour of exercise daily including some weight lifting. If you are unsure where to start, start by walking around your neighborhood or use YouTube to find free weight bearing activities and beginner videos that you can do in the privacy of your own home. But remember, most weight loss will come from your dietary changes, so don’t depend on exercise alone, but you still need to eat less and exercise more to lose weight and maintain that weight loss. An optimal diet and regular physical activity is the main ingredient to health.

All My Best,
Nurse Mary

September 15, 2014 at 11:32am