So this IS the year you are going to lose weight, get fit and get healthy, right?? Well, if you already read part one of this two-part blog then you decided that deprivation diets, and trendy diets, and weird eating plans are not the answer for 2010. You've also recognized that part of your eating problems may be due to moderate or serious emotional or psychological struggles connected to food, and you recognize that you may need professional help. You may have also decided that indeed, what works for initial weight loss may not be a long term success model, and that a program that helps a friend, may not be a good long term fit for your personality, health issues or for weight loss maintenance.
I floated the concept of a personalized approach to dieting in that blog. And there are diet books and programs out there that have used this concept in their weight loss programs. The GenoType Diet by Peter D'Adamo uses blood type, fingerprint analysis and other measurements to prescribe a unique diet (one of six possible approaches) based on personal test results. The Metabolism Miracle suggests that many Americans are suffering from a cluster of conditions cumulatively called metabolic syndrome, and these individuals need to shun grain carbohydrates initially and then re-introduce them selectively and slowly. The Blood Type Diet actually looks at your blood type and then prescribes foods you should and should not eat, based on blood type analysis. The jury is still out on whether these approaches are scientifically sound and whether they will work for you.
It does make sense, however, to give credence to the fact that your diet has to fit your daily lifestyle (work, social), your palate preferences, your time allotment issues, and even how you position meals and snacks. Some re-education and the introduction of new habits may be crucial to your weight loss success. But the crux of a personalized diet is the fact that if it is YOUR program, matched to YOUR needs, you will be likely to have greater chances for weight loss success. I've written repeatedly about the benefits of hiring (even short term) a dietician or nutritionist, who typically has you keep food journals and who assesses your personal dietary needs. I know that this approach may be too costly for some people to access. Current gene tests may still not be anywhere near ready to scientifically help us establish better matched lifestyle change programs. So I'd recommend improving your own chances of a diet success in 2010 by doing the following:
- Focus on total health. That means creating a dietary plan that not only looks at total calories/day but at the quality of the food you are choosing. You can eat 1600 calories of junk or you can eat 1600 calories of filling food that is high in fiber and nutrient density. You get the benefits of weight loss and a better health profile.
- Choose meal and snack balance which means that at each eating opportunity you combine healthy selections from several food groups. Don't just grab some turkey slices - have a thin slice of whole grain bread, some cut up vegetables including a small serving of healthy avocado (fat). Balance keeps you satiated and reduces radical blood sugar swings.
- Test out your meals and snacks - Try having toast and jelly and a skim latte one morning versus an egg omelet and toast and small serving of fruit another morning versus yogurt with a serving of whole grain cereal and berries another morning. Which meal kept you satisfied longer? Which meal seemed to energize you? Which meal kept you from obsessing about your next feeding? Do the same teat with lunches, snacks and dinners so that you create an energizing, satiating weight loss program.
- Don't forget that you need to exercise to help nudge weight loss and to help improve your health profile. You do, however, need to find exercise programs that you will keep in place long term. You may need to switch it up and create variability or you may find that one chosen exercise path, that does include some occasional modifications for increased challenge, is the answer. Again, these choices depend on your personality, time issues and general attitude about exercise. It is a vital component to long term weight stabilization.
So make it a personalized approach in 2010. And I'll continue to challenge and inform you as we all try to get slimmer and healthier in 2010. Happy Holidays!!
Published On: January 04, 2010