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1.8.13

Weight Loss Resolution

Losing weight is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions for many Americans who might have indulged in too much holiday food.

The beginning of a new year is the time many people decide to take off weight, including the extra pounds they may have gained during the holidays.  Erin Paris, registered dietitian at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, offers advice for shedding those extra pounds.

“... the first step is to look at what they are eating and be honest about it with themselves.  So writing it down or using applications on their phones if you have a smart phone, which most people do nowadays, even 80-year-olds have smart phones. So doing that -- writing it down and recording it. The next thing is looking at how often they eat out.  And if you eat out more than one time a week, you’re likely to be 10 pounds heavier...”

Paris says the eating plan you choose needs to be balanced in terms of food groups.  If you omit certain food groups such as carbohydrates, you can become deficient in some important nutrients necessary for a healthy diet.  She says your diet should not be so rigid that it cannot be followed. She also recommends adding exercise to your weight loss plan and gives results of an recent exercise study.

“... the people who were in the diet alone, they lost six pounds in the six-month course. And the people who did exercise lost 13 and one half pounds.  But the people who did the exercise gained two pounds of muscle and lost multiple pounds of fat.  The people in the diet only group without the exercise, they lost a lot of lean muscle and some fat tissue...”

For more information about recommended foods and portions, Paris suggests visiting the website www.choosemyplate.gov.  If individuals have a significant amount of weight to lose or have been unsuccessful in the past, they may need to see a primary care physician or registered dietitian to help them achieve their goals. 

Ruth Slottag