The Cyclist’s Kitchen: Weight Loss Tips
The Latest Studies/Information on Weight Loss
• Most dieters believe the less they eat, the more body fat they will lose. Not always true. A study compared obese people who were given 1,200-calorie (for women) and 1,600-calorie (for men) reducing diets. A comparison group was given diets with about 1,750 calories (women) and 2,100 calories ( men). Both groups lost the same amount of weight-even though the one group ate about 500 more calories each day. Conclusion: Why suffer needless deprivation when you can achieve weight loss success with a higher calorie level?
•• Given two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, you likely have friends or relatives who have Type II (adult onset) Diabetes. To help resolve their confusion about what to eat, encourage them to explore The Healthy Diabetes Plate Website is an excellent interactive tool for planning balanced meals. Athletes can also benefit from the info; just add more portions for more calories.
• If you want to lose weight, try to make sleep a priority. A survey of 772 college students suggests those who slept less than seven hours a night had a significantly higher Body Mass Index (BMI) than those who slept more than seven hours. This association was strongest among the female students. Another sleep-related study with healthy adults suggests sleep deprivation is associated with increased hunger and the potential to overeat. Without doubt, sleep is helpful for a successful weight management program.
• One way to lose weight is to go on an Eco-Friendly Diet that save calories as well as the environment. Here’s how: buy fewer foods and beverages with excess packaging (such as soda, vending items, take-out foods); use exercise as a means of transportation, enjoy local parks for recreation, and support farmers’ markets.
• More and more people (including athletes) are following gluten-free diets. Because these diets is very restrictive, gluten-free eaters need to be educated how to choose balanced meals. “Problem nutrients” that tend to be low in gluten-free menus include fiber, iron, B-vitamins, and carbohydrates. If you need to go gluten-free, seek help from a local sports dietitian. (Use the referral network at SCANdpg.org.)
Many athletes who want to lose weight restrict chocolate, thinking it’s fattening. In a weight reduction study, overweight women enjoyed a daily dark chocolate snack as a part of their “discretionary calories” in a reduced-calorie diet. They lost the same amount of weight as the comparison group who ate no chocolate. The researchers concluded a daily does of dark chocolate does not interfere with weight reduction and may reduce cravings for sweets. Woohoo!!!!
• Is vegetarianism a passing fad? No! A three-year follow-up survey of 176 vegetarians suggests 83% were still vegetarian and 11% had become vegan. Only 6% were no longer vegetarian. Among those who ate vegetarian diets for primarily environmental concerns, 100% remained vegetarian, as compared to 91-92% who remained vegetarian if their primary motivation was health or animal rights, respectively.
• Energy drinks are popularly consumed as a mixer with alcohol (more so than as a way to improve athletic performance). Energy drinks are associated with negative effects: 41% of student consumers reported “jolt and crash” events; 22% reported heart palpitations. How about perking yourself up with some invigorating exercise?!
Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD (Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics) counsels both casual and competitive athletes in her practice at Healthworks, the premier fitness center in Chestnut Hill MA (617-383-6100). For more information, enjoy her Sports Nutrition Guidebook and food guides for new runners, marathoners or soccer players. See Nancy’s website and visit her Sports Nutrition workshop.