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Diet Talk from the Doc

by Dr.Diet, Diet.com's Medical Director

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As 2006 comes to a close, I’d like to use my last blog this year to review what I consider to be the top Diet “gem” news stories of 2006.

The “gems” I’m reviewing are the ones that I encourage you all to think about and reflect on because these stories contain the information that will help you be successful managing your weight and getting healthier in 2007.

Fight belly fat

--Diet alone isn’t enough to help you fight belly fat. If you want to reduce the size of your belly, you need to start adding exercise to your weight management program.

--It’s never too late for couch potatoes to start exercising and decrease their risk of heart disease. Starting a walking program even after the age of 40 was all that was needed to lower one’s risks.

--Exercise has been shown to be good for your heart, improve your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, help you sleep better at night, improve your immunity (fewer colds), energy level, mood and sex life.

Take control of your diet

--It’s easier to eat more healthfully if you eat more of your meals at home and if you pack your lunches from home.

--Slowing your pace of eating helps you to eat less.

----How much you eat is directly related to how much you’re served. Using smaller plates, bowls and drinking glasses will help you control your portions. The best portion controlled snacks come in their own healthy fruit or veggie wrappers but in addition, look for portion controlled snack foods rather than buying big bags of cookies or chips or large containers of ice cream.

--Drinking just one extra can of soda per day can cause you to gain 15 pounds in a year. Switching from regular pop to diet pop, water, flavored waters or other non-caloric beverages would make a great new years resolution that will help you control your weight.

-- To boost heart healthy weight loss, you’ll want to eat more foods high in fiber including fruits and vegetables, whole grains and beans, eat heart healthy fats like those found in salmon, olive oil, nuts and avocado, decrease your intake of foods with heart clogging trans fats found in fried foods, French fries, cookies, cakes and breads and decrease your intake of foods high in saturated fats, which are found mostly in animal products, including beef, poultry fat, pork, lard, butter, milk and cheeses and two vegetable sources - coconut and palm oil.

--Getting enough sleep is important in helping you manage your weight as people who don’t sleep well are more likely to make poor food choices.

Don’t go it alone

--Get diet, exercise and/ or emotional support from your spouse, your dog (who can be your workout partner), your doctor, your work colleague, a neighbor or an internet diet buddy/ program because support has been shown to help people be successful in weight loss and maintenance.

--Getting counseling through the internet can help you lose weight; however, just joining the program is not enough to be successful. To boost success, you need information, accountability and feedback, which the internet can provide. Regular email communication and getting email feedback from a counselor gave people the most success.

Make time for yourself

--“Peace” and “time” were the 2 things overwhelmed women want out of their lives.

--Getting proper “me time” is as important to weight control as is weighing your self regularly, being calorie conscious and finding support.

I look forward to bringing you more diet “gems” in 2007. A happy, healthy New Year to all of our members here at diet.com!

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