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Nobody said weight loss was easy. But, says Nick Nicholson, M.D., a bariatric surgeon and the medical director of the weight loss surgery program at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Plano, the thing to remember is that weight loss is all about calories in and calories burned.
“What works for one person may not necessarily work for another person,” he says. That’s why it’s important to explore your personal habits. To help improve your chances of success, Dr. Nicholson suggests asking yourself these questions.
Q: Why am I eating?
There are a lot of reasons people eat, but the real reason Dr. Nicholson says, is energy. “That’s the purpose of eating, but that’s no longer why we eat,” he says. “No one eats Doritos because they think it’s going to give them more energy. You eat Doritos because you like Doritos.”
Sometimes people eat because of stress, depression or even boredom. If you find you’re eating due to emotions, talk to your doctor about getting to the root of these issues.
Q: Am I drinking enough water?
“Drinking more water can help fill up your stomach and prevent hunger,” Dr. Nicholson notes. Aim for six to eight 8-ounce glasses per day.
Q: How often am I eating?
Eating several small meals a day can help keep your blood sugar levels steady and help keep hunger at bay. But if you do that, Dr. Nicholson says, opt for low carb meals and snacks.
Q: Am I eating good foods?
“There are a lot of things you can eat that don’t cause weight gain,” Dr. Nicholson says. “Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables — that’s fine.” When people snack, he notes, it’s often processed foods — potato chips, cookies, cheese nips. He offers this basic advice from the book, Food Rules: “If your great-grandmother wouldn’t have recognized it as food, you probably shouldn’t eat it.”
Trying to eat healthy on a budget? Check out these tips for making healthy choices. For information about weight management or to sign up for a free Weight Loss Surgery seminar, click here.
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