- calories, carbs
For Your Health…
Tips on making informed dieting decisions
These types of diets are based on replacing some carbohydrates with protein. Extreme versions of these also increase fat while omitting or limiting choices from certain food groups, such as grains and fruit, a direction that health professionals do not recommend.
Based on widely accepted dietary guidance with focus on controlling calories, such diets generally provide most calories from carbohydrates with moderate levels of protein and lower levels of fat. These plans promote weight loss through a combination of strategies, including portion control, building social support and increasing physical activity.
For some people the higher level of protein is more satisfying and makes this diet easier to follow.
Calorie controlled plans generally allow a wide variety of food choices, so most people can tailor a plan to meet their tastes and nutrient needs.
Be careful not to reduce the level of carbohydrate too far as then these diets do not meet the recommendations of the 2002 Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI). Also, public health experts continue to voice concerns over nutritional inadequacies and potential long – term negative health effects, such as kidney problems and bone loss.
You’ll need some patience and perseverance. Achieving small, steady weight losses between one half to two pounds per week requires a long term commitment to making smart food choices and stepping up physical activity levels.
When counting carbs, calories still count. Restricting food choices tends to reduce total calories taken in and limits key nutrients you need.
Consistent with widely accepted dietary guidance and The Food Guide Pyramid, small and steady weight loss is more likely to be sustainable over time.
Keep In Mind As You Make The Choice
- Calories Count: Whatever the method, to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in.
- Eat well and be sensible about portions. Balancing core nutrients is critical with any weight loss program:
- Carbohydrate fuels our brains and muscles; 130g a day is the minimum required for brain function (aim for 45-65% of calories*)
- Protein is important for building, maintaining and repairing body tissue (aim for 10-35% of calories*).
- Fat contributes essential fatty acids and promotes absorption of fat – soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. It is also a concentrated energy source (aim for 20-35% of calories, mostly unsaturated*).
- Get moving: There’s no debate – people trying to lose weight should work up to 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
- Build success: Track what you are eating, make appropriate food choices and adopt new habits that work for you.
*As recommended in the 2002 DRI (http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/)
If a higher level of wellness is a personal goal of yours, but you are in need of some external guidance and motivation, contact your neighborhood Pharmacist / Nutritionist / Fitness Professionals at Carnegie-Sargent’s Pharmacy and Health Center. (312) 280-1220. Remember health promotion begins with you!
Ask Your Pharmacist – Have a question for us? Give us a call or stop in for a private consultation. If you’d prefer, send a message below and it may end up in a future Ask the Pharmacist article.
– Mark Paley, Registered Pharmacist/Director