Meet Brad Gray: He’s Lost 70 Pounds at the LiveLight Lifestyle Medicine

Meet Brad Gray: He’s Lost 70 Pounds at the LiveLight Lifestyle Medicine.

Why “Eat Less, Exercise More” Can Be Detrimental

When you tell your friends or family that you’re looking to lose weight, they probably adopt a didactic tone and tell you that you simply need to, “Eat less and exercise more.” That’s easier said than done. First of all, it makes most people want to throw up their hands and exclaim, “WOW, thank you so much! I’m cured! Why didn’t I think of that?” Second of all, though, that simplistic view of weight loss can be incorrect.

Any diet that recommends simply eating less than 1,200 calories per day (depending on your gender, age and weight) is almost 100 percent likely to be a step in the wrong direction. Although it makes sense to us that eating fewer calories will cause us to lose weight, you must be careful not to eat too little. Not consuming enough calories can cause your body to go into what’s called “starvation mode,” which is thought to have been an adaptation our ancestors developed for survival. During this time, your body stores the fat you consume and instead burns muscle to provide it with the calories it needs to function. Over time, this leads to a significant loss in muscle causing the metabolic rate to slow down. A slow metabolic rate means any weight loss you initially expected will not occur.  

Another problem with the “eat less” philosophy is it doesn’t take what you eat into consideration. If you limit yourself to a certain number of calories, (let’s say 2,000 just for the purpose of the upcoming example), and eat every single one of those calories in doughnuts, it’s guaranteed you will feel sluggish and/or sick. You won’t ever feel full and you will probably feel yourself losing most of your muscle and replacing that muscle with fat. After all, 2000 calories is only 7-10 doughnuts for your entire day and those doughnuts have practically no nutritional value. Eating less in general is important if you previously consumed four full plates of food at breakfast, lunch and dinner. But eating less junk food and more healthy food is just as important for your health and weight loss goals.

There isn’t really a set number of calories you can consume that marks the difference between experiencing weight loss and going into starvation mode. It all depends, as previously mentioned, on your gender, age and weight. However, being patient with your diet and allowing yourself to eat when you’re hungry can prevent you from reaching that point. Seeking guidance and making a weight loss plan (as opposed to letting your ‘diet’ consist of 10 doughnuts per day) can help you achieve your weight loss goals while receiving proper nutrients and ensuring your body is healthy.

Quinoa 101

Quinoa is a rising popular food that still baffles many people. What is it, how is it good for you, what recipes can you make with it? Welcome to Quinoa 101: Your new go-to guide for everything quinoa.  

What is it? Quinoa is a grain crop grown for its edible seeds in the Andes and Bolivia. It comes in three different types – white, red and black.

What makes it popular? Quinoa is gluten free and contains all nine essential amino acids necessary for good health.

Is it grown in the U.S.? Yes but it takes high elevation to grow properly, such as in the San Luis Valley in Colorado.

What is its claim to fame? The United States General Assembly declared 2013 as the Year of Quinoa. Sounds like a pretty big deal to us!

Fun Fact? It’s one of only very few plant foods considered a complete protein.

How can I add it to my diet? Blend it into a smoothie, use it instead of oatmeal, throw inside of quiche, make your own energy bars, mix in your salad, swap out for rice, toss it in chili, roll it in your burrito. Just get creative!

Keep Hydrated without Drinking Water

Water is essential to living and wellness. However, some people have a hard time getting the recommended amount of water per day (which varies for everyone based on body type but the average adult needs 60 – 100 ounces of water daily). Whatever the reason you have for not getting enough water – don’t like it, not enough time, too full – here are some foods to also keep you hydrated.

Many foods are filled with water to help hydrate your body.

  • Cucumbers are 96 percent water
  • Zucchinis are 95 percent water
  • Tomatoes are 94 percent water
  • Pineapples are 87 percent water
  • Watermelons are 92 percent water
  • Strawberries are 92 percent water
  • Pears are 92 percent water
  • Celery is 95 percent water
  • Grapefruit is 90 percent water
  • Blueberries are 95 percent water
  • Spinach is 96 percent water
  • Raspberries are 87 percent water

Stay away from alcoholic drinks and caffeinated drinks. These are diuretics and actually rid the body of water, which will make you dehydrated. Drink (or eat) up!

How to Start Meal Prep

One of the biggest concerns we hear from patients is, “I don’t have enough time to eat healthy.” Eating healthy is a lifestyle change and meal prep is one of the things to make your journey easier.

Planning and dedication are key when it comes to meal prep. It takes three weeks to form a habit. So don’t give up if you have challenges as you start prepping meals but focus on ways to make modifications. Overall, food prep is what you make it and any meal prep will help make eating healthy easier.

The first step is to determine what meals you should prep. Based on the number of meals, decide what recipes you want to make and create a grocery list. Head to the grocery store to get your items.

Once home, it’s often easiest to spread out all of the supplies on the counter. Think about the foods that will take the longest that you can immediately start cooking. Remember – all of the cooking actually doesn’t have to be done right then. You can easily prepare a meal and put the contents in the freezer or portion out snacks for the week. The last step is to store your meals in Tupperware, glass jars, baggies or any other container.

By beginning the habit now, you will quickly see how much a few hours of meal prep will save you during the week while helping to keep you on track with your healthy weight loss journey.