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Patti Lee, BSN, FNP, MSN
The Perfect Pair: Nutrition and Weight Loss
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The Perfect Pair: Nutrition and Weight Loss

The Perfect Pair: Nutrition and Weight Loss

Weight loss can be a challenging journey, and achieving success often requires a holistic approach. Many believe that if they join a gym, exercise more and eat more salads they will lose weight. Fad diets are numerous touting fast weight loss, but many rebound with additional weight gain as there was no behavior or lifestyle change. According to research, 1-3 pounds per week is healthy weight loss that is sustainable. There are various strategies out there, but the best one is the one that addresses lifestyle, health, good nutrition and exercise.


Finding time to diet is a challenge. A diet that is easy to follow with low stress is more likely to be sustainable. Changes in behavior must occur to be successful such as meal planning which saves time and money. Prepping 2 meals a day and snacks decreases stress and having to eat out. Weight loss success comes with behavior and lifestyle changes that will help make weight loss permanent.


Other factors affecting weight loss include hormone imbalances. If there is a hormone imbalance, metabolism is slower and weight loss is more difficult. Medications can be prescribed to balance hormones increasing metabolism. Weight loss medications such as semaglutide injections or oral meds paired with behavior and lifestyle changes can aid in weight loss.

The Role of Nutrition

Proper nutrition provides the foundation for weight loss success. Eighty percent of weight is diet. Weight loss is not just what you eat, but when you eat and the order in which you eat your food. It is important to eat. Skipping meals will prevent weight loss as the brain thinks the body is starving, preventing weight loss and causing a nutritional deficit. Proteins, vegetables, carbs, and fruits must be balanced for weight loss. Eating too many or the wrong kind of carbs and fruits can sabotage the fat burning process by increasing glucose which is stored as fat. Weight loss can only occur if there is a caloric deficit. But, this must be nutritional or there will be side effects such as hair loss.

When dieting, it is important to eliminate certain foods that will stall weight loss. Foods that cause inflammation will cause gut issues such as bloating and water retention. Once addressed, digestion is better providing more absorption of nutrients. When the ideal weight is achieved and the maintenance phase is reached, foods can be added back into the diet.  

Tips for Weight Management

Portion Control: Be mindful of portion sizes. Overeating, even healthy foods, can lead to excess calorie intake. There are many methods to consider such as the plate method. Consider using smaller plates to help with portion control. Eat half of your meal when eating out.

Hydration: Most people are dehydrated. When asked about water intake, many say they drink several bottles of water a day. This is calculated as half of body weight plus 32 oz. Staying adequately hydrated is essential for overall health and can aid in weight loss. Sometimes, our bodies confuse thirst with hunger, leading to unnecessary snacking. So, it is vital to stay hydrated.

Mindful Eating: Pay attention to what you eat and savor each bite. Avoid distractions like TV or smartphones while eating, as this can lead to overeating.

Meal Timing: Some people find success with intermittent fasting or timing their meals to fit their daily activities. Experiment to see what works best for your body.

The Power of Exercise

Exercise complements your dietary efforts, helping you burn calories and build lean muscle mass. Walking is an excellent way to exercise and lose weight. Some diets have exercise plans as too much exercise can prevent weight loss. Here’s how to make exercise work for you:

Regular Activity: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week.

Find Enjoyment: Choose activities you enjoy. Whether it’s dancing, swimming, hiking, or cycling, finding an exercise routine you love will make it easier to stick with.

Consistency is Key: Consistency matters more than intensity. Regular, moderate exercise is often more sustainable than sporadic, intense workouts.

Consult a Professional: If you’re new to exercise or have specific health concerns, consult a fitness professional or healthcare provider to create a safe and effective exercise plan.

Red Light Therapy: An Additional Option

In addition to nutrition and exercise, Red Light therapy addresses fat loss by emptying the cells of stored glucose. Cells flatten but are not destroyed providing contouring and smoothing of the skin. Inches are lost at each session and clothes begin to fit better. Combined with proper nutrition, this non-invasive technology can provide added support to your weight loss journey, making it easier to achieve your goals.

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