How can dietary changes improve overall well-being and potentially help weight loss?
Dietary changes have a major impact on our well-being and health. Though losing weight is easier now with many novel medications and interventional procedures, to maintain healthy prolonged weight loss, there is no better alternative than the hard-earned, old-fashioned way – diet and exercise. There are hundreds of diets advocating for different foods to eat and not to eat, but there are a few items of which we should be mindful.
First and foremost, calories. There is no magic formula to dieting – to lose weight you ultimately must utilize more calories than you consume. This is not easy, but here are some tips to make this process easier. First – fiber. Over the counter psyllium is a great supplement that not only promotes a healthy microbiome and prevents constipation, but also gives the sensation of satiety (fullness). Psyllium also has secondary benefits such as lowering cholesterol and lowering blood glucose levels, as well as having anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, some studies suggest decreased levels of colorectal cancer in patients taking psyllium. A natural high-fiber and personal favorite of mine that has many such associated health benefits is consuming two green kiwis daily. Regarding diet, the best diet is one that avoids processed foods, avoids fried foods, and promotes fresh and natural fruits, vegetables, and meats. Eating a healthy diet takes time and is certainly more costly, but when coupled with proper exercise, provides a great formula for not only weight loss but also promoting better overall health.
Ultimately, prevention is the best medicine, and though staying active and exercising may be difficult especially for some patients in relation to others, we should all find our individual ways to always stay moving. I wish everyone a great 2024 with health and personal growth.
Dr. Shapira practices at the Gastroenterology Center of EAMC with Dr. J. Randall Newman. Patients interested in a consultation with Dr. Shapira may request an appointment online.