Is weight loss as simple as an extra 15 minutes of activity and more fruits and vegetables?
I just read this article in The Calgary Herald http://www.calgaryherald.com/health/Alberta+leads+country+obesity+study/4976646/story.html
This article is a step in right direction by highlighting that Alberta’s rates of obesity are too high and that we need to address it. And while I do agree that encouraging people to be more active and eat more fruits and vegetables is a great message; I think it over-simplifies weight loss and what it takes for most people to lose a significant amount of weight. To simply add more fruits and vegetables, without looking at your other diet and lifestyle factors is like telling a tired mother of a newborn baby to simply sleep more! You need to look at all the factors that may be affecting your food choices and habits. Are you an emotional eater? Do you have the time/money to buy and prepare healthy meals? Do you have access to healthy foods? Are your Portion sizes appropriate? (Unfortunately, you can get too much of a good thing – even fruits and vegetables!)
Registered Dietitian’s have the knowledge and skills to help people navigate their way through these and other nutrition-related issues and concerns and can therefore play a major role in tackling our rising obesity rates. There is no “one-size-fits-all” weight loss approach that will work for everyone – that’s why diets don’t work! There are many factors that play a role in weight loss including: diet (portion sizes, timing, hunger, types of foods chosen), lifestyle (sleep, TV, work &/or family schedules), mood (stress, depression, anger, boredom) and physical health (hormones, injuries/physical limitations).
In my experience, when clients have personalized recommendations that fit their individual circumstances and preferences, they are much more likely to successfully lose weight (and keep it off!). While 15 minutes of extra activity and more fruits and vegetables will have an impact on obesity levels, we also need to be taking a closer look at our society and our lifestyles, and how they may be negatively affecting our diet and activity levels and in the long-run, our health.
By Dawn Peacock, RD