Jan 292004
 
Authors: Lindsay Robinson

Cereal. Milk. Toast. Donuts. Hash browns. Breakfast essentials

for some, these foods all have something in common – they are

strictly forbidden under the Atkins diet.

While many people will admit they have lost 40, 60, even 80

pounds on a low-carbohydrates diet, it may not be the weight-loss

track for everyone, and the various low-carb programs do come with

some drawbacks.

“People often find they have low levels of energy and get bored

with eating protein-only diets. We need variety. We get bored with

the same thing day in, day out,” said Ainslie MacEchran, a personal

trainer at the Fort Collins Club.

He also said that just because a food is low in carbs, it

doesn’t necessarily mean it is healthy, or low in calories and fat.

He suggests people should simply be aware of what they eat.

“You’ve got to find a program that works for you as an

individual,” said Ruthann Deyo, an administrator at People On The

Go Weight Control in Loveland. “I think a combination of selecting

healthy foods, controlling your portion sizes and a little bit of

aerobic exercise are all beneficial in weight loss.”

So, if scrapping carbs is not the way to go, how should a person

eat to lose weight? MacEchran recommends paying attention to

portion size, leaving the table still feeling slightly hungry and

eating more than the standard three square meals a day.

“A better solution is to eat five to six times a day,” he said.

“Your body is constantly digesting and it takes calories to digest

food. Just by upping the frequency at which you eat, your body is

constantly burning calories. That’s really advantageous.”

Another crucial aspect of healthy nutrition is making wise

selections when deciding what to eat.

Deyo suggested starting the day off with a high-protein

breakfast, and MacEchran advised reducing alcohol consumption.

“The biggest thing for college students is cutting back on

alcohol because it is incredibly calorie-dense,” he said.

While eating right is a big part of losing weight, most experts

agree the weight won’t come off unless exercise is joined with a

healthy diet. Also, those who exercise frequently cannot simply eat

anything they want and remain healthy.

Sheri Linnell, an instructor in the Department of Health and

Exercise Science, said aerobic exercise, paired with a healthy

diet, is the most healthy and efficient way to shed unwanted

pounds. However, she said it can be difficult to get motivated

enough to work out regularly.

“It’s a challenge. Find a friend – someone who’d be willing to

do it with you and make a commitment,” Linnell said.

She also suggested being as active as possible throughout the

day; instead of driving, ride a bike or walk.

MacEchran agreed working out doesn’t have to be a particularly

strenuous experience to make a difference.

“It doesn’t have to be tons of exercise, just 25 to 30 minutes,

at least four days a week. It doesn’t have to be this eye-popping,

wishing-you-were-dead type intensity. It just has to be you’re

breathing heavily, sweating, moving around,” he said.

Deyo suggested not only burning calories but also building

muscle as well. She said the more muscle content someone’s body

has, the more calories he or she will be able to burn.

Low-carb diets don’t fit everyone’s lifestyle, and there are

other options that don’t involve cutting this or that from one’s

diet. It is possible to lose weight by simply being active, eating

smart and eating a bit less.

To get started, MacEchran advised: “For three days, write down

everything you eat and take a look back at it. You’ll be surprised

at what you ate.”

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