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
“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.”