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Eating “Healthy” vs. Eating for “Weight Loss”

Quite often during a new patient consultation, the person will express lots of frustration about her/his inability to shed weight and the person will lament: “I eat HEALTHY and I still am not losing weight.”

When I take a deeper dive into exactly what the person is currently eating, I will often hear:

  • I am eating a “healthy” cereal or oatmeal with fruit for breakfast
  • My breakfast is a cottage cheese, yogurt and a cup of coffee
  • I snack on 10 almonds a day
  • I use a very low carb bread for my sandwiches
  • I drink 2 glasses of red wine at night because this protects my heart
  • I eat a salad for lunch consisting of all vegetables and no protein
  • My “treat” is cookies, but they are no-sugar cookies

First:  If someone is sitting in my office inquiring about receiving some sort of help with weight control, clearly, the person’s eating/drinking habits maybe “healthy” for other purposes but NOT for weight control.  Despite the self-perception that she/he is following a prudent dietary approach for weight control, this is clearly not the case.

A breakfast of eggs and bacon is construed by many as NOT “healthy” due to cholesterol contents, processed meat etc.  However, this is a perfectly “healthy” breakfast for the person seeking to lose weight, as this is an entirely protein (and some fat) meal.  The breakfast of oatmeal (fiber, vitamins and minerals) and fruit (fiber and vitamins) is NOT “healthy” for weight control, as there is no protein being consumed.

A snack of yogurt or string cheese can be viewed as “healthy” as there is protein, calcium, minerals and not very many calories being consumed whereas a snack of 2 ounces of shaved turkey from a deli (processed meat may be seen as “unhealthy”.  However, for weight control purposes, the turkey snack is far better for weight control due to the type of protein present.

During your long-term weight control journey, take a step back and evaluate your own self-perceptions of “healthy” eating and compare this to what we provided to you in our dietary booklet.  If you find discrepancies in the two and you are gaining/not losing weight, try to adjust your game plan to follow “healthy weight loss eating”.  

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