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  • Writer's pictureDr. Linda Cherry

Keeping it REAL: The Role of Nutrition in Both Weight Loss and Weight Gain

Whether individuals are looking to lose or gain weight, nutrition plays a primary role in weight change. Exercise alone, is not the key component. You can’t burn it or build it without proper nutrition. Making lifestyle changes with how you eat and interact with food vs. temporary diets will be the only way to achieve permanent success in body composition change.

Changing your nutritional pattern does not have to equal total sacrifice/total abstinence for favorite things—gradual permanent changes are the way to go… who am I to say it doesn’t have to be so complicated?

I have been working in the health and wellness field for over 27 years after finishing an undergraduate degree in Health Education and then going on to earn a Master’s degree (Counseling Psychology) and a Doctorate (Clinical Psychology)—and finally national certification for personal training. I specialize in medical and health psychology—from one span of wellness and athleticism to other (I sit on the National Board for USA Track and Field on the Psychological Assistance Committee/Consultant to National Football Academies). I walk-the-walk: I am 50 years old, I am 5’4”/120 pounds, and I am less than 19% body fat.

What doesn’t work for most people seeking weight loss/gain (without metabolic diseases)—is following strict and prescribed rigid meal plans. They do not promote a lifestyle and frankly, they suck! I will always go back to what you do on a temporary basis is what you will get temporarily. Also, let me be clear—“prescribed” specific meal plans need to be done by a Registered Dietician, not a personal trainer. Personal trainers can provide education about nutrition (just as I am doing here).

To be healthy…lighter, stronger, or some combination in between: CLEAN UP your nutrition, step-by-step. If you make one change per week for a year—you’ve changed 12 things about your lifestyle in a year. In 4 years, that is 48 different things! Change two things per week and that is 96 lifestyle changes—this is how you get permanent results. Engage with our services and we will help you change 1-2 things per week about how you interact with food and hydration. This is how success has been made with more than 90% of the people I have worked with—achieving permanent weight change.

Look at the impact of 1 thing from an actual client: Michelle cut out her daily Coke ™ that she drank daily around 2pm at the office (zone out time!). She replaced it with taking a walk past the vending machine for a 5 min walk of fresh air outside. We won’t count the nominal calories burned walking vs. sitting with her can of Coke ™. (Note: 3,500 calories = 1 pound +/-)

Coke™ = 150 calories/39g of sugar (visually this is nearly 10 sugar cubes!)….70 per week!!!

Eliminating 150 calories x 7 days = 750 calories less per week x 4 = 4,200 less calories per month

In one year this eliminates 50,400 calories or 14.4 pounds (or gain if you start this habit!)

…and minus 13,104 grams of sugar (or 3,360 cubes of sugar)!!! Yikes!

As a comprehensive wellness program, we also have a registered dietician in our private practice (Nikky Hindle, RD). If you have medical conditions (i.e. hypertension, diabetes, thyroid disease, or other endocrine related-syndromes) it is imperative to work with an RD.

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