Trimming the waistline starts with training the mouth.
“Diet is the number one factor for slimming down, exercise helps cardiovascular health and burn calories, but if the diet isn’t taken into factor then you aren’t refueling the body correctly,” says Dr. Susann Clothier, chiropractor at Performance Spine and Sports Medicine.
She recommends eating whole real foods and lots of fruits and vegetables. She said fat is not off the table when trying to slim down. Healthy fats such as avocadoes, extra virgin olive oils, coconut oil and nuts can all be included in a healthy diet, so long as serving sizes are small because they are high in calories. But she said processed foods have to go, especially those with artificial sweeteners.
Chiropractor Dr. Michael Pismarov of PSSM said the main foods to eliminate when trying to slim down are breads and pastas, because they are high in carbohydrates.
“Eating breads and pastas can cause blood sugar levels to rise rapidly which also tend to come down just as quickly,” said Pismarov. “When blood sugars go down, we become hungry.”
Eating right is the first step, but Clothier warns against trying to take shortcuts like diet pills. She said they are not controlled by any government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration so there is no way to know what is really in the product and in what amounts. Another major dieting pitfall is trying to lose weight too quickly. She said when people jump on fad diets they tend to rebound and gain more than they lost, leaving them heavier then when they started. She said that nutrient deficiency is another risk factor from a restricted diet.
“The ideal component to slimming down is consistency. Keeping a healthy diet and regular exercise is most important. It takes time to lose weight correctly and effectively and also needs to be maintained to stay healthy.”
If the sound of starting a diet is overwhelming Dr. Pismarov said to keep one thing in mind to push through. “It takes 21 days to make a habit of something. Sticking with new eating routines and regimens are most difficult within the first 3 weeks.”
For more information about how to slim down for the summer Pismarov and Clothier are teaching a seminar at the New Jersey Athletic Club this month. The focus of the seminar will be clean eating, good fats, glycemic index and how to read food labels correctly.