Take Very Good
Care of YourselvesDeuteronomy 4:15



Living a healthy lifestyle is about finding balance. Learning where and how to trim can make a difference in one's attitude. Here's a point that bears repeating: Slow and steady weight loss allows for long-term weight loss. While it's tempting to try to shed the pounds in a matter of days or weeks; losing weight too quickly can be self-defeating. When you lose too fast, you often end up rebounding to a weight that is higher than when you started out. Have you ever wondered why?

 Yo-yo dieters have a hard time keeping the weight off.

 Rapid weight loss can lead to a loss of lean muscle mass in addition to fat. When you lose muscle, you decrease your metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn while sleeping). A decrease in metabolic rate can make it harder to lose the pounds that you gain when you occasionally fall off the diet wagon. Also, when you put some weight back on, you'll be tempted to find another quick diet fix a phenomenon called yo-yo dieting. Yo-yo dieters have a hard time keeping the weight off, and recent studies have found that doing this is also extremely unhealthy and hard on the cardiovascular system.

 Fat cells, once born, never die. When you lose weight rapidly, they starve and grab up whatever they can find. You need to train your body to adjust slowly. This way, you'll have a better chance of keeping the weight off. After you have been eating healthily for a while, your weight might reach a plateau and sit there for a while. When this happens, the worst thing you can do is get discouraged.

 If your regimen is combined with exercise, you may be losing inches and gaining muscle (which weighs more than fat). At this point, your health-care professional can suggest different ways to get your weight moving in the right direction again. Remember, it took you years to put the weight on it's not going to disappear overnight.

 Presented here is an introduction to some of the options available for anyone who must lower his carbohydrate and/or fat consumption. Together with a nutritionist or health-care team, you will choose what's best for you.

 Get educated!  Use your common sense. Any regimen that restricts entire food groups or foods that you know are good for you (such as fruits, vegetables and/or whole grains) should raise a red flag. For those who are trying to lose weight, remember that most fad diets create some kind of nutritional deficit.

This will lead to weight loss, but at what price and how long will it last? Stick with regimens that safely reduce your weight to a reasonable level, don't leave you starving, and are easy to maintain.

 Try and create a realistic, healthy regimen for yourself

Again, choose moderation. Carbs aren't bad. Fat isn't bad. Protein isn't bad. But too much of these can lead to weight gain and/or hinder weight loss! Lack of certain nutrients can be detrimental as well. Under the right guidance, try and create a realistic, healthy regimen for yourself that you can follow. One of the strongest indications of whether or not a regimen is for you is to realistically assess how long you can keep it up. If you cannot follow it long term, forget it. You will end up regaining all the pounds that you worked so hard to shed and undo all the health benefits you began to see.

What small changes can you make for a healthier lifestyle? You probably want safe, lasting weight reduction or maintenance. However, remember that you are looking for a better lifestyle, not simply a diet. A diet is usually something temporary; and if you look at it as temporary, you are bound to slip back into your old, less healthy lifestyle once you have reached your weight goal.

©Copyright 2017 Jewish Diabetes Association/Nechama Cohen