Wellness, Jackie’s Way: Sustainability, the Holy Grail

Have you ever felt that despite your best efforts, the scale continues to creep higher? Why is it so challenging to achieve permanent weight loss?

One study published in The Lancet Medical Journal seeks to explain how body weight can slowly rise even when people have not changed their eating and exercise habits. According to the research data, it’s easy to gain weight unknowingly from a very small imbalance in the number of calories consumed over calories used. Just an extra 10 calories a day is all it takes to raise the body weight of the average person by 20 pounds over 30 years, the authors wrote.

The study also suggests that a weight loss model for lasting results is a two-pronged approach with more aggressive change in behavior. This is followed by a second phase of a more relaxed but permanent behavioral change that is targeted to prevent the weight regain that affects so many dieters despite their best intentions.

Within my base of clients, I would agree that the two-pronged approach works best. When I first meet someone whose main goal is to lose weight, we start with gathering data in the form of a food journal or apps on their phones to capture food intake. Apps such as, My Fitness Pal, or Loose It are popular choices. Combing through the dietary intake allows us to identify how to cut 250 calories a day. That is our goal. And then we add daily exercise of 30-45 minutes into a day’s schedule.

For some, these two steps represents an aggressive change in behavior and it requires prioritizing food choices and time for fitness. For others, it needs to be more convenient, which translates to my providing them with a menu of exactly what and how much to eat on a daily basis. And taking them through one-on-one exercise sessions several times a week. We establish a routine for phase one and work it until we get results. This is short term.

Deducting 250 calories and adding exercise to an already busy life is just the beginning. The deeper challenge is the second phase, the long-term sustainable weight-loss program. It’s a way of thinking, a way of living life for the good of one’s health. This is long term.

Here are my top 12 strategies for sustainable long-term weight management:

• Dessert? Once per week and only half the amount you think reasonable,
• Cook at home as often as possible,
• Exercise continuously for 30-45 minutes each day,
• Identify acceptable portions for meals and snacks & stick to it,
• Include protein at every meal and snack,
• Exercise as early in the day as possible,
• Order from restaurant menus but eat only half the entrée,  save the rest for lunch the next day,
• Select low-fat, lean food choices and eat leafy greens every day,
• Sugar content should be a single-digit number in grams,
• Take steps instead of elevators whenever available,
• Eat beans and fish at least once per  week,
• Wear a pedometer and track your steps aiming for 10,000 a day.

Recipe of the Month: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

3 Tbs. olive oil
4-5 canned plum tomatoes, finely chopped
A few fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
4-6 medium slices of Italian or crusty bread
1 clove garlic, peeled, cut in half
½ C mozzarella or cheddar chees

Heat the oil in small frying pan. Add tomatoes, basil and season. Cook over low heat for about 8-10 minutes. Preheat broiler. Lightly toast the bread. When cooled, rub slightly with one side of garlic. Spread some tomatoes on bread and top with slice of cheese. Place under hot broiler until cheese melts 5-8mins. Serve hot.

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About Jackie Tate

Jackie Tate has been working in the health and fitness industry for 25 years. She has a master’s of science degree in health education and a bachelor’s of science degree in nutrition, both from Penn State. Early in her career she was recruited by Johnson & Johnson to work in their diabetes division during which time she earned her diabetes educator certification. In 2009, she developed a health and wellness consulting business. Tate’s Wellness Company enables her to work with individuals to create personalized dietary plans using a one-on-one consultation approach. She conducts personal training sessions and leads fitness classes at Way Martial Arts in West Chester, Darlington Arts in Garnet Valley, and the Concord Country Club in Concord Township. Jackie is a certified fitness trainer, Silver Sneakers and zumba Instructor. Additionally, she teaches nutrition to students attending the Academy of International Ballet in Glen Mills. Lamb McErlane, PC is one of Jackie’s corporate clients where she delivers nutritious Lunch N Learn sessions for employees as part of their on-going commitment to wellness. Jackie has a passion for inspiring people to lead healthier lifestyles through optimal nutrition and fitness. Tate4foodandfitness.com Tate4foodandfitness@verizon.net

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