Jan 10, 2012

Q & A with the Dietitian

It's question & answer time!

Do you have a nutrition question you want answered? Wondering whether a certain food is actually healthy? Need tips on making affordable healthy meals? Hitting a weight loss plateau and need advice? Or maybe you want to know more about getting your kids to eat nutritious foods? You ask it, I'll answer it. Send me your questions at tiffanythedietitian@gmail.com.

First question.....



QUESTION:

Hi Tiffany! Do you know what the final word is on a high dairy diet and weight loss? I know it's bounced around from dairy bad to dairy good. I was just curious because my weight loss has really slowed down even though I haven't changed my exercising and I've continued to slightly decrease my calories the smaller I get. (it's 1450 right now) so I'm looking a tweaking something, anything to help with my last 30 pounds. Thanks!!

--Andree

ANSWER: 

Hi Andree!

According to Registered Dietitians, as long as you don't have a dairy allergy, dairy products have always been considered healthy to include in your diet. Why? It offers calcium, vitamin D, protein, and carbohydrates to help keep you strong and energized. 

The dairy industry advertise that milk products can help you lose weight. This is only true as long as your total calorie intake is below your calorie needs. So, the weight loss comes from a calorie deficit rather than simply consuming dairy products. Aim to consume 3 servings of low fat dairy products per day as part of a healthy diet.

Now on to weight loss. Although it was not stated in her question, I'll give a little background : Andree is very active and exercises intensely at least 5 days per week, which in turn increases her calorie needs. After a few calculations based on height, weight and activity level, Andree should be eating at least 1600-1800 calories per day for weight loss. As odd as it may sound, it's important to eat enough calories when trying to lose weight to prevent your metabolism from slowing down. When we under-eat, a message is sent to our brains to slow our metabolisms to prevent starvation. To avoid this, it's important to eat adequately and only slightly less than your normal calorie intake.

The best way to determine your metabolic (i.e. calorie) needs is to consult a dietitian. A less precise, but still effective way is to figure out how many calories your body burns to maintain your current weight. Do this by recording what you eat for 2-3 days and adding your total calorie intake per day. Then, reduce that number by 250-500 calories per day and healthy, gradual weight loss will result.

3 comments:

  1. Oooh I have a question! You'd think I'd know by the 3rd time around, but...
    About how many calories should I be eating while pregnant and exercising? I know that the kind of food I eat is important as well, but some days it's just easier to keep track of calories (though some other simple guidelines would be great). I'm still exercising every day and ALWAYS feel hungry, but I don't want to gain more than the recommended amount.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mollie! Great question....stay tuned for the answer next week!!

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