Which Nutrition Plan is Right for You?
Good nutrition is important for all aspects of health. Food choices not only affect body weight and risk of disease but also influence mood, joint health and even skin appearance.
When a person is on a quest for health and wellness, diet is one of the first things to be addressed. Regardless of health and fitness goals, every person should eat a diet that is minimally processed and grown or raised without chemical and pesticide exposure. When our foods are processed for aesthetics or convenience, they must be altered in some way. Often, additives and preservatives are used along with artificial colors or flavors. These items can cause reactions within the body and promote inflammation. Inflammation ultimately causes sickness and disease.
So where do you start? You need a variety of produce in naturally occurring colors. The pigments in fruits and vegetables are a result of their micronutrient properties. For example, dark red and purple produce usually contains resveratrol, a powerful anti-oxidant. Yellow and orange items will typically contain beta carotene, which is important for eye health. By eating a variety of colors, you are ensuring that your body is being exposed to many micronutrients.
When I meet with a client at Amethyst Wellness, I recommend a nutrition plan based on start point, resources and ultimate goal.
The start point is determined by health status, the amount of weight to lose, and what’s been tried so far. Resources include time to prepare meals, availability of high-quality food, motivation and the support system. Finally, we determine the ultimate goal, which is usually weight loss, and overall improvement of health.
Many individuals are motivated to lose weight after receiving a diagnosis such as diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Fortunately, these conditions many times respond to healthy diet and resulting weight loss. Losing weight can decrease the need for medication and may even cure the disease all together. In such cases, we identify the most harmful foods and take measures to reduce or eliminate them. Many times, just getting rid of processed foods and sugar sweetened beverages is enough. Clients don’t even have to count calories. They will lose weight and improve their health.
However, it’s not always that easy. Many clients who struggle to lose weight are very sensitive to carbohydrates. These people will need to limit carbohydrate intake in order to achieve health and lose weight. In these cases, we work on balancing carbohydrate intake with protein and fat. This concept was made popular by Dr. Barry Sears, the author of the Zone series of books and products. In Dr. Amy’s Guide to Weight Loss and Wellness, I explain the physiology behind carbohydrate sensitivity in addition to strategies to balance carbohydrate intake.
When an individual already eats a decent diet, but still isn’t quite at the proper weight, he or she may do well with the Ketogenic (Keto) diet. The Keto diet is very low in carbohydrates and high in fat. The premise is that when the body is deprived of carbohydrates, it will go into a state of ketosis, resulting in increased fat burning. This diet is very popular and effective for weight loss but also very controversial. We will post a separate blog to discuss this further.
Individuals seeking to lose weight at Amethyst Wellness are directed to one of the following plans: The Dr. Amy Plan: a balanced carbohydrate plan; the Ketogenic Plan: a low carbohydrate, high fat and moderate protein plan; the Vegetarian or Vegan Plan: a modification of the Dr. Amy Plan using plant-based sources of protein.; or the Meal Replacement Plan.
Which plan is right for you? Schedule your free consultation today.