Monitoring micro and macro nutrients can lead to a more sustainable lifetime diet
We all know the formula to lose weight. You need to burn more calories than you take in. Counting those calories on an app or writing them down can sometimes help you lose major pounds.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — They are the building blocks of your diet — macronutrients are the compounds in food that give us energy. They are found in protein, fats and carbohydrates.
Combine them with micronutrients, which are vitamins and minerals, and they help your body operate properly.
How can you use these components to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Tanja Cutting, Registered Dietitian at Community Health Center of Black Hills, says, “A lot of different diets manipulate the macronutrients in order to achieve an outcome, but basically what happens with your diet is that it is about calories in versus calories out.”
Cutting says an individualized diet plan can be good, as it takes the guess work out of it, but after you are off the program there must be a plan in place to keep the weight off.
She warns to also watch out for plans that eliminate entire food groups, like carbs, as that will not be maintainable in the long run.
Cutting says, “I’m looking for the sustainable pattern to eating, not necessarily a diet, quote on quote. So I think it’s really important to follow a pattern that works for you and one that you know you can sustain. So I would rather teach patients to learn how to eat the foods they like, but how to do it in a way that’s manageable, so that they end up healthy and they don’t have to worry about chronic disease, etc.”
In order to get a well-rounded diet that will keep processed carbohydrates, sugar and sodium to a minimum, it is important to get all of your macro and micronutrient goals by eating more whole foods, which are as close to the original form as possible — like fruits and vegetables— and limit processed foods.
“We live in a society where food is everywhere. Everybody knows what they’re supposed to eat, but everyone has a different opinion about how they should eat it. I don’t think there’s one approach to healthy eating but I just think there’s lots of options out there. And I also think sometimes that people don’t have all the information to make informed decisions. I think apps are good, but I would actually recommend a registered dietitian first and going from there, we certainly use apps with our patients. We promote them, but I think it’s nice to have somebody who can sift through what’s fact and what’s not when it comes to weight loss.”
She also emphasizes limiting sugar sweetened beverages with a lot of calories and carbohydrates, that your body can’t use. Filling up on healthier foods will give you the added benefit of losing weight and having more energy and feeling better.
You can get a free visit with Tanja Cutting about a nutrition plan at the community health center with a referral from your provider.