eating habits

Spring cleaning for better eating habits

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I was asked by a patient to give them a list of spring cleaning recommendations for better eating habits and I feel like some of these may be helpful for those of us trying to make healthier decisions in 2022.

  1. The single most important thing is removing high fructose corn syrup from your diet, so go through your pantry and fridge and look at the label of everything you put in your mouth.
  2. Throw away foods that are high in fat and sugar, usually cookies and snacks we may reach for in times of stress for indulgence. Some of my patients also use various high protein, low sugar options but I urge you to check the labels.
  3. Get rid of the extra calories in sugary drinks and sodas including diet sodas which usually just substitute a synthetic sugar like aspartame or sucralose. I recommend replacing these with a soda water machine that lets you make carbonated water without any additional calories.
  4. Move high-calorie foods like nuts and cookies to the top of the pantry so you have to make a whole-hearted effort to get to them. You may not want to throw away a few things that you plan to indulge in once you return to your healthy weight.

In terms of things to buy, I recommend shopping on the outside of most grocery stores to get fresh fruits/vegetables and meats, especially fish. Things that are usually boxed have unneeded chemicals including extra salt, sugar and fats that most of us simply do not need. Cutting out these chemicals that help preserve foods will definitely improve your energy levels and improve your overall well-being.

I recommend farm-to-table produce to support local growers, and we have quite a few collectives in the region. Some of the supermarket produce may have traveled many miles to get here, so make sure all produce is thoroughly washed to reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses.

The goal for effective, long-term weight loss is to change your habits and behaviors to enjoy high fiber low-calorie density foods instead of high calorie, low fiber foods. I often tell my patients to stay away from things that bodybuilders use to gain weight. Peanut butter, egg yolks, dried fruits and nuts seem to be common hurdles for some of my patients on the weight loss journey.

Dr. Kern Brar is a board-certified internal medicine physician and partner at Tri-City Primary Care. He lives in north county and has helped hundreds of patients lose weight with medically monitored weight loss and a natural approach to health. To learn more call 760-940-7000.

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