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Personal Health Starts with Wise Choices

By Collin E. M. Brathwaite, MD FASMBS


We make choices every day. We choose what time to get to bed. What time to wake up. And what time to eat. These may seem like insignificant moments on the big stage of our hectic life, but they are important choices nonetheless. If you don’t go to bed early enough, you will be tired in the morning. If you don’t get up when the alarm clock rings, you will be late to work or school. The choice is yours, just as the choice to lead a healthy lifestyle is yours as well. Choosing to put all of your efforts to support a healthy lifestyle is paramount to your success in achieving and maintaining weight loss.


The first choice you make that will determine a great deal of your success is the type of fuel you choose to put in your body. If you are consuming carbohydrate dense, fatty foods, then the result could be that you come up short on your weight loss goals. Contrary to that, a high protein, high fiber diet will help to ensure feelings of fullness and satisfaction, as well as weight control.


Your next important choice to make is which fluids will you consume. If you are eating properly with the high protein diet, your body needs the correct amount of fluids to assist digestion. The right amount of fluid will help with waste elimination and transport of nutrients to the cells. If you are not drinking a good amount of water or calorie free fluids, your body cannot use the fuel correctly. And drinking calorie rich fluids, like sugary drinks, will offset the balance in the body and cause weight gain.


Lastly, you must make a choice to exercise. For each person, how much they are able to exercise is often determined by their health status. For instance, a patient who is waiting for knee replacement surgery is not an appropriate candidate to run a marathon, but they may be able to participate in water aerobics, or swim. Your choice of what type of exercise to include in your fitness routine depends on you. But choosing to do no exercise at all is ultimately the most common reason for lack of adequate weight loss. Making the commitment to exercise may be a huge step for a person who has not been physically able to exercise in the past. And once the weight is off, the exercise program may need to be adapted. Increasing the amount and intensity of exercise to a more rigorous program will enhance your weight loss and will help ensure that there is minimal weight regain.


Remember that each and every choice you make will either positively or negatively affect your weight loss. Being mindful of each choice will determine how your weight loss progresses. Ultimately, all of your choices make a difference on your weight loss journey.