What Ails You? I Put On Weight This Winter

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File photo by Michelle Williams

On behalf of those of us who partook in too much comfort food over this long — so very long — winter, we asked our panel of practitioners if they had a single tip that would help us take off a few pounds and keep them off.

Josh Levy, Vineyard Nutrition

Eat your calories, don’t drink them.

A big, fancy coffee drink has about the same amount of calories as a large bowl of clam chowder. And for that same amount of calories, you would feel satisfied for hours and load up on nutrients with a 100 percent whole-grain wrap filled with grilled chicken and vegetables, a side salad with low-calorie dressing, and a small bowl of berries. Liquid calories, including specialty coffee drinks and juices, while tasty, do not keep you full, and many are loaded with extra sugar and fat. And they are an expensive way to spend your calories. In place of high-calorie drinks, try aiming for no-calorie options like water, seltzer, herbal tea, or unsweetened iced tea or coffee. You can also try adding a squeeze of lemon, lime, or orange or adding cucumber, mint, or a packet of True Lemon to your water.

Remember, you don’t have to totally eliminate all liquid calories — just keep them small and limited to special occasions. This small change will help you lose weight and feel better.

Sheila Muldaur, homeopath, Integrated Health Care

Cell or tissue salts can aid in weight loss. However, choosing salts that match your type is essential. Here are three possibilities. Do you see your type?

Calcarea fluorica types have weight gain from eating processed food or a diet low in fiber. These people tend to have a “hanging belly” and perhaps chronic back pain. Taking Calc fluor an hour before eating and adding Calcera phosphorica (a general tonic remedy) one hour after meals can aid in weight loss. If the following cell salts best describe you, use according to package directions.

Natrum sulph is a left-sided remedy. These people react poorly to dampness and high humidity. The spring, when the snow is melting, is the hardest for them. It is used in alternation with Nat phos (a great antacid remedy). These cell salts will help the body eliminate toxins and re-establish a healthier lifestyle.

Kali muriaticum types are usually very hungry. (If not hungry, they are the opposite, not at all hungry.) Even if they eat rich foods that don’t agree with them, they want to eat more. In their minds, they are eating for survival.

Homeopathic cell or tissue salts are available at health food stores.

Gail M. O’Brien, M.D., Alliance Internal Medicine

So if you (like many of us!) have gained some weight over the winter — say around 10 pounds — then eating less and exercising more will probably be effective in taking the weight off. It is important when eating less to eat well, meaning lots of fruits and vegetables, little to no sugar, no processed food, no simple carbs (easiest way to remember is no white food!). Also little to no red meat or cheese, as these are high in saturated fats and high in calories. Snacks should be healthy as well, for example apple or celery with peanut butter. Be mindful of your portions, eat slowly, and stop eating before you feel full. Wait a few minutes and allow your body to register that you have eaten. Drink plenty of water — a glass with every meal, and a glass between each meal. Exercise does not have to be fancy: Brisk walking works well, ideally 30 minutes five times per week. If you have the time and money, doing some weight-bearing work at a gym twice per week is helpful. Be patient! It won’t happen overnight. Finally, if you are struggling, talk to your doctor.

Melissa Alderborgh, YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard

The key is balance and consistency, in both diet and exercise. If you overdo diet, exercise can’t make up the deficit. Make small adjustments, such as choosing whole wheat over white, and stay active. The duo together will have the most impact and have you feeling more energetic.

Sara Mass, Cross Fit

Try a four-week paleo challenge! Since the paleo-foods lifestyle doesn’t include any processed foods, not only will you quickly shed those few extra pounds, but you’ll also notice an increase in energy — just in time to get your gardens and yards in order!