Do You Know Nutrition: Small adjustments to diet can help with weight loss

By Phylis Canion
Dec. 11, 2012 at 6:11 a.m.

Phylis Canion

Phylis Canion

I have been desperately trying to lose weight, but find myself struggling every day. I am making healthier choices in my food and have changed my lifestyle in that I am eating more regularly but admit I do not always eat breakfast. I do drink a few diet sodas a day - they are not that bad, are they? Quite often, by the end of the day, I have wilted. What else can I change? I appreciate your help.

Congratulations to you for realizing how important a good weight is and how critical the role a healthy diet plays. One of the most important factors in a healthy lifestyle is to always begin your day by eating breakfast. I am not talking about a seven-course, buffet-style breakfast but something as simple and easy as a good health bar, simply because something is much better than nothing and, of course, water.

If you choose to have a bit more for breakfast, a bowl of 100 percent rolled oats, cream of wheat or other healthy choices make for a better start. Your body has regenerated all night during your sleep (I hope you are sleeping all through the night) and is ready for some replenishment upon awakening, which is actually why we call it breakfast (we break the fast).

Also, if you take a whole food multivitamin, it is important that you take it with food, and breakfast is a great meal to get you going for the day. About the sodas: Even though they are 100 percent calorie free, they are also 100 percent nutrition free. And if you are drinking the soda out of an aluminum can, that is beginning the day with toxins. Have you ever noticed a plant that has wilted? Usually the first thing you do is to pour water on the plant, - not a diet soda or coffee or anything else - just water. Within a short time, the plant has perked back up.

Our bodies respond the same way, so I would suggest you try to drink more water, especially with your breakfast and it would be even better if you can continue throughout the day. Did you know that your brain is about 70 percent water, your muscles are about 75 percent water, your bone is about 22 percent water, your body fat is about 10 percent water, your lungs are about 90 percent water and your blood is about 80 percent water?

Remember, you need to drink one-half of your body weight in ounces of water daily. That is, if you weigh 160 pounds, you will need to drink 80 ounces of water daily. That old adage "watch what you eat" is just as important as "watch what you drink." And remember, both are just as important as to the quantity. Let's not wilt.

Thought for the week: Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous and judgement difficult. - Hippocrates

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant; email her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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