Preparing for Weight Loss in 2022: What about Diet and Exercise?

Dr. Dominique Fradin-Read
5 min readDec 2, 2021

When aiming to lose weight, diet and exercise are often combined. This has been the practice for many years considering that they certainly had a positive effect on the body-allowing people to reach their weight loss goals. This also led to various diet trends that became popular due to their purpose and method. Given that weight loss is the common goal, faster results from a certain diet meant that more people would be influenced to try it. Calorie intake becomes more prioritized than nutrition. Weight becomes more valuable than health. This pattern with dieting has been too common that it already led to many misconceptions around the concept of weight loss.

Weight Loss

Weight loss is defined as “a decrease in your overall body weight from muscle, water, and fat losses.” It refers to the overall decrease in weight which may be evident from a person’s physical form. This is measured through a weighing scale as it will display whether there has been a difference in body weight. Unless a smart weighing scale will be used, a regular weighing scale will only show the body’s overall weight, not the body’s fat percentage nor muscle mass. A decrease in body weight becomes the indicator of success regardless of the diet applied. They usually continue to follow the diet as long as there is progress in weight loss. However, this often leads to an unhealthy relationship with food since they become too focused on the weight loss progress. Thomas (2019) emphasized disordered eating as “abnormal eating behaviors such as skipping meals, binge eating, restricting certain food types/groups, of fasting which represent a deviation from the cultural norm, accompanied by a sense of shame, guilt, or anxiety, or other negative mood states in relation to eating.” Without having any idea whether they are supplying proper nutrition for the body or following healthy eating habits, they compromise their health. When health is compromised in order to achieve weight loss goals, nutritional deficiencies develop. Healthline (2019) highlighted that “a nutritional deficiency occurs when the body doesn’t absorb or get from food the necessary amount of a nutrient.” Deficiencies may produce various health problems such as digestion issues, rapidly aging skin, defective bone growth leading to osteopenia/ osteoporosis, anemia, and dementia. Most of the time, deficiencies go unnoticed unless health problems have already transpired. Weighing scales certainly do not indicate whether there is a lack of nutrients-hence, dieting is simply not enough when aiming to lose weight.

Proper nutrition

Losing weight should be done in a healthy manner-with a well-balanced diet and sustainable eating habits. Instead of basing on the calories consumed, the basis should be on the amount of nutrition absorbed. A diet that requires too few calories or removes food groups without alternatives is certainly not a good diet. According to Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025, healthy eating means consuming nutrient-dense foods-”nutrient-dense foods and beverages provide vitamins, minerals, and other health-promoting components and have little added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood, eggs, beans, peas, and lentils, unsalted nuts and seeds, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and lean meats and poultry-when prepared with no or little added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium-are nutrient-dense foods.” They also maintained that a healthy dietary pattern not only supports one’s health during their current and succeeding life stage but also future generations. An example of a well-balanced diet is the Mediterranean diet. It incorporates vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, beans, and fish, and unsaturated fats. It centers more on a whole food plant-based diet as consumption of meat and dairy products are reduced. Hence, in order for dieting to be enough, the focus should be on health and nutrition.

Exercise

As years pass by, exercise becomes more prevalent. This may be attributed to realizing the importance of health and fitness and at the same time, influencing the current and next generations in recognizing its significance. Spraul (2020) informed that “the purpose of training to increase strength, speed, and endurance can be traced back to ancient Greece around 600 B.C” while “it was not until the mid 20th century that regular exercise as a means to improve health began to become mainstream.” This demonstrates the shift of purpose involved in exercising but it also emphasizes its value regardless of the function. Exercise is an essential part of developing good health and wellbeing. It should be given importance as it is a natural medicine for the body that affects every aspect of life, from protection against chronic diseases to enhancement of mood and energy. According to guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), general adults should accomplish “at least 150 minutes a week (less than 30 minutes per day ) to 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise. Those who want to do more of course can add to these basic recommendations”. The guidelines also encourage muscle-strengthening activities in order to promote balance and flexibility. Picking the right exercise that matches one’s goals and objectives will serve as an advantage. By committing to an active lifestyle, weight loss will definitely be achieved. Exercising regularly not only promotes physical wellbeing, but also improves cardiovascular health, manages blood sugar and insulin levels, reduces risks of cancer, strengthens bones and muscles, develops balance, boosts sleep, improves sexual health, improves mental health and mood, and promotes longevity. On the other hand, the lack of physical activity will do the exact opposite of its benefits.

For those who have been sedentary for years and cannot reach 150 minutes per week, the simplest way to get moving and improve your health is to start walking a few days a week. It’s free, easy and can be done just about anywhere, even in place.

Having an awareness of proper nutrition, regular exercise and setting the right goals should be the start of a healthy lifestyle. These are the key factors that will allow people to recognize the value of their health instead of their weight. The greatest wealth that an individual can acquire is their health. This translates to every area of their life-habits which if formed now will reflect on the later stages of life. In conclusion, diet and exercise will only be enough to lose weight in 2022 if it is achieved properly and effectively. Dr. Dominique Fradin-Read

Originally published at http://drfradinread.wordpress.com on December 2, 2021.

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Dr. Dominique Fradin-Read

Website: http://www.vitalifemd.com/ Dominique Fradin-Read, M.D., M.P.H., is board-certified in preventative and anti-aging medicine.