The only proven methods for long-term weight loss are a healthy, low-calorie diet and regular exercise. Sometimes, we can augment the start of the weight loss process with one of the short-term appetite suppressants. But ultimately, weight loss comes down to burning more calories than you consume. If you do this, your body has no choice but to lose weight. Many diets you may choose can work, if it is healthy and something you can continue indefinitely.
TIP: Whole un-processed plants (fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains) are much healthier than meats, breads, pasta, and other processed foods. Comparatively, the real fruits and vegetables have considerably fewer calories than most other foods. They also contain more essential nutrients that your body needs.
TIP: Count your calories. Write down everything that you put in your mouth, including food, snacks, candy, and drinks. Next to that food you should list the calories for the serving size you consumed. Doing this simple act can be very enlightening, helping you know how many calories your are eating for the day and which foods are most satisfying, yet low calorie. If you are eating "low calorie" and not losing weight, then you are eating more than you think and more than you need. Calories do not come out of the air.
TIP: Eat the bulk of your calories early in the day to keep your metabolism higher. Almost all of your calories should be consumed for breakfast and lunch. Calories that you consume within 4 hours of bedtime will be likely stored as fat.
TIP: Quit making excuses. It is easy to think you can't exercise in the rain or cold weather, or you can't eat right during holidays, birthdays, or when family and friends are around. Yes, you can! You have the power to eat healthy every day. You can say "No" to high calorie meals or snacks. You can take an umbrella or coat out in rainy or cold weather. It is your life - you have to take control of it!
Here is one of our favorite meal substitutes (not on our printed menu) that is low calorie, tasty, nutritious, and filling. Combine the following in a blender to make a dairy-free smoothie:
- 1/2 apple (or pear) with skin but no core
- 1 large handful (2 cups) of loose kale (or spinach)
- 1 medium carrot peeled
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1/2 teaspoon raw honey
- 1 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger (provides a nice kick,) plus a touch of cinnamon and/or allspice
- just enough water, apple juice, or grape juice(our favorite for taste and color) to puree the ingredients (about 2 oz is usually enough)
It is best to start with cold, refrigerated fruits and vegetables. But if needed add a small amount of ice while blending to get a smooth and cold drink. Experiment with the recipe and see what you like, making sure to keep your calories low and your nutrients high. Stick with more vegetables than fruits. These smoothies are much healthier than juicing because you get all the fiber and nutrients that you would otherwise miss. Let us know your favorite low calorie smoothie recipe!
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