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I want to weigh # lbs. What should I eat and how much should I eat?

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Hi there and thank you for your questions!

I encourage you to eat foods that you enjoy, nourish your body and make you feel good. 

It can be very difficult to reach a certain weight through diet alone. There are many other factors that influence your weight other than food, such as your age, genetics, level of physical activity and even stress (1). Many weight-loss approaches encourage restrictive eating or dieting (e.g. eat a certain amount of calories, eliminate specific food groups and/or eat only within a certain timeframe). Over time, this can have harmful, lasting effects on our body and overall health, such as slow down our metabolism and hurt our relationship with food and our body. Dieting most likely results to binge eating and most dieters regain their lost weight (2, 3, 4, 5). 

There's no shame in having the desire to be healthy, achieve your weight goal and feel good in your body. However, your health is more than just your weight. There are many safe and scientifically proven ways to improve your health and feel good in your body regardless of weight loss, such as balancing your platebeing physically activegetting a good night's sleep, and managing your stress.

If you are seeking more individual guidance in this area, seek a registered dietitian who can work with you more closely to build a healthy relationship with food and support you in your health goals.

I hope this helps, and I wish you well.

 

Cheers,

Anna Ng, RD

 

References:

1. Institute of Medicine (US) Subcommittee on Military Weight Management. Weight Management: State of the Science and Opportunities for Military Programs. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2004. 3, Factors That Influence Body Weight. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK221834/

2. Grodstein, F., Levine, R., Spencer, T., Colditz, G. A., &Stampfer, M. J. (1996). Three-year follow-up of participants in a commercial weight loss program: Can you keep it off? Archives of Internal Medicine 156(12), 1302.


3. Neumark-Sztainer D., Haines, J., Wall, M., & Eisenberg, M. ( 2007). Why does dieting predict weight gain in adolescents? Findings from project EAT-II: a 5-year longitudinal study. Journal of the American Dietetic Associatio, 107(3), 448-55.


4. Smolak, L. (2011). Body image development in childhood. In T. Cash & L. Smolak (Eds.), Body Image: A Handbook of Science, Practice, and Prevention (2nd ed.).New York: Guilford. Wertheim, E., Paxton, S., &Blaney, S. (2009).Body image in girls.In L. Smolak & J. K. Thompson (Eds.), Body image, eating disorders, and obesity in youth: Assessment, prevention, and treatment (2nd ed.) (pp. 47-76). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.


5. Hobbs, R., Broder, S., Pope, H., & Rowe, J. (2006). “How adolescent girls interpret weight-loss advertising.” Health Education Research, 21(5) 719-730.

 

 

Anna NgRegistered Dietitian