Science has shown time and time again that for many people, diets just don’t work. Although there are plenty of great ways to lose weight, a number of diets aren’t particularly sustainable for the long term. What’s a person to do?

At Medics USA, we believe in tailoring an approach to suit each individual patient. After all, what works for one person might not necessarily work for another. That’s why whether you’re seeing a primary care doctor for a routine visit or you come in for a physical, we’ll meet you where you are, offering advice that’s relevant to your unique situation.

In today’s post, we’d like to discuss food intake, sharing tips about what generally works and what usually doesn’t. Regardless of who you are, we think you’ll benefit from this information, so keep reading to learn more!

Advice You Can Count On

What’s one universally agreed-upon way to lose weight? Burn more calories than you consume. It’s simple math. For example, if you burn 2,500 calories in a day and only take in 2,000, your body is going to adjust accordingly, causing you to lose some weight.

In our last post, we shared a few tips for lowering your blood pressure. There are several approaches, but for many, the DASH diet makes quite a bit of sense. What is that, you ask? To put it simply, it’s an approach that seeks to allow you to eat the things you normally eat, but just eat less of them. According to the Mayo Clinic, “The DASH diet is also in line with dietary recommendations to prevent osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.” In other words, it’s a great approach for a lot of people to take to healthier eating.

How to Approach the DASH Diet

There’s a lot of salt in everything we eat, and the DASH diet seeks to decrease our sodium intake. Additionally, it hits all of the major food groups, providing your body with the nutrients it needs to be healthy.

Generally, you’ll want to get plenty of heart-healthy whole grains in your diet as well as plenty of vegetables. This is going to be the cornerstone of this method of eating. From there, you can incorporate a moderate amount of dairy as well as nuts and seeds. “But what about the meat?” For many people, meat is the basis of their diet. It still can be, but the DASH diet advocates for choosing lean proteins, trimming off fat when you can, and opting for fish and chicken instead of pork and beef.

You should also seek to limit fats and oils from your diet when possible, and avoid sweets as much as possible. This can be tough — especially if you’re used to getting a flavored coffee drink each day or downing a can of soda with lunch and dinner. Our advice is to take these things back to their simplest form. Rather than a flavored latte, drink a cup of coffee, adding in a modest amount of sugar and a splash of almond milk or coconut milk. Swap the soda for sparkling water. There are always healthier alternatives, and small changes can add up to big results!

A Few Tips from the Mayo Clinic

As we mentioned above, the Mayo Clinic is a great resource for how you can make the DASH diet work for you. Here’s how they advise putting it all together: start by changing gradually, introducing healthier foods into your diet at a pace that works for you. From there, make sure to find ways to reward yourself when you succeed and be kind to yourself when you slip back into old habits. If you can add some exercise, go for it! Finally, find someone who will support you and lean on them when you need to.

Primary Care You Can Count On

Speaking of people who will support you, if you’re looking for a primary care doctor in Ashburn, Falls Church, or the DC area, Medics USA is here for you! No matter what’s going on with your health or what your goals are, you can count on us to take great care of you, customizing our approach to care to suit your unique needs.

Schedule an appointment today!