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Diet for Weight Loss and Health

What follows is a general guide for a healthy diet. Each individual will require slight modifications to achieve their health and aesthetic goals. Please talk to one of our doctors to identify what modifications suite you best.

Basic Guidelines

Fruits and scale

  • Carbohydrates = 60% of total calories
  • Fiber 20-25g/day (average American Diet provides 10-12 g/day)
  • Limit highly processed foods and simple carbohydrates (sweets).
  • Emphasize natural and whole foods (ie. Choose low glycemic foods when possible)
  • Protein = 10% of total calories (1.7-1.8 g/kg of body weight *1 kilo equals 2.2 pounds)
  • Fats = <30% of total calories
  • Saturated Fats = <10% of total calories (1/3 of fats or less)
  • Trans fats = <1%; minimize as much as possible;
  • Note: many labels will not list Trans fats. To identify the amount of Trans fat in a food subtract the amount of each type of fat listed on the label from the total fat. Trans fats make up the remainder. You can also identify them on the ingredient label. Trans fats are present when the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” are listed.
  • Cholesterol = <300 mg/day
  • Sodium = <2400 mg/day

Tips for Dieting Success

Set realistic goals. 10% (or a pound a week) weight reduction is a reasonable expectation for the first year.

Do not be frustrated by increasing weight if you incorporate exercise in your diet. As a person exercises he/she adds muscle mass which may mislead you to concluding that the diet is not working. Realize that you are losing fat while adding muscle.

Do not crash diet. Do not reduce your calories more than 500 cal/d to begin the diet. Calorie reduction beyond this will cause your body to react by lowering its metabolic rate to conserve fat. Severe calorie restriction results in initial rapid weight loss but long term impaired weight loss. This results in frustration and lack of long term compliance to a diet.

Identify your psychological and social barriers to weight loss and modify your behavior accordingly. For example, if you tend to snack when you watch TV a key to losing weight may be changing your habits such that you spend less time watching TV.

Exercise 3-5 times per week (20 minutes if high intensity, 45-60 minutes if low intensity; have a health professional assess your health risks before starting an exercise program)

Fad diets (Atkins, the Zone) often depend on an unbalanced diet to achieve results which may increase your risk of serious diseases such as heart attack, stroke and osteoporosis. It is best to follow a balanced diet plan to achieve both weight loss and optimal health. The “popular” diet which best exemplifies this and is recommended by our doctors is the South Beach Diet.

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Weight Loss South Calgary, Calgary AB | (403) 243-8118