Q&A with Dr. Keoni Teta, ND, LAc on Weight Loss and Dieting
Q: What is your prescription for weight loss?
Dr. Teta: Healthy nutrition that is not over-consumed is better than exercise for fat loss. Healthy nutrition helps you lose fat better than exercise, whereas exercise is better for weight maintenance. In addition, any exercise that is done in a sustainable way is better than no exercise. When it comes to fat loss, resistance training tends to be better than stereotypical aerobic moderate intensity exercise (e.g., jogging). General recommendations are 3-4 30-minute resistance-training sessions per week and then 4-7 30-minute sessions of aerobic exercise. This can be anything from walking to running or elliptical or rowing or whatever one likes, etc., or a mix of everything. Aerobic exercise is best for cardiovascular health when compared to conventional weightlifting routines. However, high intensity exercise with big body movements that gets you breathless works aerobic and anaerobic systems.
Q: How can dieting contribute to weight gain?
Dr. Teta: Think of dieting as a prolonged stress on the body. Dieting, or more specifically, long-term energy restriction, contributes to weight gain in the long term because it causes the metabolism (e.g., thyroid and endocrine systems) to slow down. It also causes you to lose muscle at a faster rate than fat. This is a problem because once you come off of the diet, you tend to gain more fat than muscle… and your body wants to get back to its original muscle mass you had before the diet. Muscle acts as a weight thermostat. This means that once you’re back to your original muscle mass, you are padded with more fat, too.
Q: What is the Nutrition Label Rule of the Metabolic Effect Diet?
Dr. Teta: Weight loss is totally different than fat loss. We want our clients to lose fat not weight, especially if that weight is muscle. So for fat loss, the Metabolic Effect Nutrition Label Rule works best to follow for a processed food at one serving size as indicated on the label:
(total grams of carbs) – (total grams of protein) – (total grams of fiber) ≤ 10
Q: What is your favorite weight loss supplement?
Dr. Teta: Favorite weight loss supplement is fiber, specifically powdered fiber mixed in water. A fiber that is unsweetened and a good mix of soluble and insoluble fiber is best.
There are a variety of effective diets to choose from when helping patients lose weight. The Mediterranean Diet is a great staple dietary recommendation that is easy to implement and is supported by extensive research and data. If your patients are not responding well to your initial dietary suggestions, consider utilizing some of the specialized diets mentioned in this article, Tools for Weight Loss, to meet their unique needs. In terms of exercise, be sure to incorporate anaerobic recommendations to help facilitate fat loss and build muscle mass along with your aerobic exercise recommendations.
Dr. Keoni Teta, ND, Lac
Dr. Keoni Teta, ND, LAc is an expert in the field of helping people lose weight with targeted dietary and exercise recommendations.