Many patients come to our office seeking weight loss, a concern for millions of Americans. For over six years, we have offered First Line Therapy, a lifestyle program which includes dietary, exercise and stress reduction advice. This is a clinically studied program which has demonstrated published evidence to reduce many risk factors of chronic disease, including reducing abdominal fat mass and increasing lean body mass, lowering cholesterol and blood sugar.
The dietary plan is essentially a Mediterranean-style food plan emphasizing vegetables and fruits, lean protein sources and healthy oils. Making changes to your diet to improve your lean body mass is actually relatively easy and should not leave people feeling deprived. To achieve great results consider:
1. Timing of meals. Start by eating within 30 minutes of rising and make sure it is a well balanced meal containing lean protein, healthy oils and low glycemic carbs. Including fat and protein in a meal slows down the digestion of carbohydrates resulting in a slower rise in blood sugar. Also this improves your blood sugar response to meals later in the day, a process called “second meal effect”. Throughout the day, don’t go more than 3 hours without eating to remain in fat burning mode.
2. Vitamin D. A simple blood test can determine whether you have optimal levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for blood glucose and insulin metabolism. If you have elevated insulin you can deposit fat around your mid-section. Based on your blood testing, vitamin D supplementation can be advised to attain optimal levels of this important vitamin.
3. Eat Chocolate!! A recent study revealed that women who ate 1.5 oz of dark chocolate daily had lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that, like insulin, leads to storing fat in the abdominal area.
4. Drink green tea. Many studies have demonstrated the many benefits of this ancient beverage. A recent study showed that green tea consumption improved abdominal fat loss from exercise.
If you are interested in First Line Therapy, please make an appointment with either Dr. Jennifer Stagg or Dr. Keith Yimoyines or discuss it at your next appointment.