Hi there! Today, I am going to share some of the most common questions I get asked by my patients. As a registered dietitian, I see patients for a wide variety of reasons. Diabetes, pre-diabetes, weight loss, renal disease, unintentional weight loss and food allergies are some of the many visit types I encounter on a day to day basis. I have found that some questions come up more often than others. Here are some of the common questions with a brief response for each.
1. “What is the best diet for weight loss/weight management??”
This is a tough one! I wish I had a magic answer because I would be the most successful/popular dietitian around! Unfortunately, there is no magic trick for weight loss. Each person is different. I always recommend a balanced diet focused on including the different food groups using the MyPlate method. This method also focuses on portion control, which is important for weight management. Another important aspect of weight loss and weight management is regular physical activity. Mindful eating is another important part of obtaining or maintaining a healthy weight. Listening to your body is key.
2. “Do I have to exercise? I hate exercising!”
This is something I hear almost everyday! The key to staying on track with an exercise plan is to find something you like to do. I think people tend to think of exercise as a chore rather than something fun. The more enjoyable you make exercising, the more beneficial it will be for you! If you hate to run, don’t run! Choose something else. Personally, I love group fitness classes. I try to include group fitness classes every week because I enjoy them. I have some patients that absolutely hate working out with other people, so I would never suggest that they start taking group fitness classes.
Physical activity has many benefits beyond helping with weight loss. It can reduce your chance of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease, strengthen muscles and bones, reduce stress and improve overall mental health. Pick something you enjoy and think of the positive impact the activity has on your health!
3. “What time of day is the best time to exercise?”
My answer to this question is, WHENEVER WORKS BEST FOR YOU!! There is a lot of research about what time of day is the best for engaging in physical activity. Some studies show that you will burn more calories first thing in the morning. However, the most important thing is that you fit in exercise regularly. You will get the most benefit from exercise at whatever time best fits with your schedule. Some people love to get up at 4:00am to workout and others cannot imagine doing anything besides sleeping at that hour of the day. This goes back to my previous answer about exercise. The more enjoyable you can make it, the better! This includes picking the time of day when you find the most enjoyment in your workout of choice.
4. “I can’t afford fresh fruits and vegetables, are canned or frozen okay?”
Yes!! Most canned/frozen fruits and veggies are processed within hours of being picked, so their nutritive value is preserved. Canned and frozen produce last longer which can be beneficial for people that waste a lot of fresh produce by letting it go bad. When choosing canned or frozen produce, look for products that do not have anything else added to them. Some canned fruit products will have syrup on the label, avoid these and look for fruit that is canned in its own juice. Some frozen veggies will have added cheese or something else added, look for products that are 100% vegetable with nothing added. Also, choose a wide variety of fruits and veggies. The more variety you eat, the more nutrients you are getting!
If anyone has any additional questions, feel free to comment below! Or, if you are a health professional, I would love to hear what questions you commonly hear from your patients.
Have a good week!