Health News – Sushma Shah, Naturopathic Doctor
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Weight Loss Tips By A Naturopathic Doctor


Have you every tried to loose weight? Have you ever tried different diets and had some success but then gained the weight you lost back after a few months of stopping the diet? Or have you been on diets your whole life, stressed and always cautious about what you eat and how it will affect your weight? If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you might want to read the following.

As a naturopathic doctor, I see various clients coming in for weight loss and management, who have tried and tired of different fad diets or diet of the month, had some success and then gained back the weight. So here are some simple tips that I have found to be useful for people trying to loose weight.


Quite often people associate dieting with having to starve themselves to a maximum of 800 calories a day. Well, when you are looking to loose weight, look to consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages within and among the basic food groups such as vegetables, fruits and complex carbohydrates and healthy fats, while limiting the intake of foods that are high saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt, and alcohol. This way you can intake good calories with healthy foods as opposed to limiting yourself to a thin slice of cake and some rice cakes all day long. Nutrition is key when it comes to loosing weight and eating the right foods is extremely important.


To maintain body weight in a healthy range, balance calories from foods and beverages with calories expended or burnt. To prevent gradual weight gain over time, make small decreases in food and beverage calories and increase physical activity.


Regular physical activity and reduce sedentary activities to promote health, psychological well-being, and a healthy body weight.

To reduce the risk of chronic disease in adulthood: Engage in at least 30 – 40 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, above usual activity, at work or home on most days of the week.  For most people, greater health benefits can be obtained by engaging in physical activity of more vigorous intensity or longer duration.

To help manage body weight and prevent gradual, unhealthy body weight gain in adulthood: Engage in approximately 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity on 3- 4 days of the week while not exceeding caloric intake requirements.

To sustain weight loss in adulthood: Participate in at least 60 to 90 minutes of daily moderate-intensity physical activity while not exceeding caloric intake requirements. Some people may need to consult with a naturopathic doctor before participating in this level of activity. If you are looking to build muscle and not prevent bone loss especially for women going through menopause, it is very important to add weight bearing activities into your work out routine.

Achieve physical fitness by including cardiovascular conditioning, stretching exercises for flexibility, and resistance exercises or calisthenics for muscle strength and endurance.


A good balance for fruits, vegetables, proteins, good fats and complex carbohydrates is key.

Consume a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables while staying within energy needs. Two cups of fruit and unlimited amounts of low carbohydrate vegetables such as all the different leafy greens and 1 serving of high carbohydrate vegetable such as sweet potato or yams per day are recommended for a reference 2,000-calorie intake, with higher or lower amounts depending on the calorie level.

Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. In particular, select from all five vegetable subgroups (dark green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and other vegetables) several times a week

Consume 2 or more ounce-equivalents of whole-grain products per day, with the rest of the recommended grains coming from enriched or whole-grain products. In general, at least half the grains should come from whole grains. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding having grains for weight loss – my recommendation is generally to get tested for food intolerances to figure out if you are intolerant to any grains before adding them into your diet. We offer testing for up to 220 foods at our naturopathic clinic.


Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol, and keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible.

Keep total fat intake between 20 to 35 percent of calories, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.

When selecting and preparing meat, poultry, dry beans, and milk or milk products, make choices that are lean, low fat, or fat-free.

Limit intake of fats and oils high in saturated and/or trans fatty acids, and choose products low in such fats and oils.


Choose fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains often.

Choose and prepare foods and beverages with little added sugars or none.

Reduce the incidence of dental caries by practicing good oral hygiene and consuming sugar- and starch-containing foods and beverages less frequently.


Consume less than 2,300 mg (approximately 1 teaspoon of salt) of sodium per day.

Choose and prepare foods with little salt. At the same time, consume potassium-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables.


Those who choose to drink alcoholic beverages should do so sensibly and in moderation—defined as the consumption of up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

Some individuals, including those who cannot restrict their alcohol intake, women of childbearing age who may become pregnant, pregnant and lactating women, children and adolescents, individuals taking medications that can interact with alcohol, and those with specific medical conditions, should not consume alcoholic beverages.

Individuals engaging in activities that require attention, skill, or coordination, such as driving or operating machinery, should avoid alcoholic beverages.

FOOD SAFETY – These are common sense when it comes to food preparation.

To avoid microbial food borne illness:

  • Wash your hands, and clean any contact surfaces where you prepare foods, and fruits and vegetables. Meat and poultry should always be washed or rinsed.
  • Separate raw, cooked, and ready-to-eat foods while shopping, preparing, or storing foods.
  • Cook foods to a safe temperature to kill microorganisms.
  • Chill (refrigerate) perishable food promptly and defrost foods properly.
  • Avoid raw (unpasteurized) milk or any products made from unpasteurized milk, raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs, raw or undercooked meat and poultry, unpasteurized juices, and raw sprouts.

None of this information constitutes for medical advice. Talk to your naturopath before making any changes.

If you are looking to loose weight and keeping it off, here is a link for more information on losing weight naturally.

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